It was all a bit touch and go for a moment. Placebo cancelled their first show of this tour in Perth, when Brian Molko was unable to perform due to illness. They played the second show in Adelaide and tonight's show here in Melbourne had three songs removed from the setlist but Brian was in fine form vocally. He gave a shout out to the doctors during the performance.
“Thanks for coming to our birthday party. I’ve been sick since we got to Australia and thank you to all the doctors who have helped get me back on my feet. Thank you for your patience and understanding", Molko stated.
This is a greatest hits tour or as it was described in the band's press release, they are playing a "spine-chilling nostalgic tsunami of sound". From "Pure Morning", "Nancy Boy" to "Special K". They also gave a special dedication to David Bowie with "Without You I’m Nothing". They closed out the night with a mermerising cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill". BRILLIANT!
During the second encore, bassist Stefan Olsdal held his famous rainbow coloured bass guitar high above his head and got the whole adoring crowd to send out a very topical message when he said, "We stand with you in your fight for equality and tolerance, especially with what you are going through right now".
"I need your participation for this, I need something from you guys...I’m gonna say a name, and I want you guys to say ‘fork you.’ Can you guys do that for me?" He then proceeds to chant “Margaret Court” with the crowd responding “fork you!” with great vim and vigor. It was a special moment of the concert. Unfortunately not one I could photograph, as I was only allowed the first two song to capture my images on the night.
Prior to the concert the Australian Marriage Equality crew were in droves getting signatures for a petition, pinning colourful rainbow stickers with the word "YES!" on people and asking for donations, at the main entrance of the venue. I had a chat with the organiser Wil Stracke, who told me this is the first time they have been here at Margaret Court Arena spreading the message of equality about the upcoming same marriage plebiscite. They needed the approval of both the music venue and the band to spread the word.
The support act were the energetic Deaf Havana. An English alternative rock band from Hunstanton and King's Lynn in Norfolk. The band was formed in 2005 at the King's Lynn campus of The College of West Anglia.
Photography by Carbie Warbie.