El Paso based post-hardcore outfit At The Drive In make a rare appearance on Tyneside as part of their current UK headline run.

Following an indefinite hiatus back in 2001, the group reformed for the second time in 2015. Subsequently, last year the Texan five-piece released their eagerly anticipated first studio album in seventeen years in the shape of in • ter a • li •a.

The atmosphere inside of the O2 Academy Newcastle is at fever pitch as At The Drive In explodes onto the stage like a vortex of energy and kick off their set with a triple whammy of “Arcarsenal”, “No Wolf Like The Present” and “Sleepwalk Capsules”. This ferocious opening trio of numbers sets the tone for the night ahead with roughly 80% of the band’s setlist stemming from their latest offering and their seminal album Relationship of Command.

Frontman Cedric Bixler is a real dynamo, he prowls every inch of the stage with his spirited dance moves, often swinging his microphone aloft and even occasionally flicking it off his heal with some fancy footwork that even Pele would be jealous of.

The band’s relentless energy is fuelled on by their distinctive brand of hard and heavy tunes laced with hypnotic guitar riffs and pounding rhythms. At The Drive In’s frantic pace does not subside at any point in their 90-minute set which only further spurs on their fans; crowd surfers propel themselves towards the stage from the off.

In the lead up to their current UK run At The Drive In released the Diamanté EP and mid-set the group takes the opportunity to showcase new track “Amid The Ethics” taken from it.

The band continues with a nostalgic and somewhat crowd-igniting rendition of the classic “One Armed Scissor” which is followed in quick succession by old favourite “Napoleon Solo” from their sophomore record In/Casino/Out. This subtle balance of old and new continues throughout.

At The Drive In close out their main set with a blistering performance of “Governed by Contagions” from their current album before a rare airing of “Pattern Against User” brings an intense set in Newcastle to its conclusion.

Tonight At The Drive In sound just as fresh and equally as relevant as they did in 2000. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 17 years for their return.

At The Drive In
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Event Date: 10-Mar-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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