Centrefolds "Concert review", Aug'15

The MTV - Unplugged concert at 19.08.2015 in London U.K.
Laura Meneghetti in colaboration with Placebo Anyway

The event started later than scheduled and we were kept waiting outside in the cold wind, but, hey, who cares about temperature when you are about to see such a band?!

People invited by the band, Helena Berg and Cody Molko included, got inside first, of course, plus a number of people, mainly from Russia I guessed: maybe the latter belong to a Fan Club or run some specific blog on Placebo. The thing is, they were given special green bracelets allowing them backstage!

After about an hour we got in and were ordered for the hundredth time to turn off all our devices. Once inside, temperature wasn’t any higher: in fact the studio was a freezer. But, again, who cares?!given special green bracelets allowing them backstage!

The audience was asked to sit down behind a group of seats right in front of the stage: these were already taken by the band’s guests. Seats sold by Crowdsurge were on the sides and behind other reserved seats in the central stalls area.

The stage was surrounded by a transparent veil that formed a sort of giant cube. Right before the show started, we were told to shut down phones, tablets and cameras. Again..

All of a sudden, an enchanting music played by a string orchestra (6 elements, I think) invaded the silent hall and the audience experienced a sort of trance. Then, the band came up on stage and they started with Jackie. Can you believe it? Jackie! True fans had tears in their eyes and I personally had to put a hand on my mouth, as it was trying to sing it automatically even if nobody was supposed to. It was so intense. I had the feeling that all members of the audience were tense for the band, a tad more nervous than them: everybody wanted it to be a special once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Brian wore a light make-up: foundation, black eye-pencil and a some grey eye-shadow (at least this was what I could sea from where I was sitting). His clothes were elegant and minimal: black trousers and black shirt. He had his hair trimmed, so it was a bit shorter than the last gig and he looked younger and sweeter: let’s say that the Severus Snape’s look was much less perceivable!
Stefan was impeccable as usual: his dark grey suit made his height and his slim silhouette really charming. He could have been a model! We already know his haircut (a sort of male pixiecut) seen in the previous gigs.

Matt was lightheartedly casual in his white t-shirt, while Fiona-the-busy-bee had a vintage updo that really suited her. Her half-ponytail was a bit backcombed. Very elegant.

Brian looked really relaxed, but I think he had a hurricane in his mind: he had to play, sing, entertain, do all the talking, as Stefan wouldn’t say a single word apart from “Thank you”, and get synchronised with the process of filming, which had been clearly organised before, but had to be rearranged. Nevertheless, he was cheerful and made us laugh more than a couple of times. Post Blue was played with an instrument called the Qanun, but the very moment Stefan pulled two strings Brian went “Ha! It seems the qanun is out of tune!” He sounded so funny!!! You won’t see that in the dvd!

The coolest thing you’ll see on the dvd are the effects. I told you the band played on a stage that looked like a cage of veil. On that veil projectors created images with white lights: squares, stripes, rain drops… It was beautiful to see, but I guess it will be even more enjoyable on the DVD!
Cover moment: Where is my mind. What can I say? They have played it before and every time the emotion is almost overwhelming, but you’ll see: this time the voice is so perfect, so in tune, full, it doesn’t get lost in the open space of festival stage. It’s like it should be. They repeated it twice and they did the same for Jackie, Loud Like Love and the two songs sung with the guest artists. Brian was pretty open about having forgotten a couple of lines in LLL and Where is my mind. I think he was surprised to see how we wouldn’t mind listening to same song as many times as he wanted us to! Before playing “Where is my mind” for the second time he said “You must like the song!”. No! We like the BAND!!!!

Sweetest moments: Brian smiling at his song as he stepped on stage; Cody almost jumping on his chair during LLL.

A little thorn… I have to say it. I don’t mean to criticise the band or the way the event was managed, but the number of people in the audience was very limited and there where people from all over Europe: Italy, France, Eastern Europe, Germany. Well, you know, we bought the tickets, we caught flights, we invested in the event and it has been totally worth it, but I think half an hour of signing wouldn’t have harmed. Some people were admitted to the backstage, especially friends of the staff. I would never beg to be allowed in there nor would I sneak in, but some people with guests’ bracelets couldn’t care less, while the majority of us would have be grateful just for an autograph.