Live Review: Hannah Wants at O2 Academy Newcastle

Rory Ellis heads down to the O2 Academy to see superstar DJ Hannah Wants, here's what he made of it...

Rory Ellis
14th March 2018
Image: Rory Ellis

Unsure what to expect, it was a welcome surprise to see a long queue had formed at the side of O2 academy. Since becoming Mixmag’s breakthrough DJ in 2014, Hannah Wants has carved out a career of world-renowned status, warranting a line of excitable Geordies that trailed round the corner, despite fairly few recent releases. 

In the main hall, Wants moved enthusiastically between her decks with two large play buttons, throbbing red either side. Similarly waves of red lasers pulsed up and down while an enthusiastic crowd settled into the sparse techno that dominated the beginning of her set. Occasionally tropical sounding noises made it into the set and only samples of well-known songs like ‘Everybody Be Somebody’ by Ruffneck and ‘Ride On Time’ were hidden well beneath the heaviness of the set’s aesthetic.

The crowd was pleased to hear La Roux marking a departure from the heavy, border-line monotonous techno. The lights transitioned from deep red to a bright blue that signalled a high point in her set. The words "now let go of my hand’ elicited a scream that roared over the intentional silence before a thumping beat emerged from underneath this well-known lyric.

The second half of her set, gave way to some warehouse, with obscure samples becoming more frequent. A return, almost, to the beginning if not for the more, dark and brooding sounds that injected some energy to the set. A green volume graphic rose from behind Wants and began to conclude her set. Finishing with Camel Phat’s remix of ‘Right here, Right now’ every arm excitedly stretched upward.

Red light followed, leading the sound away from the more commercial, with Moguai’s Aciiid. This injection of variety worked nicely before the set swiftly became more erratic and house/techno filled the hall. Not for long, however, before a remix of Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow was incorporated and a range of multi-coloured rifles appeared behind the stage. Again there was an evident appreciation from the what was left of the crowd at this point. 'Peace and Love' by Snow, once again, was a welcomed variation from the heaviness of the techno and drew the concert to a close.

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