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Saturday 17 December 2016

Review: Placebo @ The Brighton Centre

Placebo's set at The Brighton Centre (14/12/16) opened with a short tribute to Leonard Cohen, showing images of the recently deceased artist playing Who by Fire, before streaming an unreleased video from 1998 of the headliner's very own Every You Every Me.


Placebo Image By Andy Sturmey

The band then launched into Pure Morning, which brought back memories from the height of the trio's career. 

Loud Like Love and current single Jesus' Son come from the more modern and less celebrated era of the band and therefore had a bit of a cooler reception with a crowd amped up for a greatest hits set. 

Soulmates and Special Needs brought back the crowds excitement for what turned out to be the melancholy part of the evening. 

Highlights of this section were the first album classic I Know; which came across much heavier than the original recording. 

Without You I'm Nothing; which served as an emotional tribute to David Bowie with video of his past performances with the band and backstage footage of his interactions with singer Brian Molko, showing in the background 

36 Degrees was slowed down to emphasise the amazing lyrical content that was rife on the band's early albums. 


The heavy part of the set was announced by Molko and really brought the crowd up, with Special K and Bitter End being the stand outs.

The first encore was a great way to end the show with Placebo playing a slowed down version of Teenage Angst, followed by a rush through Nancy Boy; which was introduced by bassist Stefan Olsdal showing off a Gibson Thunderbird Bass in a rainbow flag motif to a rapturous applause. 

Lesser appreciated single Infra-red capped off the set, showcasing more of the band's strong and driven choruses and sneaking in the odd anti-Trump image.

The final encore was the longingly waited for and universally well received cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).

Overall a great night celebrating twenty years of Placebo. Whilst the set could have benefited from a better mix of heavy and quiet songs - there was a little bit of sag in the middle - they truly showcased what gained them such a loyal fan base. The sound was great, loud and bass heavy.


by: Dave Wood


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