It was the gig that Tyneside-based rock fans had been waiting many years to see. The Black Crowes back on stage in the North East for the first time since 1992. 

Of course, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since that time, including numerous albums and a timeline paved with hiatuss and breakups. The most recent of which was between 2015 and 2019. This came at a time when many thought that perhaps it was the end of the line for the Black Crowes. With the Robinson brothers not on speaking terms, signs of a reunion seemed unlikely.

In the meantime, the dynamic duo were busy with their respective projects. Rich with The Magpie Salute and Chris with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Those who had the opportunity to see The Magpie Salute at the Riverside in Newcastle in 2018 perhaps thought that would be as good as it got. Half of the band was comprised of former Crowes members.

But as the old saying goes, time heals all wounds, and just before the pandemic, news broke of a Black Crowes reunion. UK arena dates were lined up - but the inevitable pandemic postponement left the band's British fans wondering whether they would get their turn.

Following dates in the US and a trio of UK shows to celebrate the band’s debut album Shake Your Money Maker in 2022, the announcement of the band’s latest studio catalysed a short run of UK dates. A show at the O2 City Hall resulted in the band performing on the same stage they played 32 years prior. By Chris Robinson’s admission, it was the smallest venue The Black Crowes had played in a long time.

Many in attendance recollected the band’s first appearance in this room, with countless others witnessing The Black Crowes for the first time.

The band's bohemian stage set was embellished with strings of lights which descended from the ceiling. Whilst walls of amplifiers and a drum riser almost at eye level to the balcony filled the stage.

The band kicked off the proceedings with a pair of tracks from their latest offering by way of Bedside Manners and Dirty Cold Sun before the classic Twice as Hard transported the crowd back to the start of the band and their debut album.

On a warm evening in Newcastle, Chris declared: "Three songs in, and I'm sweating like Tom Jones." And just like the temperature in the room, The Black Crowes setlist equally brought the fire.

The beauty of a Black Crowes gig is that you never know what you are going to get. The band switch up their setlist every night. Before the show, fans speculated on potential song inclusions.

Deep cuts like - Just Say You're Sorry and a cover of Rocks Off by The Rolling Stones sat nicely in the first half of the show. Whilst a run of classics from the band’s repertoire like Thorn In My Pride, She Talks To Angels, along with the band's take on Hard To Handle by Otis Redding, had the O2 City Hall crowd in their element. Before the latter, Chris shared that Otis originated from the same town as the band – Macon, Georgia.

Flesh Wound was one of the highlights from the band's latest record. Whilst the conclusion of the main set was nothing short of transcendent. Sting Me, Jealous Again, and Remedy brought the main set to a close in fine fashion.

On Friday night, The Black Crowes delivered a set which highlighted why they are revered by so many. Perhaps an early contender for gig of the year. A 32-year wait for the band's Newcastle return was most certainly forgiven.