Manic Street Preachers, The Point, Dublin, 1st December"John Squire, John Squire, John Squire" was chanted at Ian Brown as he tried to perform in front of thousands of Manics fans. In an obvious attempt to piss off the former Stone Roses lead singer, things started to deteriorate when Brown started waving his bottom at the crowd and at one particular fan in transvestite gear.
While Brown and his band tried almost in vain to continue their setlist, members of the crowd proceeded to throw missiles onto the stage. Brown stood defiant, or should I say did his "monkey dance", when a lit cigarette struck him on the side of the head. This was enough for him to leap into the mosh pit where he proceeded to get up onto the barrier and spit at one of his abusers. Let's hope he had a good aim.
At one point, it looked the monkey man was going to get into the crowd and have some fistycuffs with these so-called tortured souls of the lost generation. A few people would probably have been deserved a slap or two. In all the gigs I have been to, I have never seen a musician take so much abuse from a crowd. It was really sad and showed up some of these "fans" for what they are. Just a bunch of trend slaves who pretend to feel depressed and angst ridden.
Okay, they aren't fans of his music and, if it had of been Paper Lace or Bon Jovi onstage, I would brought a firearm with me, but they showed no respect for a musician who has allowed decent alternative music is remain alive and kicking in the Western World. Ian was eventually allowed to what he does best and knock out his songs, though more missiles rained on stage and halfway through one song, it looked he was going to walk off. All in all, though, it was a good performance, the highlight being Ian Brown "moonwalking" during his rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean'. He continue to taunt the crowd by waving his bum at them.
The band we had come to see made their way onto the stage at around 9.00. James Dean Bradfield was looking quite dapper in the suit from the Kevin Carter video. Nicky Wire looked jaded as he came out in a leopard skin scarf. He neither looked feminine or camp, just old! Sean Moore as ever came out and did what makes him a better musician than Nicky Wire, played his drums without the hollow pomp of dressing up. The Manics burst out of the stalls with a blinding version 'Motorcycle Emptiness' that would make the most cynical music fan jump up and down scream out the chorus. Then James decided to tease the crowd when he was asked to play 'PCP' from "the Holy Bible". He gave a jaded, but humoured, look and said "PCP, you gotta' be kidding" and then launched into the opening chords. As the crowd heaved, he cut it off and laughed, the sadist!
As each single was blasted out, they sounded immaculate. Nicky Wire has come along way and has matured into a solid bass player. He was still able to do his occasional Pete Townshend jumps, while Bradfield lifted his knee up like a Native American dancer and danced with his guitar throughout the solo. One of the highlights of the night was their new version of 'Faster'. Always a crowd-pleaser, this time Bradfield took out an acoustic guitar. As he announced the song, the crowd looked puzzled, with one girl shouting out "What the fuck is this?"
But she needn't have worried; while it was slower, it sounded superb. As the catalogue of singles got smaller, everyone knew it was getting closer to the one song that would unite all fans into one chorus of defiance. Once we saw the guitar Bradfield took out, we knew it was coming and then it here - 'A Design For Life'. All the turbulence and stupidity of the past couple hours melted away under a chorus of "Libraries gave us power, then work came and made us free". It was truly an emotional experience. Everywhere around that you could singing the same lyrics and feeling every moment. And then Mr Moore rapped it up with the drum outro and it was over. No encore because, well, basically The Manic Street Preachers don't like them. So we were left sweating, tired, thirsty and overwhelmed by three men from Wales.