Hard rocking Californian quartet Alien Ant Farm make a welcome return to the North East of England performing in front of a packed out crowd at the O2 Academy Newcastle.

With a career spanning two decades and a recent tour celebrating the milestone 15th anniversary of their platinum album ANThology the four-piece are back in the UK once more bringing with them in tow a devastating triple bill of Trans-Atlantic talent.

For those in attendance early in the evening Chicago based post-grunge duo Local H make a rare appearance on Tyneside. With a sound built on a solid foundation of fuzz fuelled guitar licks, crunchy riffs and a hard-hitting rhythm Local H proves that they can make more noise than most acts with twice as many band members.

The group’s raw energy and passion certainly win over a whole new audience tonight whilst at the same time pleasing the many who have been longing to see them perform in the region for so long. The band’s short but sweet set is brought to a close with the feedback inducing, QOTSA-esque number “High Fiving MF”.

Also originating from Chicago, Illinois – Nu Metal four piece Soil pick up where Local H left off. The group delivers a set which centres on their critically acclaimed album Scars. This being an album for which the band attained mainstream success and their major label debut. The likes of “Breaking Me Down”, “Need To Feel” and “Halo” all feature in the show. The latter of which closes out the band’s explosive set with frontman Ryan McCombs singing the number deep in the midst of the circle pit in the centre of the room.

It’s been almost three years since the release of Alien Ant Farm’s last record Always and Forever. The band are currently writing for a new album which is rumoured for a 2019 release. Subsequently, for tonight’s show in Newcastle Alien Ant Farm delivers very much their greatest hits set.

The band opens with a pair of numbers from Up in the Attic in the shape of “Bad Morning” and “Forgive and Forget” before delivering fan favourite “Movies” early in the show.

The music world has changed somewhat since Alien Ant Farm’s heyday of the early 2000’s but that doesn’t stop frontman Dryden from reminiscing about the times when MTV used to play music videos prior to “These Days”. Of course, currently, you are more likely to find the likes of Jersey Shore on the former music television heavyweight.

Mitchell declares that “Attitude” is the favourite song of both his mum, who is at home in San Francisco and also the late Chester Bennington. The band’s passionate delivery has the crowd hanging on every word and is one of the stand out tracks of the set. Guitarist Terry Corso closes the number with a few bars from Linkin Park’s “In The End”, which is a fitting touch.

Dryden picks up his trusty Fender Stratocaster for the only time during the show as the band performs the incredibly catchy “Glow”.  Alien Ant Farm brings their main set to a close with a triple whammy of “Courage” along with “Simpatico” from their latest album and old favourite “Wish”. Of course, the last mentioned of which featured on the soundtrack to the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 video game some years ago.

A crowd-pleasing rendition of AAF’s unmistakable interpretation of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” brings an incredible night of music to an end. Alien Ant Farm are still going strong and are showing no signs of slowing down.

Alien Ant Farm
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Event Date: 17-Feb-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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