Placebo decided to finish their world tour which started off way back in March 2003 in spectacular style at Wembley Arena. Begrudgingly after parting with ten pounds to park in their official car park- we made our way towards the arena- we had standing tickets and so using our common sense headed towards the door that had a huge sign saying 'STANDING TICKETS', we queued up and waited then as we as got to the door the stewards told us that we needed the door that said 'SEATING' above it- we argued with the security about the fact that the sign clearly stated 'STANDING TICKETS' the brash security person just told us quite harshly to ignore the signs and just follow what the security men say.
After getting over the confusion we decided to go for a drink before our beloved Placebo arrived on stage. I ordered a Carling, and a coke for myself- the guy behind the counter gave me a pint glass for the Carling and just handed me a bottle of coke- this is where the fun really started- Wembley Arena do not allow bottles into the main arena floor- so I politely asked the bar person to pour the bottle into a plastic glass- he throws the smallest plastic cup towards me- you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that an 150ml bottle would not fit into that size glass- so I asked for a pint glass- that seemed like a reasonable request- the bar person just looked at me and said 'No, the pint glasses are for alcoholic drinks'. After grabbing three small plastic cups I poured my coke into the cups and then had the problem of trying to carry two drinks, which had now become four due to the idiotic procedures at Wembley Arena- they will be getting a harsh complaint!
This gig was to coincide with their release of 'Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004' and sure enough this gig was exactly that- a night of their singles. This gig was advertised with a message declaring that this is their last gig until 2006. So we thought that Placebo might put everything they had into this gig- and sure enough they did!!
The stage lighting was bright, dazzling, colourful, and impressive enough to keep even the poor punters at the back of the arena satisfied. In no time at all we were half way through the gig and had already had the pleasure of hearing 'Taste In Men', 'Bitter End', 'Every You, Every Me', 'Special K', and 'English Summer Rain'.
Brian Molko and his entourage have that amazing knack of making their fans feel special- with his over rehearsed dialogue in-between the songs. Obviously as always 'Pure Morning', and 'This Picture' got a volcanic reception from the fans.
For the encore, Placebo had a nice surprise for the audience. They brought Robert Smith (The Cure) on stage to do a couple of tracks including The Cures 'Close To Me', and Placebo's 'Without You I'm Nothing'.
After almost 90 minutes of superb music, there was only one song left that Placebo could end on. Everyone in the audience waited in anticipation for the instantly recognisable guitar intro of 'Nancy Boy' with Molkos screeching opening vocal 'Alcoholic, kinda mood' which cascaded over the entire arena. Even today this is one of the best live songs ever.
Placebo are one of those bands that are always great to watch live, admittedly there are no major surprises, once you have seen them live once you can always expect the same order of songs to stay almost exactly the same throughout the entire tour. However apart from the predictability, Placebo always deliver the goods and certainly make it a memorable night for everyone in the audience. Can't wait to see them back in action in 2006!!!
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article by: Luke Seagrave
published: 08/11/2004 09:57