LIVE REVIEW: Thirty Seconds To Mars, Don Broco, Marmozets, Boy Jumps Ship, Groundculture @ Spillers Wharf, Newcastle (26.05.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Thirty Seconds to Mars by Brian James

Newcastle Quayside was a pretty busy place this weekend as This Is Tomorrow brought some amazing performances and the crowds to the banks of the RIver Tyne. Friday had already seen the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Everything Everything and locals Little Comets and Sam Fender perform to a crowded Spillers Wharf. There was a little more excitement in the air for Saturday’s headliner, however; you couldn’t get moved for people in Thirty Seconds to Mars shirts clinging to the barrier. But, before the American rockers performed, we had four delightful acts to get through.

Newcastle locals Groundculture were up first. They’re perhaps not the most exciting bands within the hardcore genre, and it would have been nice to switch the vocal style up a bit beyond screaming at any point. But they’re pretty new to the live music scene that I think they were just happy to be there performing in front of the growing audience.

Another regional band Boy Jumps Ship took to the stage next, sounding as pop-ish as punk can get. Latest single Fashion is everything you could want from a self-affirming, slightly anti-capitalist rock song, and it’s a confirmed winner for this festival setlist.

Marmozets built on that punk thread and took it to the next level. Major System Error is one of their newer songs, and its rich guitars, punchy vocals, and rock beat brought with it a heavy energy that really got everyone hyped up.

Bedford boys Don Broco wasted no time getting stuck into their set, kicking it off with earworm Everybody. Their stand out performance was Stay Ignorant, a song which ranges from bass-heavy dance beat to euphoric rock anthem.

It was just starting to transition into dusk when headline act Thirty Seconds to Mars made it on stage to play the region for the first time in five years. Considering that they were a member down due to sickness, frontman Jared Leto did his best to fill the stage. His brother Shannon Leto had an impressive drumkit, at least five times bigger than any other kit which had been on stage. There were plenty of emo rock classics to get stuck into; even if you aren’t a die-hard Mars fan, you have a good chance of being able to sing along to their feel-good hits. That ended up being more important than anyone might have realised, seeing as Leto spent a good 70% of each song relying on the crowd to sing his lyrics. That’s pretty fun for some, but I have a feeling a lot of people paid the ticket price to hear the words being sung for them. Regardless of that, it was a pretty captivating performance, and it was difficult not to enjoy yourself even just a little bit.


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