It goes without saying that gig clashes are the worst nightmare of any self-respecting concert goer.

Tonight both Papa Roach and Canadian hard rockers Monster Truck have booked out the two concert halls inside of the O2 Academy Newcastle, causing somewhat of a quandary for those in the North East who enjoy their music on the heavy side of things.

However, despite the presence of the Nu Metal heavyweights performing in the neighbouring room downstairs, the Tyneside rock fraternity certainly voted with their feet, with tonight’s Monster Truck show being a complete sell out well ahead of the show day.

The Hamilton, Ontario based quartet’s two previous shows in the region have been arena support slots alongside the likes of Nickleback and most recently Black Stone Cherry. However, tonight’s headline show in Newcastle is somewhat of a more intimate affair. Such is the demand for this show that the fans are sardined into the confines of the O2 Academy 2, with the audience almost spiralling down the stairs at the rear of the room.

Of course, Monster Truck have been gaining momentum thanks to their rigorous touring schedule and a string of radio singles gaining frequent airplay on the likes of Planet Rock Radio.

Despite a new album under their belt in the shape of True Rockers, tonight’s seventeen song setlist is pretty evenly spread across each of the quartet’s studio releases. The show opening chronicles the band’s discography during a triple whammy of “The Lion”, the anthemic “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” alongside new track “Devil Don’t Care”.

Tonight Monster Truck thrives off the energy and excitement of their North East fan base who are mere inches from the stage, which in turn creates somewhat of a special atmosphere inside of the room. The crowd clap, cheer and singalong wholeheartedly throughout the course of the night.

With their no messing approach, Monster Truck waste no time at all as they trounce their way through a trio of back to back fan favourites from their sophomore album Sittin’ Heavy by way of the emphatic “She’s A Witch”, the thunderous “Things Get Better” along with the harmonious southern tinged number “For The People”.

Whilst the crowd are shoehorned into tonight’s venue, similarly, the tightly packed stage can barely contain the energetic performance of the band and in particular their axe-wielding shredder Jeremy Widerman. Likewise, Jon Harvey’s prominent bass lines are so fierce, that you can feel them pounding in your chest – these guys are “True Rockers” indeed. However, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider couldn’t make it to Newcastle this evening to add his finishing touches to the latter.

During the final stages of the main set, Monster Truck take their fans back to the start as they showcase several tracks from their debut album Furiosity and The Brown EP. This includes a number which illustrates the more bluesy side of their repertoire by way of the astounding “For The Sun”, before the band ups the pace with the frantic “Old Train” and the psychedelic-tinged “Sweet Mountain River”.

To say that this evening’s show is a hot ticket by way of both the demand to be here and the sweaty nature of this up close and personal event is an understatement, this is undoubtedly the busiest we’ve seen this room in a very long time. It’s fair to say that with their distinctive brand of arena-filling rock, Monster Truck won’t be playing rooms of this size much longer.

Tonight Newcastle’s favourite Canadian rock and roll export delivers their strongest set possible, and without a question of a doubt, their best performance in the region to date. As the old saying goes, ‘Don’t Fuck With The Truck’.

Monster Truck
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Event Date: 23-April-2019

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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