Concerts are music to the ears of bars

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INTERNATIONAL chart-toppers playing at the Stadium of Light brought a buzz back to Sunderland.

In a city plagued by an ailing nightlife, it was refreshing to go out in town pre-stadium gig to be met by packed pubs full of punters.

On Sunday, we hit Sunderland’s bars ahead of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set at the home of the Black Cats.

On the back of the Support Your Local Pub campaign, which encourages Mackems to drink local as watering holes struggle to compete against major chains, we headed to one of the campaign’s stalwarts, The Corner Flag.

Last time I visited this pub, it was Idol’s: a must-visit pub on the drinking circuit of yesteryear. On our visit there was none of the bikini-clad Idol’s-esque barmaids in sight.

It’s now a sports bar with trendy booths with their own TVs and sporting paraphernalia gracing the walls.

Idol’s bargain prices have remained though and we were able to pick up a pitcher of woo woo for a tenner.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, there’s also a good range of beers and ciders to whet your whistle.

In keeping with the sports theme, football matches are shown live on its 22 screens and selected pints and bottles are only £1 during Sunderland games from kick-off until the first goal of the match is scored.

For meat lovers, it’s also worth taking a look at the food menu which boasts a huge range of burgers, including kangaroo and venison.

“The Big One” in particular caught our eye – a belly-busting challenge which earns you a place on the wall of fame if you manage to polish off a burger, which could serve six people, by yourself in 30 minutes.

Cara’s into sports, I’m not, but it didn’t really matter, we both enjoyed our booth and pitcher so much we had to make a mad dash across the bridge to see the Chili Pepper support acts.

It was raining, of course – every stadium gig in Sunderland this year has seen the heavens open.

But it didn’t matter one jot as a sea of ponchos packed into the stadium for the final big headline gig of the year.

We took our seats just in time to catch The Futureheads whose a cappella songs had the crowd in high spirits ahead of scouse indie rockers The Wombats and the hedonistic headliners.