The start of the gig followed the pattern of A Flash of Colour as first System… and then Meltdown were played consecutively, eliciting a whirlpool of testosterone and metal attitude from the writhing faithful.
This was incited by the energy of lead singer Rou Reynolds, who boasted the youthful exuberance of a child on a sugar rush after being given his first can of Coke. Throwing himself bodily across the stage, arms and legs flying everywhere, he was the perfect companion to his band’s dub-induced sound.
Sssnakepit was played next, but the Hamilton remix served as the introduction before they flew into the album version. It was the boost that the crowd needed and got even the most leaden-footed moving to the undulating groves.
If Reynolds was the child on a sugar rush, his band mates Clewlow and Batten were the monkeys released into the wild. No piece of equipment was safe from their clambering intentions as they jumped, climbed and tumbled their way through Sssnakepit, the torches attached to the end of their guitars penetrating through the air like Excalibur rising out of the lake.
If those present were under any illusions that politics, Enter Shikari and live gigs don’t mix, such doubts were dispelled with Arguing With Thermometers, as the Newcastle crowd lapped up every politically charged comment about oil and the modern way of living.
But it wasn’t just a night for protest songs: Juggernaut lived up to its name and was one of the songs of the night. It proved too heavy for some, as one unlucky fan had to be carried out by two of his mates after he came off second best to a Shikari–inspired pit.
Enter Shikari and poignant might be described as a juxtaposition, but when Constellations finished and the massive cannons unleashed a torrent of blue and silver confetti it was the closest that a headbanging band and a chaotic crowd could come to having a beautiful moment together.
Shikari finished with one from their first album, No Sssweat. It was so good that it almost didn’t matter that they didn’t play Sorry You’re Not A Winner or Anything Can Happen In The Next Half an Hour. Almost.