Touring counterparts P.O.D and Alien Ant Farm bring an explosive night of Nu Metal to the O2 Academy Newcastle.

Of course, Alien Ant Farm are no strangers to the North East of England, this being the band’s third visit to Newcastle inside of the last four years.

Without a new album to promote, tonight Alien Ant Farm deliver very much a greatest hits set. The band opens with “Bad Morning” along with smash hit “Movies”, which each feature at the top of the set.

The music world has changed somewhat since Alien Ant Farm’s heyday of the early 2000’s but that doesn’t stop frontman Dryden Mitchell 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.

The group deliver a hard-hitting rendition of “Wish”, which of course featured on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 video game; which is something the band are proud of.

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 and somewhat epic performance of the song is the centrepiece of their set. Guitarist Terry Corso closes the number with a few bars from Linkin Park’s “In The End”, which is a touching way to conclude the track.

As the quartet heads into the final stages of their set they brake into an emphatic rendition of “Courage”, a punk-tinged cover of “Gene Machine” by Bad Brains, the somewhat grungy “Sticks and Stones” and the rather aptly titled “Goodbye”.

Tonight happens to mark frontman Dryden Mitchell’s wife’s birthday, and subsequently, the crowd join the band in singing “Happy Birthday” to Cassie. As is customary, there is also room for cake, balloons and streamers.

A crowd-pleasing rendition of AAF’s unmistakable interpretation of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” brings the band’s career-spanning set to a close.

San Diego based Christian Metal quartet P.O.D make a rare appearance on Tyneside this evening. The group recently released their first new album in three years in the shape of Circles. Subsequently, the band are back in the UK in support of their latest release.

The sounds of Linkin Park’s “In The End” plays over the house PA as the four-piece takes to the stage and kicks off the show with a bang quite literally with their high octane set opener “Boom”. The group sets the pace for the show with an energetic airing of “Rock The Party” before showcasing the first of several tracks from their new record in the shape of “Panic Attack”.

P.O.D’s energy is relentless, with band members frequently switching sides of the stage as they lead the charge and engage the crowd from on top of risers positioned up front. The Geordie faithful are most certainly “Rockin’ With The Best” this evening. The latter of which taken from the band’s latest record.

Of course, there is plenty of room for tracks from new album Circles, including the title track itself, “On The Radio” along with “Always Southern California”.

Frontman Sonny Sandoval’s passionate delivery and lyrical prowess captivate the Newcastle crowd. This is particularly the case during the likes of frantic crowd pleaser “Soundboy Killa”, the classic “Satellite” and the anthemic “Youth of the Nation”. The latter of which has the crowd hanging on every word from the off.

As the band heads into the final stages of their set, they deliver a mosh pit inducing airing of “Without Jah”, which is executed at breakneck speed, before slowing things down for a spellbinding performance of “Beautiful” during which the whole room is illuminated by swaying cell phone lights. It’s fair to say that P.O.D certainly strikes a chord with their Newcastle fan base this evening. Of course, the night would not be complete without hit single “Alive”.

On the strength of tonight’s P.O.D performance, we can safely say that it may have taken three years for the return of the San Diego Nu Metallers, but it was certainly worth the wait.

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Event Date: 03-Mar-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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