Concert Review: Manic Street Preachers, The Phoenix, Oct 4, 2009


Toronto – What a show. What a freaking awesome show. It’s been ten years waiting for Toronto fans of the Manic Street Preachers, but after the show they put on Sunday night, it was certainly worth the wait. First and foremost, here is the set list:

Motorcycle Emptiness
No Surface All Feeling
Peeled Apples
Your Love Alone
La Tristessa
Jackie Collins Existential
Let Robeson Sing
Marlon J.D.
From Despair to Where
If You Tolerate This..
This Is Yesterday (Acoustic)
The Everlasting (Acoustic)
Send Away The Tigers
You Stole The Sun
Motown Junk
Me And Stephen Hawking
Little Baby Nothing
You Love Us
Design For Life

Okay, so there was no “Everything Must Go”, “Kevin Carter”, “Australia” or “Masses Against the Classes”, but every show will have its exclusions and inclusions. There’s like 20 years of material – deal with it. Lets just focus on the show.

The Phoenix was not even packed! That’s pure absurdity consider this place would probably fill up for some band like The Bravery or something. More room for the fans I guess. The people who were there were 1 of 2 groups – people who were lifelong fans of MSP and knew lyrics to practically every song (at least till Know Your Enemy) and people who were dragged there by former group of people. It was mostly an older crowd, and I am sad to say I am probably more lumped in with the “older crowd” nowadays then the “young-uns”.

As for the show itself, what can you say? they gave it their all and seem fully appreciative of the support the crowd gave them. The crowd was nuts for every song, specially the older ones. The Manics were always for the people, their music has always taken a point of view from the common man, no matter how many obscure literal references each song was. There’s definitely some sort of unifying feeling you get when you are yelling out lyrics “If you tolerate this..then your children will be next” or singing along to an acoustic version of “The Everlasting”.

Opening with Motorcycle Emptiness was completely great and set the tone for the show. It was basically Manics telling the crowd “Don’t worry, we are here to take care of you.” The crowd instantly knew that (most of) their favorites will be played through out the night. The rest of the 100 minute show was largely a singalong for the fans. Material off every album except Lifeblood was covered, although “Everything Must Go” probably should have gotten a few more numbers in. Anyways, despite looking a bit like a cooler Jimmy Kimmel, James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire both rocked it hard and really, they had a pretty easy job considering how much the crowd lapped everything up. Set closer “A Design for Life” was epic, with JDB standing out onto a speaker near the corner and letting the crowd sing most of the chorus.

Easily my favorite show of the year, and even the casual observer would have to be impressed with the workmanship and anthemic songs of the Manic Street Preachers. Please come back soon, I don’t want to be near 40 when I see you again.

This show gets 10/5 stars.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

4 Responses to Concert Review: Manic Street Preachers, The Phoenix, Oct 4, 2009

  1. SaraLSpring

    I was a fan about 10 years ago, but due to the limited access to new releases (imports were expensive and I hadn’t yet discovered what the internet can offer) my passion for the Manics fell by the wayside. Recently, rediscovering them with a new album I went back to all of my favourites from highschool, wondering how a band like this escaped mainstream in Canada.
    I drove 5 hours from Ottawa to the Pheonix concert hall wondering if my expectation would be met. I walked back to my car absolutely elated. A buzz carried me back along the 401 singing the songs they graced me with, still with a slight tear in my eye.
    Nothing can compare to the sheer greatness of the Manic Street Preachers. Nothing will compare to the experience of a geniune crowd and truly humble artists singing songs that will carry me into my middle age.
    I won’t forget again.

  2. Mark

    Yeah, I definitely fall into category 2 of being dragged by groupies but I thoroughly enjoyed the energy of this show and how much the crowd was into it. I just wish I knew their material better and could sing along.

  3. kat

    The fact that it wasn’t packed is ridiculous. I bought tickets night of on Craigslist for $15 each – that’s a crime!! Good to see them though for the first time in just over 10 years!

  4. Pingback: Concerts: A year in review, 2009 | The Panic Manual

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