@ Newcastle o2 Academy, November 5 2010

Alaskan boys 36 Crazyfists should have felt at home as fans queued in the bitter cold that is the North East. Long after the doors opened at the unheard of time of 5pm, the end of their pounding set could be heard in full swing from the lobby of the Academy.

From there the lyrics were actually more coherent than in the venue’s main room where the traditionally shocking acoustics struck again. On opening the doors, sweat and cheers briefly escape from the main room and are then quickly contained as the door swings shut.

Walking towards the stage the only question on the lips of most of those present was “where the hell is everyone?”. As it turned out, all of the pre-teens managed to make it straight from school while everyone else had wandered in from the local pub. The much anticipated 36 Crazyfists members are being good sports but the crowd seem to be having none of it and are patiently waiting around for DevilDriver to take the stage.

After an awkward ‘will he – won’t he?’ moment where frontman Brock Lindow mumbled something about the audience or band joining in whilst putting his hand down his pants, the set was soon over. But not before the band played Whitewater from their recently released album.

Ironically enough, the crowd finally seemed to warm up a tad and may even have taken one hand out of their pockets as Lindow belted out the new track. However, it was all in vain, as their slot was over and they left the stage to be followed by Metal and Herbal Essences gods DevilDriver.

DevilDriver cut the chit chat and got straight down to it, at the time seemingly because they were heading quickly towards curfew. For the first time that night a clear view of the stage beckoned as heads went down and hair went round. It really was a sight to see.

The band members were thriving off each other’s energy and that of the audience while creating a circle pit the size of the room with a skating rink in the centre. All round it was a solid performance from each and every member of the band, with bass and drums as the driving force behind each song, the guitarists playing up to the crowd with solid riffs and solos throughout and lead singer Dez Fafara entertaining the masses.

It felt as though the night had drawn to a memorable end as DevilDriver left the stage before returning for their encore (or so we thought.) It never came. Despite anxious cries from their diehard fans the band didn’t return to play a generic encore. Too many bands return for the sake of returning and there’s something to be said for sticking to your guns – but not at 9.20pm!

It begged the question: why were we cheated out of 40minutes of music?

Chiara Giordano