Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gigography: Placebo, KL Live

Warning: Placebo indulgence ahead. Excessive adulation content. Skip this post if it’s too much of excessive indulgence for you :-p

Woah…how to start this? Earlier this afternoon, I got to meet the band I first heard when I was 19 – Placebo! It was the song Pure Morning, and I was immediately hooked!

Waited for them for soooo long, I told that to Brian Molko (the lead singer) when I met him earlier ;-) Thanked them for finally coming here!

Placebo’s first ever gig in Malaysia was held on Tue, 16 Mar 2010 (If you saw me looking rather restless that day, now you know why!) Queued at KL Live at 5pm with F. There wasn’t really a long queue yet, but the organizer was ironically, disorganized, first asking us to queue above at Level 1, then shooing us to go down instead. L reached rather late, about 6.30pm, but we managed to stay together.

While queuing, we met some interesting characters, a dude with Rastafarian hair who shared with us his experience hanging out with Scorpions (yup, the group Scorpions!) We also met I, who went to Placebo’s gig in Jakarta the previous month (16 Feb) and would be also going to the Singapore leg 2 days later (on 18 Mar). Hell yeah, that’s a dedicated die hard fan there!! And she came with her mate all the way from England, C ! Ah, the things you do when you are obsessed with Placebo. What’s not to love?

At 7 pm, we were allowed to go in. Cameras without flash only. Brian’s very particular about this. He doesn’t like people recording their gigs, particularly media people with access to non-blocked view in the space between the stage and the pit barrier. That night, a media person was recording, obviously Brian saw her! He pointed at the girl to his technician and made a motion to get her out. She was immediately escorted out.. Ouch. Seeing that, I only took recordings intermittently, only recording in full for the older songs.

Back to the gig. Opening act was Twilight Actiongirl who teased us with songs from S** Pistols, Kings of Leon and The Killers (arrrgghhhh memories of the cancelled Killers gig came flashing back!) But we soaked it in anyway …we forgave En Bunga already.

Anyway, tonight’s show was all about Encik Molko and company! Ahh yes, he wore black (he later clarified it’s navy blue actually) nail polish (he hasn’t applied it yet when I shook his hand earlier. Btw I think he bought it at M.A.C. KLCC!), black shirt (2/5 unbuttoned, hair-free chest ahem! Apologies on the chest porn lol!), white skinny jeans & black boots! Totally love the look! We were at the front row, in front of Brian, just inches away, so obviously we would be ogling at him!

Ahem, apologies on the sidetracking. Was obsessed with this man when I was younger, so I was kind of transported back to those days for the next 1.5 hours ;-)

Gig started at 9pm sharp. Started with a slow intro song (I clarified it's the harmony of "Speak In Tounges") with film of an eclipse playing as backdrop while they took their places on stage. Then they immediately burst into the rocky For What It’s Worth. Everyone went ape bonkers !

Because we were right in front, and very near to the amplifiers, it was reaaaaaaaally loud, and it distorted my bootleg recording of the gig. Luckily L got them recorded on her camera which had a voice recording function and it turned out better than mine. Btw, Brian & Stefan had rather complex distortion pedals, especially Stefan’s. Woah that’s a load of effects there! Both of them liked to distort their guitar sounds near to the amps.

Yes, the venue was so small, it felt very intimate. We were very close to the band and we felt a connection with them. Like Brian said, he wanted to give a transcendental experience. Transcend they did, especially with Brian’s steely stares! I think he stared at me a few times, but then again, everyone must have felt the same :-p It was so obvious they gave it their all, they seem so immersed in their playing, yet also embracing the crowd by teasing us - getting sooooo close to us on the amp boxes!

At the first few songs, I saw Stefan had a red X duct tape pasted on his behind, possibly the works of Brian’s practical jokes! It was gone after the third song maybe.

They played mostly songs from the new album Battle For The Sun. Not exactly their best album (at least to me) and I was rather disappointed that many of their old songs were not played. But I’ve checked their current tour setlist prior to the gig, so it was already expected anyway. I was most disappointed that they didn’t play Trigger Happy here, possibly due to the political content. They played the song at ALL the venues of their current leg of the tour except KL! Overall they played 20 songs. See setlist:

Brian and Stefan (Brian especially) had so many guitar changes, after almost every song. We lost count of the sheer number of his guitars!

My highlight was of course the older songs –
Special Needs (read that they made a very special ending, Brian & Stefan bowing to each other so elegantly ignoring everyone else)
Taste In Men - Brian was imitating Stefan’s Taste In Men stern look. No erm, g** dancing by Stefan here though.
Special K – Brian asked us to repeat the ‘parapappa’ part when he didn’t get a response that he wanted.. he was asking “What?” as if he couldn’t hear it.
Infra Red - Brian folded his arm and just stood there in front. Copying Stefan's trademark stage antics

It was very obvious that the band enjoyed playing at KL a lot, Stefan and Brian stepped off stage onto the amps, teasing and playing so close to us quite a lot of times! Brian was seen smiling all the way, ahh he seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.

At the end of the gig, after the band bowed to the fans, while Steve was shaking hands with the fans, standing on the amps, Brian shoved him off into the crowd…he was smiling so wickedly, but then looked like he felt guilty about it, later giving Steve a bear hug after he was rescued by the security. Vid here

Ah, it’s clear that they really enjoyed themselves here. Must be a good response from the KL audience, I didn’t get to see what was going on behind me actually! Well all was good except for the pushing from some irresponsible people at the middle who were moshing and hurting other people. My friends got scratch marks on their hands. Luckily I got away intact.

Read the media review here and here

Epic fan review here (w/ excellent pix!)
I’m so biased, I can’t really write a neutral review :-p
Also, an interesting Malay Mail article

Finally, pix from my cam (not so good though, couldn't really get a stable shot, well how could I!!)

Dry Brian

Wet Brian!



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