Monday 18 June 2012

The Stone Roses Give One Of The Best Worst Shows Ever

At the end of the eighties The Stone Roses delivered their epic self-titled debut album. It changed the music scene forever and left its marks in music history. They were one of the bands to ignite Madchester back in the days. The four piece tried to follow up on that, but their second album couldn't come close to its classic predecessor, things go ugly and they vanish. Until last year when a reunion was announced, one that was highly anticipated by me.

The Stone Roses at Heineken Music Hall, June 12 2012

The band have always been precarious and have played notoriously bad shows in the past. Amsterdam is only the second reunion show of the tour, that will have its climax in the UK later this summer. Over half of the venue is filled with UK fans, where the band are still huge. There's no support act and the fans are eagerly awaiting the band. They appear on stage and open up with 'I Wanna Be Adored'. Right from the start people are excited and sing along with every word.

Singer Ian Brown is holding two jingle sticks and will do so for the rest of the concert. Since they are not even near a mic, they can't be heard, but he probably feels comfortable with them. He still is the likeable rascal he's always been, pointing at people in the crowd, waving and now and then throwing smiles around. But as the show progresses it's clear that his voice isn't great and he's singing off-key most of the time. Drummer Reni seems unhappy throughout the show, looking for a roady several times. The harmonies he's singing with Brown are sometimes just painful to the ears.

Bass player Mani is enjoying the hell out of himself, playing with a big smile on his face for most of the gig. Guitar player John Squire is looking a bit indifferent, while playing his unmistakable guitar parts. The band doesn't sound too tight and actually sounds weak at times. However the combination Mani and Squire still is a good one. Their seventies style grooves still have their great moments and sometimes are showing some of the sparkle of the past. On top of that the band's epic songs are just too good. When they play 'Waterfall' or 'She Bangs The Drums' it all seems to come together again. 'Fool's Gold' even sounds better than ever with a great jam and Squire in the spotlight.

The later it gets and the more beers are downed the more cheerful the crowd gets. Mates are standing shoulder to shoulder, singing along with their childhood tunes. The atmosphere is just great. It makes up for the weak performance and turns the night into a success. At the end the lights are turned off, the band leaves...and doesn't come back. No 10 minute 'I Am The Resurrection'. Only Brown is appearing back on stage to tell us that "The drummer's gone home" and "The drummer's a cunt!". Did we witness a The Stone Roses meltdown this early in the tour? Who can tell, but they can never take this one away from us. No band can play so bad and still cry victory as The Stone Roses.

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1. I Wanna Be Adored
2. Sally Cinnamon
3. Mersey Paradise
4. (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister
5. Where Angels Play
6. Shoot You Down
7. Fools Gold
8. Tightrope
9. Ten Storey Love Song
10. Waterfall
11. Don't Stop
12. This Is the One
13. She Bangs The Drums
14. Made Of Stone
15. Love Spreads

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