boringvsfunny

Which side of me will win?

Metalcamp 2011: Cat with its tail in a mincer

There are few things more enjoyable in life than watching another human being risk its own life for your entertainment. And so, we come to Airbourne.

Musically, Airbourne are almost exactly the same as AC/DC. Every song fucking rocks, that’s for sure. But it does sound pretty much the same as the one before it, and the next one too. I suspect frontman Joel O’Keefe, a man who appears only able to communicate by screaming like a cat with its tail in a mincer, knows this and that it’s exactly why he does something very, very silly every now and again, just to ensure our attention doesn’t wander.

My attention has certainly started wandering a bit, I must admit, at the moment he walks over to one side of the stage and starts climbing the supports. Now, Metalcamp is a small festival, but the main stage is a full-size production. It’s a long way to the top – at least fifty feet (that’s about 15 metres, European chums), maybe more. I don’t know, I didn’t measure it. Who cares anyway? You know how high a big stage is.

So he climbs all the way to the top, seemingly with no safety measures other than a roadie standing at the bottom looking up with a concerned face on. When he reaches the top, he hooks one leg over a rung, using it to hold on, then plays a solo. At the end of it, he leans back with his guitar in one hand. Then he makes it down safely. A small part of everyone watching is just a little disappointed about that. It’s only human.

I later learn that he did the same thing at Sonisphere in the UK, only he actually climbed up and over, performing the solo standing on top of the rigging. Bugger! I hate it when another festival trumps Metalcamp, especially when it’s a massively corporate British festival. But don’t get any ideas, Sonisphere. Metalcamp is still the best by miles.

A few more songs pass by and again I’m finding myself distracted. I lean over to Ash and say, “It’s about time he did something massively stupid again.” Not long after that, Joel gets the searchlight out. All the other stage lights go off and he stands there waving a powerful handheld searchlight at the crowd in time to the beat. This is less entertaining and definitely less dangerous than climbing the stage supports, and he keeps shining it directly in my face, which is annoying really. Enough of this. Next stunt please, Mr O’ Keefe.

Towards the end of the set, he does the next stunt and while it’s not as dangerous as the high altitude guitar solo, it makes up for it by being even stupider somehow. All he does is take a can of beer and smash it against his own head repeatedly until it splits, spraying foamy beer everywhere, then throws it into the crowd. Then he does it again. Then again. And again, I think.

Made me laugh anyway.

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