Qudos Bank Arena
September 9, 2017
Last in the country for Soundwave Festival and a pair of sideshows back in 2014, the Placebo returned to Australia for a 20th anniversary tour, the Sydney incarnation of which saw them perform hits, revisit early material and more obscure offerings from across their impressive seven-album catalogue at Qudos Bank arena.
The show started off with a trailer comprised of snapshots and videos gathered throughout the last two decades of Placebo’s career, culminating is the “Every You and Every Me” video, which got all aficionados in an enthusiastic frame of mind to welcome the band entering ths stage.
Placebo’s backbone and foundation is the solid chemistry and dynamic between the still androgynous Brian Molko with his trademark nasal voice and saddened self, his co-author, the ever composed and defiant guitarist, bassist and piano player Stefan Olsdal and the touring member Matt Lunn’s powerful drumming and interludes with Fiona Bryce on violin. A flawless performance of accomplished musicians that covered the claviature of the lane that Placebo has created for itself within the confines of alternative rock.
The evening was testament to Placebo’s relevance with the high consistency of their output and the effortless delivery that hit the main points without neglecting nuances, all the while focusing on the performance without any unnecessary bells and whistles.
The first half of the show focused peaked with an ode and tribute to Placebo’s avid supporter David Bowie, i.e. Without You I am Nothing, which was framed by footage of the band and him collaborating on screens that were utilized to broadcast the performance employing a range of different animations, filters and camera angles.
The show was tinged with melancholy and nostalgia, key ingredients of Placebo’s sound, which did not deter the crowd from frenetically celebrating every song.
In 2017 Placebo has not lost its allure – a band of outsiders that carved its own niche by cultivating their eccentricity, making it their raison d’être and cementing their status by finding a likeminded followership.
Image from artist website