Jason Mackaway

distinctly different

The Greatest Show on Earth

Once again I’ve been blessed with access to the internet, and thought I make the most of it by getting another overdue post out into the world for all my avid readers to feast upon (and by avid readers I mean my mother).

While in Newcastle I had the privilege of attending The Greatest Show on Earth, at the Stag and Hunter. A wicked bar in Mayfield, Newcastle that is very supportive of it’s local live music. A hidden gem in a city that, in my opinion, deserves more dedicated music venues.

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The Greatest Show on Earth, of course, is the current show performed by Newcastle based band The Pits, whose music sounds as if Panic at the Disco had a baby with Cat Empire and only let that baby listen to Parkway Drive. I’ve never heard a band perform this strange cross-section of genres, yet alone make these genres feel as though they were different pieces of the same but somewhat logical puzzle - It should however be noted that I have a personal bias towards all three standalone genres; so there was no way I was going to dislike this.

Despite the stage being flooded by six performers, no one stood on each others toes (literally and figuratively). They had a cohesive aesthetic that only added to their enormous stage presence; made up of an abundance of audience interaction, along with a comfort and ease to performing and presenting that would coax a smirk out of the most ardent of frown enthusiasts. Personally I believe not enough acts consider their visual aesthetic, especially while on stage. This is not the case for The Pits who’s matching attire was a very nice cherry-on-top, playing into the over-the-top nature of the overall performance.

Musically the band showed a large range of abilities; from very technical, intricate guitar solos (comparable to those within metal-core and other metal genres), to some very effective vocal harmonies (which I am surprised as anyone that they weren’t written by Brendon Urie himself), to a wicked brass section that if anything should be featured more in their music. By punctuating their originals with covers such as Bohemian Rhapsody, they gave everyone in the audience the opportunity to sing along.

The Greatest Show on Earth is one to see if The Pits are ever in your neck of the woods. However if that isn’t happening anytime soon they are definitely worth the 20 minutes of listening time on Spotify. In the words of The Pits,

“(they’ve) been The Pits, you’ve been the audience and I’ve been the snobby musician criticising his peers”