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By LAWRENCE MANN
The Hollywood Palladium is known for many things: legendary artists, Art Deco and muddy sound. Some bands transcend the sound issues, such as Bauhaus, Jane’s Addiction and Fiona Apple. Others get lost in the mix. Two seminal U.K. bands, the London Suede and Manic Street Preachers, on Thursday leaned closer to the latter.
The bands, co-headlining a U.S. tour, were greeted by ravenous fans eager to revisit their respective heydays as well hear their recent work. Suede (as they are known outside the U.S.) won Britain’s Mercury Prize, the NME Awards and the Q Awards in the ’90s (later winning the latter’s Inspiration and Icon Awards in the early-to-mid Aughts); and the Manics have won multiple Brit, Q and NME Awards, as well, throughout the ’90s and Aughts (including the latter’s “Godlike Genius Award” in 2008). Both bands have also just released brand new albums: Suede’s ninth album, “Autofiction,” and Manics’ 14th full-length, “The Ultra Vivid Lament” (released late last year). Neither had played Southern California in a while: Suede last visited for Coachella in 2011; the Manics last hit the States in 2015.
Wales’ Manic Street Preachers have a mysterious past with their former guitarist and co-songwriter, Richey Edwards, seemingly vanished from the face of the earth in 1995. Founding members James Dean Bradfield (lead on vocals and guitar), Nickey Wire (bassist, lyricist) and Sean Moore (drummer) were bolstered formidably by longtime touring member Wayne Murray in his stead. Opening the night on Thursday, they played 15 guitar-heavy, pop-savvy songs drawn from eight of their albums, including their 1992 debut, “Stay Beautiful,” and their award-winning ’98 release, “This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.” Their set included two covers, Johnny Mandel’s “Suicide Is Painless” (or “Song from M*A*S*H”) and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” And they dedicated the lead track, “Slash ‘n’ Burn,” off their debut album, “Generation Terrorists,” to Edwards, with Wire recounting first playing the Whiskey a Go Go with him 30 years ago to a crowd of 16 people, “We did great things. This one’s for you, boyo.”
London, England’s Suede then took the stage in front of a full and excited crowd. They opened, appropriately, with “This Hollywood Life.” Twirling his microphone in the air like Roger Daltrey, frontman Brett Anderson spent a good deal of time leaning over the barricade engaging with the audience. Richard Oakes filled virtuosic, former lead guitarist Bernard Butler’s boots masterfully with Neil Codling supporting on keyboards and guitar and founding members Mat Osman and Simon Gilbert bolstering all on bass and drums. By their fourth song, “Animal Nitrate,” their second biggest hit, Anderson was soaked with sweat from head to toe. The band continued this energy throughout their 16-song set, which included three singles from their eponymous breakout debut, four songs from their new album, and five from 1994’s “Dog Man Star,” widely acclaimed as one of the best Britpop albums of all time (including the b-side, “Killing of a Flash Boy,” for the album’s first single, “We are the Pigs”).
Whether hungry for nostalgia or eager to hear something new from longtime favorites, the folks in attendance couldn’t have been happier. Sound, shmound, it was a great night.
Setlist for Suede: This Hollywood Life, Personality Disorder, The Drowners, Animal Nitrate, Trash, It Starts and Ends With You, The 2 of Us, She Still Leads Me On, Shadow Self, We Are the Pigs, Turn Off Your Brain and Yell, Killing of a Flashboy, The Wild Ones (Brett Anderson performing solo acoustic), Can’t Get Enough, Metal Mickey and Beautiful Ones
Setlist for Manic Streets Preachers: Motorcycle Emptiness, Everything Must Go, La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh), Suicide Is Painless (Theme From M*A*S*H, Johnny Mandel cover), Autumnsong, Slash ‘n’ Burn, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, Walk Me to the Bridge, Ocean Spray, Sweet Child o’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses cover), The Everlasting, You Stole the Sun From My Heart, Your Love Alone Is Not Enough, You Love Us and A Design for Life
Photos by Stevo Rood / ARood Photo
Additional contributions by S.Lo