How is it that the British rockers don’t seem as though they’ve been around for 20 years? That’s a question left hanging and unanswered even after the concert ended.

It’s been 5 years since the band last played at our shores and from the turn out last night it was clear that the rockers hailing all the way from London with 20 years of experience under their belt was for the more matured audiences. Nevermind the fact that it was held the same night as A Rocket to the Moon (pop-rock band for the fangirls… and boys), people in their 20’s and 30’s and a handful who flew in from around Asia flooded the area enthusiastically.

A little past 8pm when the lights went down at The Coliseum, a pre-recorded version of ‘Pure Morning’ started to play. The fans were all ready to be blown away. It was clear there isn’t going to be an opening band, with the sound perfectly engineered for minds to be blown, and eardrums to be killed. And as the track faded out, the trio entered the stage in spectacular fashion starting the night with the resounding ‘B3’ in full gear. The twenty-year-old band had so much vigour that they seemed to be in their 20’s, not to mention that Brian had hit 40, and Stefan’s 39. The band isn’t showing any signs of stopping having so much energy reverberating through the crowd. It was the Placebo effect.

As the night progresses with ‘For What It’s Worth’ and then ‘Bionic’ from their self-titled eponymous debut, the crowd raved for more of their older material. After playing two more songs from their upcoming album, the night was still young. ‘Every Me Every You’ has been a staple of the band’s setlist since 1998, and evidently so. It somewhat struck a magic chord being greeted with rapturous response from the crowd which sang along eagerly, begging for more.

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Songs like ‘Meds’ and ‘Special K’ sent the crowd all drained of energy… and voices. The crowd was sent into an emotional high when the band played ‘The Bitter End’ the very last song on the set before the encore. The main highlight was Steve Forrest’s hard drumming which perfectly backed up Brian Molko’s clear vocals and Stefan Olsdal’s guitar riffs. The trio doesn’t disappoint, churning out a more-than polished performance with the lights synchronised with every beat. The fans were in for a treat.

The night was coming to end way too soon. With 4-song encore starting with ‘Teenage Angst’, the crowd’s shouting along in excitement. And for once, it overpowered Brian’s voice. Despite having an older fan base, the odd number of teenage fans had set the record high, they were clearly the ones that gone crazy for a night for Placebo. As the band launched into ‘Running Up the Hill’, giving it a brand new lease of life in the warm and packed environment, despite so, no one was complaining. When the sudden breeze came, it was as though sent by God in approval of Placebo halfway during the song — euphoric.

Placebo isn’t just a mere concert. (Perhaps my only complaint was why didn’t they play 36 Degrees?!) It felt like a chilled out party and the party-goers with drinks in hand were in high spirits, moving along with the fist-pumping beats, cheering for their favourite band putting up a great show. And for that one night Placebo made the night magical, The Coliseum a party and the crowd went home, as the Brits put it, “As happy as Larry “.

Setlist

B3
For What It’s Worth
Bionic
Too Many Friends
Loud Like Love
Twenty Years
Every Me Every You
Purify
Black-Eyed
Bright Lights
Meds
Slave to the Wage
Special K
The Bitter End

Encore
Teenage Angst
Running Up the Hill
Post Blue
Infra-red

All images credited to Sweehuang Teo

To be infected by Steve Forrest’s optimism of life, read on.