At the O2 Academy, Newcastle (UK) 10th March 2018

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There was a real sense that for many in the Academy that this moment would never come. The chances of seeing the post Hard Core rabble rousers, At The Drive In, again seemed nothing short of impossible.

 After bursting onto the scene in the mid `90`s, giving the jaded scene a real shake up, particularly with their breakthrough Relationship of Command release, it ended all too quickly in 2001. It was over and that it seemed, was that.

After a couple of stalled reunion attempts over the years, the band reconvened in 2015 which resulted in the impressive In.ter release which showed that they had lost none of their fire over the intervening years.  Judging by the crowd rammed into the Academy, their return after decades away was something many had been dreaming of for years.

There was no grand entrance, no dramatic intro tapes, no frills at all just At The Drive In doing what they do best. Frontman Cedric Bixler stormed onto the stage, hurling his microphone up into the air during a rampant Arcarsenal, covering every inch of the stage in a manner reminiscent of a rabid Tasmanian Devil all while Tony Hajjar`s relentless drumming drove the band forward.

The energy generated during No Wolf Like The Present and Governed By Contagions could have supercharged the National Grid as At The Drive In channelled the spirit and passion of MC5 into a turbo charged maelstrom of Rock `n` Roll power.

While Bixler was never still fort a moment, putting those within 10 metres in imminent danger of decapitation by his microphone stand, guitarist Omar Rodriguez looked ever so dapper dressed in black with a trilby tilted to one side, at times reminiscent of Prince.  There was however no likeness to the Purple One with the riffs spitting from his guitar.

With so much energy on stage, it was inevitable that it would feed into the crowd, which was every bit as fired up as the band, particular during One Armed Scissor, where the moshpit erupted into a furious whirlwind with crowd surfers flying across the top in their masses.  Quite an incredible sight to witness but testament to the appreciation of their fans for a genuinely passionate and intensely driven performance.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess

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