Newcastle Entertainment Centre
Tuesday September 12, 2017 :
Just how nice is it to have Placebo play a regional show in Newcastle. Quite often we get overlooked due to our proximity to Sydney, and I fully get that. And it is that closeness to Sydney that means we can quite easily get to see who ever we want.
For Placebo’s ’20 Year’ romp around Australia, the band have added shows in Newcastle and Canberra, two regional shows that would have put pressure on sales for their Sydney date. The crowd in Newcastle was smaller than I was expecting, but Placebo brought with them the full production.
Following ‘Every You, Every Me’ being resigned to an opening video, we get an overview of the 20 Years of Placebo on the three video screens behind the band. Then the pulse of ‘Pure Morning’ begins, and it takes you back decades.
It was a big set delivered tonight. 21 songs covering the band’s full catalog, with a slight weighting to more later material.
The volume was LOUD, just how you need a show like this to be. Visually, it was very special. The three video screens were used to great effect, throwing live images that had been processed, much like an animated version of what was happening live. And it felt like there was as much lighting directed at the crowd as to the stage. You felt flooded.
‘Loud Like Love’ and ‘Jesus’ Son’ followed, as did the ejection of a couple of over zealous punters who decided to throw a few punches. That’s a nice memory for us to send the band home with. Classy stuff Newcastle.
‘Soulmates’ was a pleasure to hear, and ‘Special Needs’ gave us our first highlight. The song built to a glorious crescendo. ‘Space Money’ was angry and forceful. Crowd favourites ‘Special K’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ arrived late in the set, and having ‘Bitter End’ as the closer let the punters holding firm for the expected encore.
‘Nancy Boy’ opened the encore, giving guitarist/bassist Stefan Olsdal an opportunity to proudly present his rainbow guitar, and the night concluded with one of the best covers going, Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’.
The night confirms that 20 years has not dulled the band in any way, and those 20 year old songs are just as relevant today as they were all those years ago.
Reviewer and Photographer : Kevin Bull