P.O.D. / Alien Ant Farm @ Newcastle O2 Academy, March 3 2019

In the late nineties / early noughties, nu metal had taken over, with Korn, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Papa Roach and Disturbed slaying stages worldwide. In amongst this iconic list sat P.O.D., a band often written off due to their Christian influences, despite their immense talent and platinum selling appeal; and Alien Ant Form, the serial pranksters of the genre.

While the genre’s heyday came and went in the space of five years, the nostalgic appeal remains strong, and last night a sold out O2 Academy crowd were treated to nu metal nostalgia on steroids, as Alien Ant Farm opened for a ferocious P.O.D.. The Californian four piece may not have released much over the last 15 years, but their onstage enthusiasm hasn’t waned, as evidenced by their blistering Bad Morning opening.

This thumping opening was followed by a series of tracks from Anthology and Truant, their two biggest albums, with Movies, Attitude and These Days all getting the crowd going, before their cover of Smooth Criminal lifted the roof off the Academy, just in time for the main act to take to the stage.

Unlike AAF, P.O.D.’s output has never diminished, with last year’s Circles representing album number 10. As expected, their latest release occupied a large proportion of their set list, with Rockin’ with the Best, Circles, Listening for the Silence, Soundboy Killa and Always Southern California receiving a mixed response from a crowd desperate to relive their youth.

But, that opportunity did come, with P.O.D. playing a number of classics, including Boom, Satellite, Youth of this Nation and Without Jah, Nothing, before wrapping up their relatively short set with the iconic, Alive. These tracks were met with a rowdy, fist pumping audience, who screamed back every word, leaving the old, creaky former bingo hall shaking in its foundations.

As the night wrapped up, a hot and sweaty crowd exited the Academy, with few left disappointed. Both Alien Ant Farm and P.O.D. delivered a heady mix of old and new, and both brought every ounce of energy associated with the nu metal genre, ensuring the paying public went home both exhausted and satisfied.

Photo credit: Adam Kennedy