Support: Sweet Jane
This was my first time seeing Suede in years and tonight was the start of a run of three nights at the Olympia Theatre. I seem to be taking up residency myself at the Olympia as it's a venue that I have visited more than any other and luckily it has never gotten dull. The staff are truly welcoming and to see Maureen's Bar with all the pictures on the wall is a must for any concert goer.
Tonight the plan was for Suede to play the entire self titled first album in full, take a break and then come back and play some other songs as well. I must admit that in the build up to the gig I was a little unsure about the 'playing our classic albums in full' thing. A lot of bands are doing this at present and some of the so called 'classic albums' aren't very.....well.....classic. For me however the Suede album is a true great yet I was still unsure about playing full albums this way. Brett Anderson himself has stated that the pace of the gigs wouldn't be that of normal concert as the highs and lows of albums are paced differently to that of concerts.
As the opening strains of So Young echoed around the theatre I actually did feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (yes it's a cliche but also very true). The sound was a little off unfortunately and Brett was obviously not happy. Credit to the sound guys though as the problem was quickly sorted. Next up the band went straight into Animal Nitrate which instantly transported me back to 1993 and the Brit Awards (I remember vividly my Dad watching it with me and being disgusted by the sight of Brett. So due to the album running order that was two of their biggest songs played first. This can go one of two ways, the crowd gets bored or the crowd goes with it. Well tonight the crowd went with it. Every song was greeted like an old friend and the album set really did fly by.
After the full album had been played the band took a quick break before coming back on to play four other songs, including a couple of great B-Sides from that time (for some bands this would not be a good thing but Suede have many, many good flip sides - see the Sci Fi Lullabies collection) and then singles Trash and Beautiful Ones from their Coming Up album.
There was a lot of love in the room tonight for the returning indie band; a band that seemed to kick off the whole Brit Pop era. Its great to have them back if only for a short while. I hope they come back to Ireland for a 'normal' show. Don't get me wrong tonight was a cracking gig but there were plenty of songs I would have liked to have heard and to be honest 68 minutes is not long enough (yes I'm a geek and make sure to 'time' gigs). They had played 4 extra songs for the same gig in London the week before so there were certainly a few disgruntled fans feeling a little short changed. I guess I should really get myself down to the next two nights to make up for it.
As for the 'playing our classic albums in full' thing? Well tonight was great but for other bands there are going to be a few duff songs in amongst the classics. The upshot is it depends on the band and depends on the album. For instance I'm not sure I would want to hear Boyzone sing their debut album in full but any Springsteen or Stones album would be great. You get my drift.
Three last things...and I've said these before.
1) Why go to a gig and spend half the time at the bar? Surely you can go 90 mins (or in this case 68 mins!) without a drink?
2) When the people come back from said bar do not automatically expect to get your place back and be annoyed when I don't necessarily let you back in!
3) Don't sell Programmes that have no relevance to the gigs taking place! Tonight the programmes were from last year's gigs and yes I still bought one!
Ticket: May 24th 2011
Ticket Price: €44.20