PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
The 2nd gig I ever went to in my life was Placebo when I was 15 years old at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, so when I was asked to cover tonight’s gig in Manchester I was more than just excited I was ecstatic!
PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
When I walked in past the large crowd, some which had been there since the early hours, I was greeted with a gigantic what looked like Victorian greenhouse style arena, with 2 massive screens playing odd little video clips and short films. I instantly thought how tiny the crowd outside was going to look in such a massive arena. The video screens were playing charity films for a cause that Placebo are supporting, and were a nice distraction from watching the sound techs set up the stage but I did hear one guy remark; ‘why would I want to buy the DVD now I’ve seen them all here for free’, obviously he was seriously lacking all Christmas spirit and charity!
SILVERSUNPICKUPS@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
First band up of the night were Grammy nominated and Los Angeles natives Silversun Pickups. I wasn’t sure what to expect as there is a massive buzz around this band at the moment. I’m always a little sceptical about these types of bands, as usually they disappear after 1 or 2 albums. Saying that they were very good, very tight on stage, fit in extremely well with the feel of the night, and most importantly to the audience who had bought tickets to see them. I’m not sure if they live up to the hype surrounding them as I’ve heard and seen better live bands, but they were brilliant to watch and the crowd lapped them up. They will no doubt be doing more touring in 2010 so catch them if you are a fan of Smashing Pumpkins in the 90s.
SILVERSUNPICKUPS@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)THE HORRORS@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
One band that I do not wish to see again in 2010 or ever is The Horrors. Oh dear me do they ever live up to their name! They came on the stage and played in almost complete darkness, moaning and whining around the stage. If you were close enough you could see them pulling over the top poses while playing their instruments very badly on a hardly lit stage. Some people applauded between songs, most people didn’t, everyone clapped when they left. Truly, awful, band. I don’t know why they are famous and I don’t know how they got on a major tour as the (2nd support as well!) but whoever did should be made to listen to their album on repeat as torture.
PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
Finally it was time for Placebo! The arena had finally filled up, some people who had obviously heard of The Horrors before had sensibly stayed away till now! As the music started, a huge white sheet the size of the stage with the ‘Battle for The Sun’ logo projected on to it, dropped to the floor and revealed the band behind. Surrounded by giant video screens and extra singers and guitarists they went straight into favourite ‘For What Its Worth’ and then onto ‘Ashtray Heart’. In fact most of the songs in the set were from the newer albums. As an old school fan I found this slightly disappointing as I wanted to hear some songs from earlier releases but at the same time bands have to move on from the past.
PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
Massive highlights were ‘Every you, Every Me’ and ‘Song to Say Goodbye’ but the whole thing was amazing, musically and visually. Camera men hidden at the front of the stage projected huge pixelated views of Brian and Stefan onto the video screens behind them and above there heads, which was like being in some Placebo shaped box? Doing 2 encores they certainly satisfied most fans their with the set list, although Nancy Boy would have been a dream ending to the gig!
PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
Part of me is a bit disappointed Placebo have well and truly made the transition into a ‘stadium’ band, but the rest of me was totally blown away by an incredible performance. If you only like their old albums don’t go and see them on tour, but if you like their new stuff and can cope with change definitely don’t miss them next time around!
PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)PLACEBO@MANCHESTER CENTRAL (GMEX)
Words and Photography by Lucy Pryor

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