With a career spanning over 40 years and including 21 studio albums, rock legends UFO have hit the road once again in support of their latest album.
Kicking off the show was Russian five-piece AOR outfit Reds’Cool, who brought their brand of upbeat rock and roll to the North East crowd. Charismatic front man Slava Spark leading the band through a set including the likes of “The Way I Am,” “Hey You” and “Stranger’s Eyes,” and left the audience suitably warmed for the mighty UFO.
It was a busy Saturday night as the region’s loyal rock fans descended upon the O2 Academy Newcastle, the majority of whom would have grown up listening to UFO. Some of those in attendance even brought the next generation of fans along with them to witness their heroes in action.
Tonight UFO delved deep into their back catalog as they walked the packed room down memory lane, with a set composed largely of the band’s greatest hits from the 70s and 80s, opening with “We Belong to the Night” from their 1982 album Mechanix. However, it wasn’t long into their set before we got our first live taste of the new album with the excellent “Run Boy Run.”
The band sounding tight, Phil Mogg engaged the audience by raising his mic stand aloft as he holds it out to the crowd to massive cheers. The incredible Vinnie Moore shreds his way through the classic “Lights Out” much to the pleasing of the crowd, before we are led into a superb rendition of a new track, “The Killing Kind.”
The crowd hang on every word of “Only You Can Rock Me,” with some sublime keyboard playing from the versatile Paul Raymond throughout. Bass player Rob De Luca leads the band into “Cherry” which also features on the band’s 1978 album Obsession.
“Messiah of Love” is the only other track from their new album, Conspiracy of Stars, to feature in the band’s set tonight, Mogg informing the crowd that the band has only played this track live a couple of times before, and it sounded great.
The band finished their main set with an incredible rendition of “Rock Bottom,” the Geordie crowd singing back every word. Mogg leaving the stage allowing the rest of the band to break into an epic instrumental with Vinnie Moore soloing throughout before Mogg rejoined the band to finish the song. UFO left the crowd wanting more.
Only too happy to oblige, the band returned to the stage as they launched into “Doctor Doctor.” You could see the look of jubilation upon the faces in the crowd as they were transported back to their youth; the room was jumping. UFO brought the evening to a close with “Shoot Shoot” from their 1975 album Force It leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
After all these years, UFO has still got it, and long may they continue.