Live Review: The Blackout – Newcastle University, May 27th 2009

TheBlackout-1Screams literally litter Newcastle’s university today at the mere mention of The Blackout‘s co-frontman Sean Smith, so most of today’s queue goes slightly AWOL and scatters at a chance to meet him in person. Nonetheless, a LOT of people have turned out for the Welsh six-piece today, as have many for the buzz around new flavour band, Hollywood Undead.

Before both bands, however, pop-rockers The Urgency kick proceedings off. Sounding slightly stronger than they did recently at Leeds Slam Dunk festival, they inspire some hefty starting pits, and even some sing-a-long from the crowd. Instead of giving the five-piece the usual polite applause for an opening act, the Newcastle crowd greets each song with an almighty cheer. They sound like a pop-star-ish act in guitar band form, and tonight, it rubs off and starts the night off well.

LA six-peice Hollywood Undead unleash their unique blend of gangsta rap crossed with synth and metal slices upon the crowd tonight like a catchy cold. Everyone seems to be utterly obsessed. They garter an amazing reaction from the crowd, who in all honesty seem to know every single word to every song. Pits by now have really picked up, especially during more upbeat songs like Sell Your Soul and Everywhere I Go, the latter inspiring some major feedback, and also starting up the first crowd surfing of the night, rendering the obvious “No Crowd surfing” signs posted completely and utterly pointless. The band are incredibly skilled at what they do, even though none of them really play any instruments fully, they all play their part in really hyping this crowd, as if it needed to be juiced up any more. A mental, sweaty, and awe-inspiring performance.

Canadian post-hardcore boys Silverstein are up to a surprisingly large reaction; everyone seems to have stayed put to watch them. Many of the older people in the crowd seem to have found their “headliners” tonight, and what is inspired is a truly devastating moshpit throughout, be it slow or fast songs. A lot can be said for Silverstein, with their constant trade between screaming and clean vocals, and some great guitar work, but you can’t help but be a little bored with their set after a short while; to the neutral fan, every song seems, and does, sound the same. Nonetheless, a solid set is carried out, and the five-piece leave a lot of people extremely happy.

Last year’s pre-gig We Are The Dynamite chants seem to have worn off somewhat these days, but the Welsh wrecking ball that is The Blackout come onstage to a ruptuous applause, cheer, scream and utter chaos. Crowdsurfing seems a mandatory in their set tonight, as does all out constant mosh. The double-edged duo of Sean Smith and Gavin Butler are on top form tonight, trading perfect vocals, stories, obscenities, and jokes.

Playing a healthy mix of new material as well as old, new singles Children of the Night and ShutTheFuckUppercut go down an absolute storm, as well as old favourites Hard Slammin’ and The Beijing Cocktail, the latter of which Sean ushers the crowd to remove their clothes, many of which oblige willingly. The set is sweaty, energetic, it honestly looks as though the room might explode, with the sheer carnage that follows a jump up from the floor routine carried out by Gavin to the crowd. The set closes with a monumental I’m A Riot, and you can’t help but stand in awe of the six Welshmen on stage, as they have well and truly outshone their supports, and torn Newcastle University from it’s hinges.


Our interview with Hollywood Undead shall be posted very soon!


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