Live Reviews — August 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm

LIVE REVIEW: Placebo in Singapore

by
© Alwin Tan

© Alwin Tan

PLACEBO
August 27th, 2013
The Coliseum™, Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore
Reviewed by: Marie Berst 

Yes, Placebo were in town this week to present their new upcoming album LOUD LIKE LOVE at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Coliseum. Formed in 1994, the band has two remaining core members: lead singer and guitarist Brian Molko and guitarist/bassist Stefan Olsdal. They changed drummers three times, and Steve Forrest is the latest one since 2008. I stopped listening to Placebo before the end of high school. I was deeply in love with Without You I’m Nothing and really appreciated Placebo as well – of course. Maybe I heard Black Market Music a few times but my conviction had already decreased. Not that Placebo became less good with time, but to me their sound didn’t evolve much.

After making the crowd listen to a recorded “Pure Morning” and watch the colourful floating backdrop with growing excitation, the band arrived on stage. The three-piece band appeared on stage with three session players, including a girl and an older guy at first hidden in a corner. Actually he wasn’t just there to back the younger musicians, he got more glorious moments later on.

Let’s focus on the main attraction of the evening: frontman Brian Molko, for he’s the main character of Placebo – although the scary-looking drummer Steve Forrest was also quite a stunning central player. The Placebo Worldwide Fan Forum assured me in a tweet that he was the contrary – “a puppy” rather, but his tattooed body and Aryan look didn’t give me this exact feel. He and Molko were the two most engaging ones on stage though – sorry I’ve deviated again. But Brian Molko: what a mane that night! In my souvenir, he was balding and it seemed to be a heavy hassle for him. For this Coliseum concert, he had a stock of fourteen guitars – one new for each song or so, and there were around eight or ten bass guitars on the other side of the stage. Curiously, that didn’t add any showy brag, as the instrument and musicians change-over went smoothly. The lightning was splendid, making the backdrop an entire part of the stage setting. Molko has a real strong bond with his audience; his dedication and stage presence are a must-see, and his make-up lasts despite the sweat – take note, girls.

The whole band seemed pleased to play tunes from the eight Placebo albums and EP – including three from LOUD LIKE LOVE to be released in September. But I felt like every song was sounding the same, except the newest ones that have a more upbeat tone – the kind of tracks you can dance to. The crowd was singing along, the young ones knowing the latest albums better, while the older ones not so much. The concert had a real positive energy and the band saluted after their four-song encore, something that is rather rare for rock bands these days. A nice and a little deafening evening, thanks to Universal Music Singapore and Launch Entertainment.

 

SETLIST

B3
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH
BIONIC
TOO MANY FRIENDS
LOUD LIKE LOVE
20 YEARS
EVERY YOU EVERY ME
PURIFY
BLACKEYED
SONG TO SAY
BLIND
BRIGHT LIGHTS
MEDS
SLAVE
SPECIAL K
BITTER END
————–
TEENAGE ANGST
RUNNING
POST BLUE
INFRA RED