It is a Family affair today, Placebo at the o2 Indigo. These tickets have been organised a long time ago, Placebo does sell out extremely quickly, and its is in reversed order: I’m standing with Martina and Neil, my daughter, her husband Ben and baby Stitch are sitting. What I can hear you shout, they taking a baby along? No, baby Stitch is still safely tucked away, he is not making an appearance until early July! Still, no time as the present to get used to good music!
Martina, Neil and I get there around 3pm, confident that the queue will be under cover, it has been every time we visited the o2 Indigo, Jane and Ben don’t need to be there early, they have numbered seats, I was really lucky to be able to book front row seating in the left block, on Brian’s side of course!
When we arrived we were very surprised that there was no queue, Placebo fans are know to camp out all night, we ask one of the Sundance helpers and were told the queue is outside (nooooooooooo, it’s freezing and wet) and a lot of people are already there. I tried to argue the fact that I have two people with me that aren’t in the best of health, but there was nothing I could do! :-(, not impressed o2, this information should have been available beforehand.
We went to have a look outside, actually there weren’t as many people as first thought, maybe 50, so I went to join the queue, I told Neil and Martina to go and stay in the warmth, eat drink and be merry..lol!
It was bitter out here and I din’t really wear the right clothing for standing 4 hours in the cold, this will not help me finally getting rid of my sniffles which seemed to have got a hold on me since Christmas :-(.
It doesn’t take long to get talking to my fellow queue people, there is a young girl originally from Russia, a couple of women from the Netherlands, I can spot Stephen, I met him in the SP queues a couple of times before. There is Stephanie, a sweet girl from London (she doesn’t live very far from Shepherds Bush Empire, what a great place to live), she is here all alone and we get chatting quite a bit. She is only 21 and had to grow up so fast because what life has thrown at her, she explains why Placebo is so important for her and I can understand her well! I have music in my life that was there when I needed it the most! I just wanted to give her a big long hug, so Stephanie here comes your cyber hug :-). Let’s catch a gig together again soon! 🙂
It was cold and it was wet standing out there, Neil supplied me with coffee and Nando’s, and his jacket, I was glad he did, I was so cold. Martina also took a stint standing in the cold so I could go and have a toilet break and more hot drinks! A steady stream of people arrived during the afternoon, one thing I noticed though, a mother and her son (about 12 years old) had arrived quite some time after me and suddenly they were in front of me! I do not like that much,come early and stand in the queue in order to get to or near the front, nobody likes a queue jumper, and what example are you setting to that young boy? I could now get on my soapbox, but I wont, I had my say, end of!!

Finally, movement, Neil and Martina have come back to the queue, and we are ready to go! Our little group tried to stay together, but when the doors opened it was everybody to themselves, I lost Stephanie completely :-(. Once in, quick scan around, Barrier by the stage was taken, only free bit right by the huge speakers (that get’s loud), I head for the second frontrow…hehehehe! A little set back are another 3 barriers, dividing the floor space with the bar space, they are still free, so I take the middle one which has a perfect view to the stage. The place is only small, so not being at the front wont make a difference here. Neil and Martina join me, I see mother and son standing by the speakers…..I do hope she at least had the sense to bring ear protection for that boy!
The venue fills up quickly, another girl joins us at “our ” barrier, She has crutches, I did see her outside in the queue and again I felt there should have been another entrance…..at some point Pixie moved away to try and put her backpack in the cloakroom, when she came back somebody had actually moved into her space….not for long though ;-). She came all the way from Leeds, by herself, she will be spending the night at the train station until its time to go home, and she just had a Placebo tattoo done across her back yesterday….yes, that is what you call a fan! Shame is that the word on the street has it that Mr. Molko doesn’t really appreciate his fans that much, you can be unlucky with the show if he is moody, he hardly ever comes out to greet the fans or sign their things after the gigs. That itself would put me off their music however talented, I do like the whole package like with most things in my life!  Jane and Ben have also arrived meanwhile, I leave my place to go nearer the stage which enables me to look up to the seating area. Hmmm, nobody on the frontrow, strange, I call Jane and she tells me that the row I booked as the frontrow is in fact 7 rows back, everything else is still empty and apparently reserved for the staff. Oh dear o2 Indigo, you are really NOT doing well, it may well be Sundance’s fault, but it is your name on door. Jane also told me that I’m not the only one that thought booked the frontrows, there are some more people complaining about the same thing.
I’m glad to know that my girl and her husband moved to the centre front once the gig started and nobody chased them away! That’s my girl!!! Ended up with the best seats in the house 🙂

Movement on the stage, it feels like I have been waiting forever…..the support band, Shields, a four piece outfit based in Newcastle, again, a new band for me.
They taking the stage, looking confident and excited at the same time, big smiles, a hello and the music starts. I can’t tell you what songs they played, but I can say I’m really enjoying it! These guys are pretty good and deserve some recognition. I like their enthusiasm and the slightly different approach to your run of the mill alternative pop music, it is very hard to slot these guys into a genre. I really liked the music, worth having another listen too! 🙂

Here we go, Placebo are coming onto stage, the room goes wild, everybody has been waiting for this moment!  They go straight into “for what it’s worth” after the intro finished, followed by one of my favourites “ashtray heart”. As the youngsters say, this show is “sick”! Somehow I’m glad we are not right in the front, it looks as though there is a lot of pushing going on, and the view from here is brilliant. I do get a slight feeling of the band just going through the motions, it feels to me like the passion is missing, no great interactions with the fans or band members. Mind you, the drummer looks like an animal possessed at times…lol! “Every you and every me”, “Without you I’m nothing”, “Meds”…they are playing it all…….there was a funny incident when Brian started “Teenage Angst”! All of a sudden Brian stopped playing, he looked down in front of him and shouted at some people to stop fighting, this is not the place to behave like children. “Nobody gets hurt at a Placebo gig, Brian refused to start  playing until the spitting and fighting stopped!” Everybody in the venue started booing, “see you made a room full of friends”…..they must have seen sense, calmed down and the gig carried on! I was surprised how many songs I actually knew, including the lyrics, but I guess having had a teenager in the house playing the songs at all times I had no choice! Behind us were a couple of young guys, one sober and one drunk, quite harmless, just a bit over excited but I guess I got a bit carried away when “Bitter End” started too, I do love that song! It was the last one and it’s a good night and off the stage they go. Of course they are back for an encore, and a long one it was!
I didn’t manage to get a set list, but found one online, and it looks as so there were about 5 tracks, one a Kate Bush cover, “Running up that hill” a fantastic performed cover……..all in all I really enjoyed this gig! The sound was great and the light show was pretty good. The crowed where we stood were nice and not too pushy or annoying! Pixie said she was glad she made the journey to London, it was so worth it, I think she said it was the first time she actually seen them live! Well done Placebo, we did enjoy it and even got a little Brian-talk!
We join the rest of the people to make our way out, were we bump into the two girls from the Netherlands again. Apparently it was a bit more aggressive at the front and they stood right in front of the fight! It was two women, one went mental, jumping and moshing, she was ask to please stop or be more careful as she was starting to hurt and scare people. Next thing they knew was her spitting and grabbing the other girls hair pulling it like mad…….cat fight, in a bizarre sort of way I’m sad I wasn’t at the front, would have made a great photo.  I’m pleased though that Brian took time out and put a stop to it, it could have turned really nasty! So girls, let’s play nice in future, ok?

We join up with Jane and Ben, get some more Nando’s, yes, we do love Nando’s!

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About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

2 responses »

  1. Martina Weidmann says:

    This was a real novelty to me !! But I must say I was surprised how much I enjoyed it ! The second frontrow was brilliant Steffi ! The view good and safe from the fight !

  2. Steff says:

    Great review! I feel privileged to to be in it 🙂 I totally agree with all your points, I too wish there had been a little more audience interaction. I had such a great night overall though, I want to go back and do it all over again…. yes even the freezing cold queue! It was worth it. I must thank you again for holding my place and letting me go inside for an hour to warm up, I think you may have saved my life!! (I’ll email you soon)
    Best wishes, Steff.

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