Rock Allegiance Tour stops in Greensboro

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Monday, September 23, 2013 - 6pm

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On Monday evening, Greensboro, North Carolina, experienced a taste of foreign rock as the Rock Allegiance Tour stopped by the Greensboro Coliseum. The annual tour made it's original debut in 2011, with each yearly lineup consisting of various rock bands. Danish metal band Volbeat headlines this year's lineup, with opening support from Finnish rock band HIM and the American metal heads of All That Remains.

Australian hard rock band Airbourne was originally scheduled to be the first opening band at each tour stop. Due to reportedly unfortunate family news, however, they have dropped off the bill for the remaining dates of the tour. Their news came earlier in September and they did not play in Greensboro on Monday.

Massachusetts originated metal band All That Remains opened up the evening in lieu of Airbourne's absence. All That Remains was founded in 1998 and consists of members Philip Labonte (vocals), Mike Martin (guitar), Oli Herbert (guitar), Jeanne Sagan (bass) and Jason Costa (drums). The band has released five studio albums and in June revealed the title of their upcoming sixth album to be A War You Cannot Win. The first single off the album "Stand Up" was released on August 29th, this year, and was played during All That Remains set. "Two Weeks" and "The Last Time" were other mainstream radio singles included on the band's set list.

Heartagram symbols were prominently seen among the crowd in support of the Helsinki, Finland native rockers of HIM. HIM (originally an acronym for His Infernal Majesty) was formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindstrom, and bassist Mikko "Mige" Paananen. After undergoing short lived member changes, the three were joined by Mika "Gas Lipstick" Karppinen (drums) in 1999 and have had an unchanging lineup since 2001, when Janne "Burton" Puurtinen (keyboards) also joined the band. Though HIM has released eight studio albums, seven of which have earned Finnish gold or platinum certifications, the band did not receive much attention in America until the release of their fifth album Dark Light in 2005. In 2006, HIM became the first Finnish band to receive an RIAA gold certification in the United States for that album. Their eighth release Tears on Tape hit shelves in April, this year, and their set featured many of the new songs, including the title track. HIM closed with one of their fan favorite songs, "Funeral of Hearts".

The Danish headlining band Volbeat brought an impressive conclusion to the night. Though they associate themselves with the metal genre of music, they are heavily influenced by classic artists including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Guitarist and lead vocalist Michael Poulsen easily displays these influences through his notably unique vocal range. Volbeat was founded in 2001 by Poulsen, Anders Kjolholm (bass) and Jon Larsen (drums). Earlier this year, former Anthrax member Rob Caggiano joined Volbeat as lead guitarist. The band has produced five studio albums, all of which have been certified gold in Denmark. Many singles from their past three albums have reached the number one spot on US Active Rock charts, including: "Heaven nor Hell", "A Warrior's Call", "Still Counting", and "The Hangman's Body Count". All four of these songs were played during Volbeat's set, along with a highlighted short series of covers of  "Breaking The Law" by Judas Priest, "Ace Of Spades" by Motorhead, and Slayer's classic "Raining Blood". Volbeat had been scheduled to play as part of the Carolina Rebellion in May, this year, but were forced to cancel due to inclimate weather. The announcement of their inclusion on the Rock Allegiance tour and a stop in Greensboro came as an exciting and welcome relief to fans who had hoped to see them at Carolina Rebellion.

There are still a handful of remaining tour dates which can be viewed here. Hopefully the Rock Allegiance tour will return again in 2014 with another exciting lineup of bands!

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