Gig review: Placebo at First Direct Arena, Leeds

Despite some nail biting tension as to when Placebo were officially due to grace the stage, (conflicting reports abound in every local drinking hole), when Brian and the band arrived, they commanded the room with a brick hit-house of fan favorite's and deep album cuts spanning their 20 year career to date.


Placebo are a fans band, for outsiders by outsiders, and they welcomed all with open arms.

To achieve a loyalty on the scale Placebo have over the years is testimony to their honesty and integrity to their fan base.

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Opening to Leonard Cohen’s ‘Who By Fire’ and an earlier cut of ‘Every You Every Me’, the band rocketed into ‘Pure Morning’ followed swiftly by more recent offerings ‘Loud Like Love’ and ‘Too Many Friends’.

Admittedly, the Saturday night crowd seemed somewhat subdued in the more melancholic and slower numbers in the set, a point made clear by Brian Molko who opted to change tack and “have some fun”.

‘Slave To The Wage’, ‘Special K’ and even ‘Nancy Boy’ got a rare outing to rapturous reception.

Personally, and seemingly for many fans on Twitter, the highlight was the beautifully subtle and poignant tribute to their one time friend and collaborator, David Bowie.

Playing to a backdrop montage of the man himself, laughing, relaxing and rehearsing with the band, the track ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ has never felt so chilling and relevant. There were no doubts he was in the room smiling at the band and applauding with the rest of us.

The band wrapped up proceedings with a cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’, another huge fan favourite from their covers album.

Here’s to another 20 years, here’s to the fan community, spread the world over. We are all Placebo and we will always fall in love with you, and we will always say ‘I Do’.