Busted at Utilita Arena: Nostalgic, celebratory and electric

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The incredible band of the noughties, have reunited to celebrate their 20 year anniversary.

Busted were a firm staple in my music collection as a child. The ‘not-a-boyband’ group consisting of Charlie Simpson, Matt Willis and James Bourne brought a new pop-punk sound to children of the noughties, who at the time did not understand the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, but loved the skateboard-esque edge of the band, as they became a big name in the pop charts.

Now, 20 years after they first arrived on the music scene, Busted are back with a celebratory tour and upcoming Greatest Hits album.

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When tickets were announced on sale for the tour (with two dates at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena), I jumped at the chance to relive my childhood.

But before we get to my thoughts on Busted’s set, I must first discuss the support acts.

The first group, a band named The Tyne, whose name pays homage to our beloved city, gave a brilliant performance. Lead singer Ryan Lofthouse absolutely dominated the stage, and together the band executed their performance with the confidence of superstars.

The Tyne began their set with a cover of My Chemical Romance’s 2006 track Teenagers, which was a great choice to grab the audience’s attention. They then performed their original tracks, which harked back to the early noughties pop-punk era. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance, and definitely think they could be the next big thing.

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Next to perform was Hanson, who you may remember as the floppy-haired, baby-faced group of the 90s, who had a huge hit in both the UK and US with MMMBop. Although they didn’t perform that song (more on that later), they did provide us with a fairly enjoyable performance of their other songs.

Finally, Busted took to the stage, and were greeted with an almost deafening roar from the crowd.

The trio started their show with one of their most known hits, Air Hostess, which had the crowd on their feet instantly.

What followed, I can only describe as electric, and I’m not just talking about their guitars.

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Busted transported us all back to simpler times, as we belted out their nostalgic songs such as Crashed The Wedding, Thunderbirds Are Go, She Wants To Be Me, Who’s David, She Said No, and more.

What I enjoyed most of all about their show was that the boys seemed to be really enjoying the show and reminiscing of their hits themselves.

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Given that this tour was solely to remember the band at their height of their fame, rather than promote new music, most of the songs were accompanied with the original music video playing in the background on the large screens, which was an emotional moment to say the least.

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They did however, play a brand-new track named Good One, which serves as a love letter to each other and the time they spent together experiencing the fame they did at such a young age.

They were also joined on stage by Hanson to perform MMMBop together, before also collaborating again to perform Busted’s slower track, Sleeping With The Light On, and it gave us a little sneak peak of what’s to come on their new album.

Busted’s new album, which is named Greatest Hits 2.0 is due to be released on Friday, September 15. The band have re-recorded their biggest and most popular tracks, featuring other artists including Jonas Brothers, McFly, James Arthur, and more.

The show came to an end in the best way, with their feel-good track and arguably most popular, Year 3000. Literally every person in the audience seemed to be on their feet, energetically jumping and dancing to the song as if no one else was watching.

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Busted at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena.Busted at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena.
Busted at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena.

I genuinely felt as if I was back in my bedroom, aged eight, playing air guitar and belting out the words; “I took a trip to the Year 3000, this song had gone multi-platinum”, but with the actual band right in front of my very eyes. Eight-year-old me would be very jealous.

Overall, the show was absolutely amazing. Charlie, Matt and James don’t seem to have aged a day, especially in sound. It was a great moment to finally hear the band I have loved for 20 years live.

Busted’s second performance at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena will take place on Saturday, September 16. Tickets are still available.

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