Crossfaith and Bury Tomorrow @ Newcastle Riverside 17 April 2017
It’s not often that a support act threatens to upstage their headline act, but when Crossfaith are anywhere on the billing it would be negligent for the main act to count their chickens before they hatch.
The Japanese techno-metallers are a whirlwind of energy, alcohol and showmanship and fast proved why they are one of the most engrossing live acts around. There might be a language gap between the band and the crowd, but that’s on a linguistic level only as the six-piece soon found common ground with the assembled masses.
Newcastle hasn’t been treated to a Crossfaith headline show since 2014, although they did support Skindred at the o2 Academy a year later – but this performance felt like one of a band who were top of the billing.
Led by the brilliant Kenta Koie, they are a band who don’t know how to give anything less than 100% and it stands testament to their unbreakable presence that so much of the audience gave them back as good as they got.
The highlight of the night may have been the cover of Omen by the Prodigy, but the band have got a strong back catalogue and managed to cram in Devil’s Party, Raise Your Voice and New Age Warriors in the short time they were on stage.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Bury Tomorrow had left themselves with too much to do by coming on after their road mates, but Daniel Winter-Bates led his band to new heights.
There is a delicious genuineness about the group that never seems to fade or age with time. They’re a fanbase oriented bunch and that was proven when they waited behind and mingled with their adoring fans.
Their new album Earthbound is as strong as anything they’ve released so far, but that didn’t mean the show was an endless parade of new songs as oldies like Waxed Wings and Knightlife got some much welcomed airtime.
In many ways Winter-Bates was the perfect foil to Koie’s barked instructions as the Bury Tomorrow frontman went for a softer, more heartfelt approach to making sure the audience did what he wanted, but monologues aside this is still a man who knows how to mix light and heavy until it creates a mixture that would make Mary Berry swoon.
Which was just as well, otherwise the band would have had a dubious honour of falling into the select group of artists who have been upstaged by their support. Instead they confirmed their place as one of the best British metal acts around.