Concert stories /// Placebo/The Mirror Trap @ Gorky Park, Moscow /// 04.07.2015

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There are bands whose performances you never get tired of seeing and Placebo are among the mighty. The way they connect with their audiences at live shows is very special and thus turns their gigs into something more than just another concert. Placebo’s first ever performance in Moscow took place at Gorky Park’s Green Theatre in 2001. That show became the beginning of a long-time passionate relationship between Moscow audience and the band who, no doubt, are among the most welcome guests in the capital. On July, 4 2015 Placebo returned to Gorky Park to make it another fabulous night to remember.

Scottish marvel The Mirror Trap got the ball rolling and what a start it was! Oozing charisma and energy, the five-piece set the venue on fire with the opener ‘American Dreams’ and never let it go till the end of their performance. Having based the 13-track set around their IMG_5469sophomore album ‘Stay Young’ and the latest EP ‘Silent Men’ The Mirror Trap added a great deal of new, yet unreleased, massive-sounding tunes giving a delicious taste of music to come. The songs choice showed the band in all of their sonic diversity: ‘Little Ease’ splashed out its relentless power on the audience, ‘Killing Time’ wove in reflective moods while ‘Future Lionheart’ added a great dose of rebellious, rock ‘n’ roll spirit. A new track ‘Piranhas’, which has already turned into a firm fan favourite, sounded menacing, intense, dark and the haunting ‘Bell Street’ touched everything with a shade of sadness. Every song was performed at the top with The Mirror Trap giving their absolute all to the show. The chemistry between the musicians, who are extremely comfortable onstage with each other and their audience, made the atmosphere simply electric. One could feel the heat radiating from their performance and fuelled by the passion that is at the heart of The Mirror Trap’s art. The band simply lost themselves in their music and invited everyone to join them on this spectacular journey. It was indeed a striking set with a sharp tint of boldness from the musicians without a single trait of pretence in them, but with authenticity of real talents who were born to make music. We love you, The Mirror Trap! You make us feel better!

It was almost dark when the stage was taken by Placebo. For a lot of long-time fans, me included, seeing them live has turned into something reminiscent of meeting good old friends, so when the first chords of ‘B3’ cut through the night air, the music drowned in a loud cheer of the audience IMG_5549welcoming the band back to Moscow. Placebo ruled it like kings that night, but did so without pathos, with sincerity and open hearts. They don’t need to try hard to impress anymore – these musicians just have a great time playing their music and that’s how they effortlessly charm. They united the big crowd of the Green Theatre and turned the show into an intimate, warm affair. Every song was a favourite, every line – familiar down to every chord. The night exploded with the likes of ‘The Bitter End’, ‘Special K’, ‘Every You Every Me’, ‘Too Many Friends’, ‘For What It’s Worth’, ‘Special Needs’, and ‘Post Blue’. Everyone grew brooding and nostalgic to ‘A Million Little Pieces’, felt the menace of ‘Space Monkey’ and rocked their hearts out to ‘Infra-Red’. While Brian Molko is not the most talkative frontman, he says a lot more with his music and feelings he puts into performing. All these songs obviously held a lot of personal meaning for the people present: some stood gazing at the stage lost in their own thoughts, some danced till they dropped IMG_5543and others just savoured every moment of the show. No matter how people reacted, the band’s honesty and warmth left no one indifferent. When three times during the show the applause roared for several minutes without stop, this way of saying «Thank you» was among the most impressive moments of the night: the exchange between the band and their audience meant more than thousands of words. One doesn’t have to ramble on for this kind of response… 

Summer is universally known as a good season for open air shows which sharpen the perception of music. On that hot July day Moscow audience witnessed unforgettable performances from two very different musically, but similarly authentic bands and there couldn’t be a better soundtrack for the mid summer night.

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