"No one gets hurt at a Placebo show.”
Placebo - Live At The IndigO2, London

With six studio albums and millions of record sales worldwide, Placebo hardly need an introduction. Since seducing our aural senses back in the mid ‘90s and bringing their special brand of erogenous, emo-glam to the grunge era they have gone on to become part of Britain’s elite rock royalty and prove that teenage angst can still resonate through older bones.

After nearly a year’s break Placebo are here tonight as part of the Sundance Film and Music Festival, of which Brian Molko had to say: “We’re excited to return to The O2 to perform at this event. As a band, we follow our own philosophy of making the music we want to make, putting faith in our songs and records. The Sundance Film Festival has been championing similarly like-minded people for over thirty years and encouraging them to put faith in their own talent.”

Tonight’s gig is sold out and there is an excited buzz in the air, the crowd, though mixed in gender and age, evidently share the same stylist and tonight's directive must have simply said “Black.” We now feel quite daring rocking up in red and white. This is soon forgotten as the lights dim and the cords of ‘Leeloo’ drift out across the stage, the building anticipation is so heavy you can feel it weighing on you. Then a roar goes up and it begins, Placebo take to the stage launching straight into ‘For What It’s Worth'.

It goes without saying that this band play well, they ooze self-assured charisma and have the whole crowd in the palm of their hands, who are shouting, singing and undulating to the tempo, from the entrancing dulcet beats of 'Soulmates' to the more frenetic paced 'Every You Every Me'. It's all gelling together well and the first rate lighting rig supports and bulks out the already huge sound, giving the proceedings a feeling of completeness, stadium quality in a more intimate environment.

Half way through and the show comes to an abrupt halt, it would seem some mosh-pit revellers are getting a bit over excited and a fight has broken out. However, they soon incur a scornful telling off from Brian: “If you cannot behave like adults you can get the fuck out. No one gets hurt at a Placebo show.” Situation in hand they go on to play a rather aptly titled ‘Teenage Angst’ and within seconds it's all back to business as usual.

They finish the set and go off the stage after 'The Bitter End', but thankfully it's not the end they go on to play five more songs, including a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill'. They close the night with 'Taste In Men' arguably one of their biggest hits and definitely their biggest response. Playing songs from all their albums has made tonight a beautiful insight into the world of Placebo, a harden fans wet dream and an education for new disciples. There has been mention of an imminent new album in 2012. We can only hope this is true.

Words by Vanessa Higgins
Photo by Al de Perez

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

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