MANIC STREET PREACHERS – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels – 1st of May 2016
“Brussels, we’re gonna play that big pop monster album in full tonight” confirmed a mad for
it and genuinely enthusiastic James Dean Bradfield after just finishing an overwhelming rendition of magnum opus DESIGN FOR LIFE. That epic symphony that is so distinctly symbolic for the true characteristics of THE MANICS‘ heart and soul: commitment and outspokenness, melancholy and romanticism. It was weird, as it’s already track two on birthday album EVERYTHING MUST GO – released 20 years ago on 20 May 1996 – to
hear that anthemic powerhouse so early in the set…
I’m not a really big fan of albums played in full but these Welsh legends performed that incredibly difficult, fourth album – the first without the mysteriously disappeared Richey Edwards, the one that marked their highly emotional decision to go on without him – with a gripping flare, superb arrangements, and an unbelievable freshness. Still a brilliant LP.
All killers, all special, all intensely touching. A vigorous tour de force. They played it loud
and proud. With passionately involved spectators, singing/screaming along every single word. Just wonderful. Amplified pop magnificence at its very best!
In between songs Mister Bradfield proved once again that he’s a natural-born frontman and entertainer, joking and stimulating the audience amusingly. He called Nicky Wire the musical strategist of the album and his cousin/drummer Sean Moore “the first Welsh man
on the moon”. This unique sonic showing of EVERYTHING MUST GO was gone too soon, but without a break, immediately followed by a swirling greatest hits set. Even a robust
old Wurlitzer jukebox isn’t big enough to store all the unforgettable masterstrokes. From Motorcycle Emptiness to Ocean Spray and nearly halfway a surprising Suicide Is Painless (Theme from MASH) – their version of that song brought them, unexpectedly, under the attention of a wider audience in 1992 – and another cover (Feels Like) Heaven, a 1983 golden oldie by Scottish one-hit-wonder group Fiction Factory introduced by Nicky Wire
as the perfect way to express how he and the whole of Wales feel about playing the Euro Football Championship this summer for the very first time. “Let’s all hope for a finale with Wales versus Belgium” he added hesitatingly.
They ended this mesmerizing concert with a storming You Love Us and a majestic and
epic If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. Delightful nostalgic magic in Brussels!
The impressive strength of these imperishable musicians when hitting the stage is that they electrify you with that mind-blowing sensation that they’re the only band that truly matters. They make you feel just bloody happy and euphoric! It happened tonight and
it happened every single time I saw them before. Dazzling! Thank you, Manics! Again…
The adrenalin is still flowing,
I can’t resist to listen again…
(All concert pics by Turn Up The Volume!)