The Stone Roses Gig Review

Venue: Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Date: Thursday, 5th July 2012.

Feeling like an important part of musical history is unfolding right in front of you is surreal, that moment when you realise that the show you’re at is going to be remembered for a long time. As the strobe lights shone out into the audience while backdrops of fluorescent lemons complemented the stage it seemed a far cry from the band who split up in the 90s, sans John Squire and Reni, after their now infamous set at Reading ’96.

The setlist featured an equal mix of songs from their eponymous debut and ‘Second Coming’ , though the loudest cheers were saved for crowd-pleasers ‘Sally Cinnamon’, ‘This is the One’ and ‘She Bangs the Drums’.

Amid all the rumours surrounding the band after Reni’s walking out during a gig in Amsterdam the Roses managed to prove everyone wrong. It was evident that they enjoyed every moment on stage as part of one tight unit.

Most memorably the band launched into ‘Don’t Stop’, while it definitely wasn’t the best song of the night the fact that Ian Brown was willing to sing a song that’s ‘Waterfall’ in reverse was enough to gain massive amounts of respect.

The most sublime moments were during the instrumentals which followed certain songs, in particular for closer ‘I am the Resurrection.’ The instrumentals were peppered with moments where the band gelled together perfectly, where if Reni hadn’t been drumming, if Mani hadn’t been playing bass and Squire wasn’t playing guitar then it would’ve been incomplete.

Squire effortlessly flitted through flawless riffs before making the Hendrix-like move of dragging the neck of his guitar across the amps, adding to the already pumped atmosphere. The Stone Roses proved that they’re still important, that even after all of the doubts after a series of disastrous shows in the 90s they really can play live.

As the show drew to a close, and the last few chords of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ rang out, Ian Brown draped the tri-colour around Squire’s shoulders, and as their farewell the band hugged each other and joined hands. It’s very easy to be cynical about it, but the affection they showed each other seemed genuine and their live performances now are probably the best that they’ve ever been.

Even after navigating your way through the mud bath following signs for an imaginary exit you could still hear groups of people chanting Stone Roses songs. This is a show that won’t be easily forgotten, and unlike Reading, it’ll be for all the right reasons.


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