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Front Row Pix: Volbeat @ Lowell Memorial Auditorium

By Frank Poulin

Rock Allegiance

The Rock Allegiance Tour‘s stop in Lowell last week was off to a rocky start with a last-minute venue change but the fans [eventually!] found their way to the Auditorium and packed it.

All That Remains started the ball rolling some 20 minutes early — even as people were still streaming in after the doors opened. But those of us who got there in time to catch the set were treated to a solid ass-kicking. These guys never phone it in.

Finnish rockers His Infernal Majesty came on next, with frontman Ville Valo looking (and sounding) like he has recovered from the pulmonary illness that forced the band to cancel their early summer tour dates. Valo wins Best Quote of the Night with his opening comment: “God bless electronic cigarettes!” The band played with obvious gusto and the audience ate it up.

Volbeat brought it home and had a blast doing it, peppering their set with short covers ranging from Johnny Cash to Slayer. Singer Michael Poulsen frequently stopped to talk and joke with the fans and had them jumping, singing and fist pumping on command the entire time.

Touring is hard work, but you could just tell from their collective performance that these bands enjoy every second of it.

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