Chase & Status at Virgin Money Arena (17.9.20)

By Erin McGroovy

I imagined my first endeavour back into live music after this pandemic going a little differently. I pictured everything back to normal, packed in like sardines, shoulder to shoulder with a sweaty raver on my left and someone’s 60 odd year-old dad on my right – united together for the evening by our mutual love of the artist. The reality was a complete juxtapose.

Confined to six person pens on the eve of the North East being plunged into further local lockdown restrictions, the alien world of the new age of live music under COVID-19 still succeeded to impress.

After a fairly unmemorable DJ set from the support act, Chase & Status exploded onto the stage and put it this way; the vibes were truly immaculate. The manic drum’n’bass duo led us through a high energy set containing a mix of their newer, more jungle tracks, that admittedly on release caused me to grow somewhat distant from the group, as well as a couple of classic favourites including Blind Faith and No Problem.

Any detachment I may have felt in the past from their newer tunes though, was entirely reconciled as we rattled the gates of the pens we were dancing in and gun fingers were put to the air. I don’t think there was a single person throughout the arena stood still. MC Rage, who performs with the group live, reminded us that this was our last night of freedom and the atmosphere that he, alongside Saul Milton and Will Kennard, created really made it feel as though we were revelling on the edge of the earth.

My only complaint would be that the night seemed fairly short, wrapping things up at a sprightly 10.15pm. Whether this was fault of restrictions or other unforeseen corona-related circumstances, I am unsure – all I know is I just didn’t want the gig or the four pint pitchers to come to an end.

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