Gig Review: Level 42 at Sage Gateshead, 16th October 2018

While Geth and I were at the Sage for the Kim Wilde gig in April, we noticed that Level 42 were going to be playing this year as well.  After being constantly reminded of the gig due to Level 42 popping up on a lot of Now! compilations early in my Now! marathon, I booked tickets, and promptly forgot all about it until this week.

Level 42 at Sage Gateshead
I’ve decided to start calling my blurry gig photography ‘artistic’.

The doors were advertised as 7:30pm, which usually means bands don’t start until nearer to 8pm.  However, when we walked into the arena at 7:35pm after grabbing a drink from the bar, support act the Blow Monkeys had already started playing.  I’ll have to remember that when we go to the Sage in future.

The Blow Monkeys were good, although I didn’t know most of the songs they played – I think it was mostly new stuff, as they’ve recently released a more folky/blues sounding album.  They did finish with It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, their biggest UK hit from back in the day.

After an interval (giving Geth the usual opportunity to get us some more drinks), Level 42 came on, and launched into a storming stage show.  Early highlights for me included opener Running In The Family, The Sun Goes Down and The Chinese Way, but I really appreciated the stagecraft as well – the lighting was really pretty and well done, and we even got occasional semi-dance routines!  I also want to give a shout out to the three-man brass section – the saxophonist was especially good, but they were all brilliant.

After finishing the main part of the set with The Spirit Is Free (featuring all band members drumming simultaneously, which was pretty spectacular!) and Something About You, we were treated to a lively encore featuring Lessons In Love and Build Myself A Rocket.  Great gig overall, and not even the constant stream of people pushing past our seats to go to the bar/bathroom (including during the last song.  Just why?) could spoil things!

The Sage kicked out in plenty of time for people to catch the last Metro as well.  Good stuff!

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