Placebo@ The Olympia

January 30, 2010

The last time I saw Placebo play the Olympia Theatre back in 2001 the roof caved in. And while it remained intact last night it wasn’t from lack of trying. A band doubled in size and on top of their game they served up a set heavy on tracks from their newest and biggest selling album, Battle For The Sun, with a reworked smattering of tracks from albums two, three and four.

Brass, strings and synths added new polish to songs(Follow The Cops Back Home, Blind) that in their original format may not have made the leap to 2009 so welcomingly and while their was very little audience interaction, the sheer force of the groups persona burst through in their onstage theatrics..

Starting with lead single “For What Its Worth” which found new verve live, they tore through their more recent releases “Ashtray Heart” and “Battle For The Sun” before hitting up the back catalogue for a revved up version of “Soulmates Never Die”.

“Every You and Every Me” was the highlight and tellingly the only track from their first two albums, though closer “Taste in Men” certainly gave it a run for its money. While new tracks “Julian” and “The Never Ending Why” reduced the Olympia to a sweat drenched orgy of moshed appreciation.

They didn’t hit a bum note all evening but it was perhaps the lack of surprises in their set that was the nights undoing. A band renowned for their disdain for their back catalogue I wasn’t shedding salty tears over “Pure Morning” and “Nancy Boys” absence but it would have been amazing if they could have whipped out “Come Home” or “Brick Shithouse”.

And while their sound has expanded to encompass every instrument under the battled for sun it would have been a nice change of pace if they had included more acoustic tracks like “Hang Onto Your IQ” or “Lady Of The Flowers”.

But what was presented was presented without fault and it’s a testament to their on going appeal that the teeny goths who lined up outside the venue from four in the afternoon were joined later that evening by the Mac girls, wide boys and Totally Dublin journalists who were those said teeny goths all those years ago.


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