I hurt my foot right before the concert and the pain that I felt throughout the show became a litmus test for my enjoyment. When I forgot all about my aches, I knew I was having a great, immersive time. Thankfully, I forgot about it often. The night began with Mark Fernythough whom I just missed and continued with Teleman, a band consisting of three former Pete and the Pirates members. The preppy trio performed songs that were reminiscent of the Beach Boys and The Shins’ upbeat vocals blended with more complex and dark musical arrangements. They were enjoyable and did not outstay their welcome.
After waiting the requisite half hour, the band we all came to see arrived, sans lead singer Brett Anderson. Anderson waited for a minute or two before getting up on stage, like the true showman that he is. With his deliberate strut and energetic stage presence he was captivating to watch from beginning to end. Suede reunited in 2010 with five former members, and though the tight musicianship of the band cannot be contested, it was Anderson who basked in the spotlight, both literally and figuratively. The show started off slowly with some songs from their new album Bloodsports, which were perfectly listenable but not the main reason the crowd was there. The fourth song that was sung, ‘Trash’, was where the show really got into gear and the crowd-pleasing hits filled with loud guitars and infectious choruses just kept coming, with seemingly no break in-between. Two distinct highlights were ‘Can’t Get Enough’ and the night’s last song, ‘Beautiful Ones’, which had the crowd (who were admittedly sluggish at times) going wild.
Brett Anderson has not lost his charisma and magnetism in his 24-year career, still equipped with a type of theatricality that does not come off the slightest bit disingenuous. After a show of this kind it is plain to see why he was (and, for some, still is) considered a Britpop god.
Review by Eli Lewy