Waiting for the show to start tonight, it comes as a harsh reality slap when you realise that the first time you heard both Hanson and tonight’s headliners Busted was nearly TWENTY YEARS AGO. Where the hell has that time gone but, more importantly, as a middle-aged Hanson step out onto the stage, where the hell have those cheeky, butter-wouldn’t-melt brothers gone who were a pin-up on every teenage girls bedroom wall?

Well, it’s 2023, Hanson have grown up and, with it, come the realisation that, as time has gone on, other than, that song, the rest of it is all just a bit bland. In essence, the brothers dish up a seven song set which plays out all while you’re thinking “when are they going to play that song?” Surprisingly they don’t play it and, as they walk offstage, the only other thing it seems I had scribbled down in my notes was a comment about how much like Jon Bon Jovi frontman Taylor looks these days.

Now, when Busted burst into our world in the year 2000, like the rest of us, they were young, dumb and full of out-of-control hormones. Now they’re nearly forty and, as they bounce through slightly cheeky hits like “Air Hostess” and “What I Go To School For”, that reality slap hits again and you sadly admit to yourself that, even though some of the songs have been given a revamping for this 20th anniversary, they’re still TWENTY YEARS OLD.

Yes, there is a big party vibe around the place. The songs are full of pop-punk infectiousness and, when Matt screams about the band being twenty years old, there is a roar of approval around this packed arena. That being said, you could also argue that, instead of wanting to party all night, in 2023, some of this crowd are probably just as concerned at how tired they’ll be in work tomorrow morning after being out late on a Sunday night.

After a warm-up from Steven Fry, a blast of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ and AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck, and a Doc Brown Back To The Future intro, the Busted 20th Anniversary party continues in Leeds. Willis and Bourne race around a floor-dominating walkway while blasts of Co2, confetti and pyro fill the air around them. The songs themselves have been given a bit of a revamp for 2023 and we all get a whiff of the fun we had in 2000 as the trio blast through, as the tour suggests, a Greatest Hits set.

At one point Busted are joined by support act Hanson for a riotous version of “Mmmbop” where Leeds does, for three short minutes, forget it is Monday morning in just a few hours time. Ninety minutes later when a raucous “Teenage Kicks” and a roof-raising “Year 3000” bring proceedings to a close, they did so at a party that felt more like a rowdy trip down memory lane rather than one that, twenty years ago, would have got you grounded for a year.

For ticket information and details of the remaining dates, visit the Official Busted Website.

Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest

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