P.O.D & ALIEN ANT FARM // O2 ACADEMY, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Rock legends P.O.D play a nostalgic show with support from Alien Ant Farm and '68!
P.O.D (Payable on Death), the Nu Metal legends from San Diego have a reputation of putting on cracking shows and they certainly did. Back in the UK on their ‘Circles’ tour they still manage to draw fans into packing venue after over twenty years. Throughout their career the group has sold over 12 million records which is only set to increase. Joining P.O.D was Alien Ant Farm who are co-headlining, with their similar style it’s obvious why this show almost sold out! Supporting the two groups was the hardcore/metalcore duo ’68.
‘68’s performance was phenomenal, I was lost for words. From the get go the duos set was filled with an insane amount of energy with their gnarly riffs and grouchy vocals it was something not to be missed. The group started their set with ‘Whether Terrified or Unafraid’ which is off their album ‘Two Part’s Viper.’ I couldn’t think of a better way for them to introduce themselves to Newcastle! Up next was ‘This Life is Old, New, Borrowed and Blue’ this track features a more melodic approach with its catchy riffs it has to be one of their best tracks they’ve created. Once finished guitarist/vocalist Josh Scogin turns his guitar over to show the word ‘thanks’ taped to his guitar. The fourth track of the evening was ‘TRACK 3 g’ which is off the duo’s first album ‘In Humor And Sadness.’ The track includes gang vocals and is something I’d love to see more of. The fifth track of the night was ‘Life Has Its Design’ the track sounded great live as it also includes clean vocals compared to the majority of their music having unclean in. The duo closed their set with ‘Track 8 o’ which is one of their heaviest tracks! One of the best moments of their set happened during this track; towards the end Josh Scogin began disassembling Niko Yamada’s drum kit bit by bit passing it to the crew while Yamada continued to play until there was just the snare left. I really enjoyed the groups set and believe they outshined Alien Ant Farm and P.O.D with their fresh talent. If you ever get a chance to see them, I cannot recommend them enough!
Alien Ant Farm first came to fame in the late 1990’s but continue to make great music! The houselights dimmed, the group entered the stage and began with ‘Bad Morning’ which was first released in 2006, it was the perfect way to start their set, being one of their most recognisable tracks. Up next was ‘What I feel Is Mine’ off their album ‘Up In The Attic’ this is when the audience got fully into their set, I could see people beginning to jump and move around in the crowd. Up next was ‘Movies’ with its infectious lyrics clear why it’s one of their most popular songs as it’s so catchy and sounds great. The forth track of their set was ‘These Days’ again off their older albums however these tracks still stand up well today. ‘These Days’ had the crowd smiling with joy they sang the lyrics back to four piece. Next up was ‘Wish’ off their album ‘ANThology’ which is a popular song among fans as it features distorted guitars and more unclean vocals. Skipping to later in their set to where lead singer Dryden Mitchell asked the audience ‘Do you guys like covers? Is it okay if we cover a song?’ The group began playing the 1989 ‘Gene Machine/Don’t Bother Me’ from one of the earliest hardcore punk groups Bad Brains. This caused the crowd to go into a frenzy with another swirling mosh pit starting. After finishing Dryden Mitchell told the audience ‘it’s my wife’s birthday today and I would love it if you could all wish her a happy birthday!’ Proceeding to get the whole crowd to sing happy birthday. As their hour-long set was about to come to an end Mitchell told the crowd ‘this is our last song and the one you’ve all been waiting for’ this is where they began playing ‘Smooth Criminal.’ When your biggest hit is a cover it can cause some problems however with Alien Ant Farm it’s only exceeded their success. Overall, I really enjoyed their set, they completely blew away my expectations and they sounded great!
P.O.D are known to be a hybrid of punk, heavy metal and rap, this is one of the main reasons why the group have become so big. As the houselights dimmed Linkin Park’s ‘In The End’ began playing which was rather touching as Chester Bennington was one of the most influential artists in the rock community. Starting their set off in style the group began with ‘Boom’ which is easily one of their most known tracks. This caused the crowd to immediately start moshing as people began jumping all over. The chaos continued with ‘Rock The Party (Off The Hook)’ and ‘Panic Attack’ which showed the pure talent from vocalist Sonny Sandoval as he threw himself around the stage. Up next was ‘Will You’ it’s easily one of their most melodic songs which has the audience singing at the top of their lungs. Next was ‘Rockin With The Best’ which caused a frenzy as the crowd reacted to the mix of rap and metal on stage. Skipping to further in the evening when the group performed circles which is where the night mellowed which saw the O2 Academy illuminated by phones and lighters. After a breather the group got straight back into the chaos with a rendition of ‘satellite’ with it predominantly featuring rap it really shows the versatility of Sandoval vocals. As their set drew to a close with two tracks left the group played ‘Listening for the Silence’ and ‘Alive’ for a fitting end. With the night ending the cheers from roared throughout the Academy as the group handed out guitar picks and setlist. Overall, I really enjoyed their set it, they sounded incredible and hope they return soon.