Placebo @ Manchester Central, 12th December 2009

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15. Dez. 2009, 16:12

Sat 12 Dec – Placebo, Silversun Pickups, The Horrors

I was looking forward to seeing The Horrors as much as I was looking forward to seeing Placebo (I nearly did a piss when I found out they were supporting), so imagine my annoyance and squirmings as I realised that as designated driver I'd got a bit lost trying to find a parking space AGAIN. I should simply not be allowed to drive in Manchester. Anyway, when we finally got out of the car I fell up the stairs to the venue in my haste, but it was all futile, because we'd already missed most of The Horrors' set. I didn't even know Silverspun Pickups had been on until I read it on the event page just now!
I hate missing support acts, especially when it is The Horrors and I am in love with their new album even more than I was in love with the first one. (Primary Colours, Strange House). Incidentally, did they play anything off Strange House?
At least I could draw some consolation from the fact that what I did hear sounded just the ticket...their eerie sound translates brilliantly to a large-ish venue such as Manchester central, making you feel as if you're part of some mass summoning of souls to a melancholy rock-affirmation ceremony, or something like that. The Horrors had bloody huge shadows, too. You wouldn't mess with that even though they don't have slightly amusing 'spooky' stage names any longer.

[Disclaimer: I was about to apologise for that review's descent into silliness, but hey! It's Christmas time and all that. Let's just say I'm being a rotter. =) ]

Now to Placebo, who are one of those bands that I've always enjoyed listening to (bit samey sometimes, but in short to medium doses I basically worship at their altar), but I'm definitely no die-hard. However, when I saw they were touring round my way I just couldn't pass up the opportunity, especially seeing as I found Battle for the Sun quite brilliant. Strange, then, that I spent the set wishing that it was less reliant on the new album. I'm having slight trouble pinpointing exactly what my beef is, but basically I think it is this:

I wanted more hits.
I felt like a shallow non-fan (well, compared to a lot of fans I'm sure that's not far off. What makes a fan? This is another journal for another time...) and I know full well that this was a gig touring the new album, and it was inevitable that they were gonna be playing songs off the new album. I guess it might be that I've been a demi-fan (nice) of Placebo for a lot of years now, and since this was the first time I've finally seen them I wanted a few more big'uns. Not that there wasn't any, we had Every You Every Me, Special K, The Bitter End and holy cow! Even Taste in Men (to my utter delight). Maybe I am just sulking because they didn't play Bruise Pristine.
All that rambling aside, you can tell Placebo have been going for years now. I couldn't fault them as a live act, everything was spot-on, seamless and professional without losing any of the heart and soul of the music. I was also pleasantly surprised how strong Brian's voice is. I watched and listened quite carefully rather than completely losing myself, but I think that was a good thing. Besides, the atmosphere of the crowd in general was quite relaxed...maybe I was just feeding off that. The big screen graphics were impressive and complimentary also, and I drank them right up.

In a nutshell - Placebo: awesome, setlist: not so awesome.
I would definitely pay to see them again, though.

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