entershikari2@ Newcastle o2 Academy, October 20 2009

English post-hardcore band Enter Shikari took to the stage in front of a room packed full of fans ranging from primary school age to their late 50s. There’s no doubting the wide ranging appeal of one of the UK’s greatest rock hopes.

2009 album Common Dreads may not have matched the commercial success of their crtically accalimed debut, rising to a mediocre 16 in the UK albums chart, but interest in ES has never waned. Right now the boys are touring the UK, Ireland, Europe and Australia with the sold-out signs a common feature across the globe.

Support act The Devil Wears Prada, a Christian metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio, played their set with a certain swagger, managing to get the Shikari fans rallied. But tensions were rising as the vast majority waited for their heroes to hit the stage.

The set opened with Common Dreads, the first song off the new album, which was met with screams of enthusiasm and the crowd throwing their glow sticks up on to the stage. The following song was Solidarity, the second song on the new album and then, yes, you guessed it, the next song was the third song off the new album, not leaving much in the way of creativity or imagination.

The band managed to inspire a huge response from the audience with mosh pits and circle pits galore. But the set seemed to be lacking the energy ES used to have back in the day – when the Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour EP  and Take to the Skies were buzzwords for brilliance. Although the music didn’t create the usual frenzied atmosphere, the Shikari boys were still up to their usual antics with guitarist ‘Rory’ Clewlow crowd surfing to the bar whilst playing guitar to grab a shot.

The gimmick backfored as the axeman damaged the wiring of his guitar during the favourite Sorry You’re Not A Winner – meaning that the guitar had to be crowd surfed by trustworthy fans back to the stage and a new guitar sent back over.

The set ended on a high with Juggernauts and the crowd went crazy one last time. All in all the night was never less than entertaining – even when the music was a little disappointing.

Chiara Giordano