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Placebo @ Earth Theatre: For what it's worth...

A really disappointing show in Thessaloniki raises questions about the future of the band ...
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Photos: Costas Koutsos

It was the third time I saw the Placebo on the same tour (Rockwave 2009, Reading festival and Thessaloniki) and hoped it would be the best. Let's take things from the beginning

Who: The Placebo to support the Aviv Geffen
Where: Earth Theatre, Thessaloniki, Greece
Organization: Good
Sound: Pretty good.
People turn-out: 7.000-8.000
Started: at 8:57 PM
We said goodbye: at 9 : 55 PM

  1. Nancy Boy
  2. Ashtray Heart
  3. Battle For The Sun
  4. Soulmates
  5. Kitty Litter
  6. Every You Every Me
  7. Breathe Underwater
  8. The Never-Ending Why
  9. Bright Lights
  10. Teenage Angst
  11. All Apologies ( Nirvana cover)
  12. Song To Say Goodbye
  13. The Bitter End

14. Taste in men


We arrived at the concert at around 8 when Aviv Geffen was playing his (well known by now) set list ... He was at U2 7 days ago, at James , at Rockwave and I'm sure we'll see him at another concert next week and the week after that and the week after that ....

The place was without a doubt, totally unsuitable for such a concert. The Earth Theatre for those who haven't visited it, is a theatre that has been built primarily to accommodate theatrical and artistic performances,
but certainly  not the Placebo. This is because the "arena", ie the space in front of the stage, is extremely small.

BrianMolco The Placebo come on stage a few minutes before 9 in the place have been full and started strongly with Nancy boy. The scenery is identical to that seen last year at Rockwave, with a video wall behind the band. More generally, the set list was pretty good with the return of several old hits of the band (nancy boy, soulmates), but not well known pieces such as infrared, special-K and the Meds (and for what its worth, but will come to that later).

Brian's voice not at its best, people not so warm especially mainly knowing the oldest songs of the band and "battle for the sun" from their last album. In  every you every me for some inexplicable reason, frankly, in the middle of the song Brian Molko stops singing, lets the guitar down and (while the music still plays) shows at someone in the public, for no apparent reason and cause (if one was front-back and saw the incident let us know in the comments what happened). When he continued he had already lost half of the song ...

Placebo " Glad to be back in the land that gave birth to democracy" Brian told us somewhere in the middle of the set list, while he also thanked us after every song. Time was (about) 9:40 when Placebo ended the first part of the concert, leaving us with the screens playing a video and the speakers with music on. After 5 minutes they came back to the familiar sound and played the Taste in men. Somewhere there they all grabbed hands, made a big bow, the drummer threw the sticks to the crowd and the band left!

The crowd looked frozen, WTF? The stage lights faded, the lights of the theatre illuminated the stage and voilá! People waited about 10 minutes, shouting and clapping waiting for the band hopefully would come back to the stage, but in vain. The technicians began to pick up the cables and instruments of the band from the stage and then the world understood that the concert came to an end.To what followed thereafter is described ...

Placebo Screams, insults, bottles (even some rocks) at the stage. The technicians who received 2-3 bottles and at last minute managed to cover for the machinery (no fault of their own of course) were the ones that suffered the rage of people. After half an hour the theatre was partly empty as enough people gathered outside the box office demanding their money back.

Needless to say from our part that the concert was unacceptable. For a band like Placebo, with fifteen years of life in concerts, the appearance was very anti-professional. When there are people who have traveled and have paid 45 euro ticket (in the bankrupted Greece) it is at least provocative and immoral to play music purely for 55 minutes, just 25 minutes more than the support artist, forgetting (?) songs like meds (!) And all this in a country like Greece where the love for this band for over a decade is proved in action.

PlaceboIn conclusion, I would like to make an overall comment on the group. The trend for the last 2 years after the release of their new album, is declining both in terms of commercial success and concert performance. Having seen the band 3 times in this tour it is obvious that something is lacking. Although the new drummer has brought a new air in the group, but overall they seem urgently needing a rest and new ideas for a new album which we hope would include new sounds and not a thousand times played  melodies. And finally, gigs like yesterday's in Thessaloniki, can only spoil the reputation of the band and cause many supporters to be annoyed but also to confirm the increasingly decadence of the group in recent years.

We hope that at least today in Terra Vibe they would be able to play more than an hour ...


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