Winding down a 143-date tour in support of their last studio album “Battling for the Sun,” Placebo recorded their final shows at London’s Brixton Academy in September 2010 and have released the live concert cleverly titled “We Come in Pieces.”
From the time the band – Brian Molko (lead vocals, guitar); Stefan Olsdal (bass, guitars, vocals); Steve Forrest (drums, vocals); with additional players William Lloyd (bass, keyboards); Fiona Brice (violin, theremin, keyboards); and Nick Gavrilovic (guitars, keyboards) – takes the stage opening with “Nancy Boy,” the show is an orgiastic feast of LED lights, roaring guitars, driving bass and crowd participation. Multiple camera angels dart in and out with interesting views of the band from the stage floor to the roof as they blast through the opening set, featuring “Soulmates,” “Kitty Litter, “and “Every You Every Me,” one after another.
The band, which rarely speaks between songs except for “thank you,” works up a sweat and the crowd into frenzy. I don’t know if there was a fair going on somewhere or it is an audience custom, but a lot of audience members in the packed house had their faces painted or were wearing masks. Nonetheless, it added to the vibe of the evening as the video screens showed artistic images and a bountiful color palette of lights while the band continued on rocking “Breathe Underwater,” “Meds” and a cover of Nirvana’s “All Apologies.”
Placebo came back for their encore and belted out a blistering version of “17 Trigger Happy Hands,” which had big white balloons raining down on the crowd. Then during “Post Blue” two cannons of confetti exploded on to the crowd like a blizzard as the band closed with “Infra-Red” and “Taste In Men,” leaving a monster wall of feedback and delay pedals wailing.
You can have your Radiohead and you can take your Muse, I will take my Placebo and raise my hands like I don’t give a fuck.
~ Troy Michael