With Support from Toy
O2 Academy, Birmingham, 12th December 2013.
Alt-rock champions Placebo have been invigorating the angsty emo-types with their ever-present passion and awesome musicianship since 1994. After nearly two decades and seven studio albums, they are still selling out shows to their loyal mix of youthful fans and aging rockers. On stage, Brian Molko’s vocals are distinctive and immediately recognisable, with the first track of tonight’s show ‘B3? sending shivers down your spine. The set-list drew heavily from the latest album ‘Loud Like Love’ but a few bonafide classics like ‘Every Me, Every You’, ‘Meds’ and ‘Special K’ were thrown in to leave everyone feeling nostalgic and completely satisfied.
Although the banter with the audience was kept to a bare minimum, the trio of Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal and Steve Forrest oozed self-assured charisma and had the whole lively crowd in the palm of their hands throughout the gig. The anthem ‘Teenage Angst’ launched the encore which also included a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. Most notably missing from the set-list were two of Placebo’s most defining tracks, ‘Nancy Boy’ and ‘Pure Morning’. However this can be forgiven as Placebo will always be one of the most exciting and brilliant bands to witness live on stage.
Toy have only been around since 2010 but have already supported the Horrors on their 2011 tour. Not a bad start to their career. Tonight, on a dimly lit stage and standing in a uniform line, Toy took us through an unpredictable warm up set. Their krautrock influences stood out with electro-psychedelic wails and ultra reverb. Combined with incredible bursts of heavy guitar riffs and layers of beautiful harmonies, Toy provided a great ambient atmosphere of shoe-gazing hanging hair with cranked up volume.
See the full picture sets here:
Words and pictures by Stephen Turner