SO.CO Team

5 months ago

Live Report: Sam Fender @ Newcastle Arena - 5th April 2022

Featured Photo

Local hero Sam Fender closed out his sell-out UK tour with two nights in Newcastle. Thomas Jackson joined what felt like everyone else in the city in the packed Utilita Arena to witness an exemplary performance. 

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

“This is for all those who didn’t make it tonight”. With ten words Sam Fender brings a hush over Newcastle Arena. Shining a spotlight on the epidemic of male suicide in the UK, Dead Boys might just be the most important song of the last twenty years. When the song kicks in, it is screamed back with feeling. Given the prevalence of the subject matter, it’s likely that very few in the building tonight aren’t taking this one personally. 

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

The twin assault of Spice and Howdon Aldi Death Queue ensures that the security personnel earn their money. Amidst bright red flare smoke, the show is temporarily stopped on safety grounds, but a few steps back by the surging front rows, and the swift removal and treatment of a fan with a minor injury ensures we’re back up and running quickly, albeit with Fender keeping a very obvious eye on those down the front. 

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

By the time Seventeen Going Under and Hypersonic Missiles roll around to close the show, the love in this most perfunctory of venues is palpable. There’s a real sense of community and of family in the room, and an obvious pride. Newcastle crowds see a lot of themselves in the young man from just 20 minutes down the yellow line on the Metro, and whilst he was unlikely to fail tonight, the scale of his triumph is hard to overstate. It won’t be long before even these venues are too small. 

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Sam Fender performs in Newcastle. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Words and photos: Thomas Jackson