Review: Volbeat, Hellyeah, and Iced Earth – The Paramount, Huntington, NY

Last night the mighty Volbeat graced Long Islanders with their presence at The Paramount in Huntington, NY. Supporting the Danish metal giants were Hellyeah and Iced Earth. Here are some scattered thoughts along with grainy iPhone photos:

Volbeat was fantastic. They currently have the most interesting and unique sound in hard rock and heavy metal. The set was diverse, the energy was sky high, they blew the roof off. The band was highly appreciative of the crowd’s respect, massive sing-alongs, and headbanging. Frontman Michael Poulsen has an awesome voice, impossible to replicate with a straight a face. Bassist Anders Kjølholm is a blast on the stage. He plays hard, acts out the lyrics, and takes care of the fans in the front. It was also a treat to see Mercyful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann step in on rhythm guitar for the band on tour.

Hellyeah surprised me. Since the band’s inception, I have struggled to like their product. How can one not like a band with Vinnie Paul on the drums? Seriously, you start to think that there is something wrong with you for not digging them. Here is my final verdict on Hellyeah: the albums are borderline unlistenable, however as a live band, they rip shit up. This was the first time I got Hellyeah.

Iced Earth was a special treat, an added bonus. I thoroughly enjoyed their set after expecting nothing special. In fact, I forgot that they were on the damn bill! I walked in and…BOOM…Iced Earth is destroying the joint. I really like Stu Block on vocals. This band is far from dead, which is quite a feat considering all of their frontman changes over the years.

-The fans were great overall. There were a few douchebags in the pit, but they were tossed out by security after Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen stopped mid-song to address the assholes.

-I really enjoyed the floor last night. If you wanted to get dirty in the pit, you had the option to throwdown. If you wanted to hang in the front up against the stage (with breathing room to spare), you had a great view. It was the ideal environment for a rock show.

-The sound at The Paramount Theater still needs work. It is either too muffled or too loud (I wish the ringing in my ear would stop already). Similar sound experience to the Anthrax and Testament show there in November.

-My final complaint about the venue itself is the parking. Do not tell me to park at the Huntington Train Station and that a trolley will take me to the venue. The train station (about a mile from the venue) is not a comfortable/safe place for anyone to leave their car. Honestly, I’m not brave enough to park there so I circle around the venue for 45 minutes until a spot opens up near The Paramount.

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