Gig Review

Manic Street Preachers
London, O2 Arena
17th December 2011

Manic Street Preachers                 

The Manic Street Preachers are a band who I have grown up loving but only managed to see live once when the headlined the Reading Festival back in 2001 but as soon as soon as they announced The National Treasures show at the O2 arena I knew I had to go and booked my ticket straight away.

For The National Treasures show the Manic Street Preachers announced that they would be playing two sets which would see them playing all 38 singles which span across their mammoth 21 year career, it was also announced that there would be no support band and everyone was urged to get there at 7.30pm as that was when the Manics were due on stage and they also stated that they would be mixing the set list up slightly from their ‘National Treasures’ singles compilation album.

The doors for the venue opened at 6.30pm so we decided to make our way to the venue at 7pm and we got greeted with the biggest queue ever, at 7.30pm we were still queuing up and there was a lot of fans getting a bit angry but then an announcement came over the tannoy saying that the show has been delayed by 15 minutes to ensure all fans get in for the start.

We finally made our way into the venue as the Manics opened ‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’ and moments later James Dean Bradfield made a little joke about the late start telling the sold out venue I told you to be here at 7.30pm on the dot and you were late, everyone had a chuckle and the Manics carried on with the hits smashing out ‘Love’s Sweet Exile’.

James Dean spent a lot of time talking to the crowd and one of the most important statements he said was early on when he said there will be many moments where people will go to the bar during songs but for this song everyone stays before unleashing the fantastic ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ which had the whole venue on their feet singing along.

The hits kept coming during the first set with ‘(It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love’, ‘Everything Must Go’, ‘Kevin Carter’, ‘ Empty Souls’, ‘The Everlasting’ and many more being played but it was ‘Let Robeson Sing’ which was one of the main highlights with Gruff Rhys from The Superfurry Animals taking to the stage for the song, the first set closed with a massive sing-a-long to ‘If You Tolerate This your Children Will be Next’.

After a short interval the Manics came back on and wasted no time blasting straight into ‘Australia’, as the set progressed the Manics played the sing-a-long classic ‘You Love Us’ and also ‘Suicide Is Painless’ which happens to be the theme song from MASH and just before they played this James Dean told the crowd how he still remembers the day back in 1992 when the band entered the top 10 of the singles chart for the first time with this song.

There was a lot of interaction between most songs with James dean and Nicky Wire talking to the crowd about the old days and how they came up with ideas for certain singles and also talking about the ever so talented late Richey Edwards.

Towards the end of the second set Nina Persson from The Cardigans came on to sing their fantastic single ‘Your Love Is Not Alone’ and from this moment the rest of the show went extremely quick and before you knew it the Manics were laying down the last moments of the set closer and their first ever number one single ‘A Design For Life’.

Before the Manics left the stage James Dean told the crowd how much he still misses Richey Edwards and also explained that the band are not breaking up and they hope to be back on the road touring in two years time, the band left the stage apart from Nicky Wire who stayed to show off his usual rock and roll side smashing up his bass.

Overall I don’t think there could ever be a more perfect Manic Street Preachers gig apart from the obvious having Richey Edwards alive but sadly life is not that perfect, the stage show the band had was fantastic with massive screens showing their videos and various other bits of art, the lighting was also great with a massive array of lighting coming at you all the time, the stage itself was slightly festive with a couple of trees on stage and the Manics themselves mixed things up with two solid sets played in a way that no one could of ever predicted the set list order and the fact they invited Gruff Rhys and Nina Persson down made things that little bit more special.


Review By Trigger

 Manic Street Preachers

James Dean Bradfield
Nicky Wire
Sean Moore

 Band Related Links
Manic Street Preachers MySpace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?