Monday, 14 December 2009

Live: Placebo at Manchester Central

My name is lightupvirginmary, and I am a Placebo addict. I have listened to nothing but Placebo for 6 months. My boyfriend and I watch Placebo play live at Rock AM Ring 2006 pretty much every weekend, combined with a bunch of our other favourite Placebo gigs, interspersed with our Placebo remix youtube disco. It is obsessive. My last FM has seen Placebo overtake The Killers, Patrick Wolf and Bloc Party. Even Morrissey has looked nervously at their onslaught. (Bright Eyes has a fairly reasonable lead, but with his latest output, even Conor would be wise to be worried).
So it didn't feel real that we were going to actually get to see them; although how I've not seen them beforehand, I do not know. I must have seen the Manic Street Preachers ten different times at festivals over the past 15 years, so why never Placebo, as I was always a fan? Because it was all building up to this moment, that's why!
I really didn't want to go see them at the O2, as I saw Coldplay there and it was like watching a gig in an aircraft hangar. So we decided to go up to the old Gmex in Manchester and make a weekend of it. Beforehand I was dreaming about Placebo pretty much constantly, panicking Molko was going to get killed in a plane crash or something. Or that I'd get killed and he'd come to my funeral and hook up with my boyfriend. Serious anxiety dreams!
We arrived about 6.30 and there was quite a sizeable queue. I expected everyone to be about 16 but there was a bit of a mix, and more men than I thought there'd be. We got a pretty good spot, to the right side of the barrier (Stefan side!) and did the usual no liquids policy so we could stand our ground all night. The support bands weren't that great; the name of the first one escapes me, but it was quite unwieldy and they were a bit bland. The second support was the Horrors; great if you're into Gonzo from the Muppets shuffling round impersonating Pete Doherty. I SWEAR I saw the singer yawn at one point! I saw the Horrors once before and they were shit then, and shit now, but with an 80s keyboard thrown in. Fuck off.
And then... the Battle for The Sun began! We saw the mics being set up and were a bit miffed because Brian's was right on the left hand side of the stage (we'd gone right for Stefan!) But I shouldn't complain because we were in the front row, and some of the footage of people's view at the O2 was so bad may as well have been on a different continent.
They opened with For What It's Worth, then did Ashtray Heart and Battle for the Sun. I think I was in shock for the first three songs, because I can't remember then very well. The lights were spectacular; when you're used to seeing Morrissey in small venues, this was a bit special; they'd actually spent a few quid. The big screen behind them was tilted at an angle and looked quite epic. The first old song they played was 'Soulmates' which I can't stand so I got my camera out at this point, but my photos were all pretty awful. There was a glut of dodgy songs in the middle; Follow the Cops Back Home (which is obviously a fan favourite, but I think the lyrics are lame) and Special Needs (enough said). But songs like Breathe Underwater and Julien off the new album were fun to hear. The definite highlight of the first part was Every Me, Every You- the guitar bit they do at the start and the end is just magical. And I can die happy now I've heard him go 'every meheeeeeee and every yeeeeeehooooow!' You couldn't wipe the smile off my face after that (although it did waver when he played Blind, which is the dullest song on Meds by a mile). He's doing a Moz and making us work for the good stuff, which is his right.
Was also thrilled to hear the actual song Meds. Was un-thrilled to hear Song to Say Goodbye (my oh my) as it's such a weak song, and when they went off after it, I just thought it was a bit lazy (goodbye, then off for the encore).
But they came back on with a vengeance. Bright Lights sounded lovely live. Special K was a singalong classic (as it should be) and The Bitter End was just fantastic. I was really scared that new violinist was going to screech all over it but she didn't. I still miss the 'suicide' bit at the end, but Brian obviously can't be arsed to sing that bit anymore.
Then they went off again and I thought that was it and turned to my boyfriend and went 'where's infra-red?' because it's his favourite song. And at that exact second the intro to it kicked in. Honestly, it was soooo good! It was really amazing. Then they finished with Taste in Men, which I think is a weird song to end with, but it did sound really decent. Stefan also came down into the crowd and was larking about which was a bit of excitement.
What else? I really like the end when they all came to the front of the stage and bowed, there was a nice feeling to it. Stefan was wearing a silver suit which was the best thing I've ever seen him wear (and we've watched a LOT of gigs, as I said). Brian looked cute with a little bob (my boyfriend said he looked haggard but he loves writing off every popstar we go to see).
When we got in we watched a 2009 gig from Paris and he gave them some of the same patter he gave us! Cheeky. And I will not rest until I hear Because I Want You live. Seriously, I need to hear it.
All in all, totally lived up to my expectations, and can't wait to see them again. I love Brian so much. I wouldn't at all be surprised if we went abroad to see them. How else are we going to hear Protege Moi?


Anonymous said...

Hiya, I was at that gig!! Not the best Placebo gig I have been to but was good all the same :)


lightupvirginmary said...

ah cool! well it was my first time so I was definitely excited... :-) Happy christmas! x