Placebo : 9:30 Club

As the sold-out crowd anxiously waited for British alt-rockers, Placebo, to take the stage, a vintage looking video projection of lead singer Brian Molko’s face suddenly appeared, asking the crowd to put away their phones. He/it then said, “Please be here and now in the present and enjoy the moment because this exact moment will never ever happen again. Our purpose is to create communion and transcendence. Please help us on our mission.”

This message struck a chord for me. Considering what our world has been like since Covid, cherishing moments and being present just feels more significant. It also reminded me of what it was like to go to a live show without a camera/phone, just listening and immersing yourself in the music. It was a long time ago, but I vaguely recall it now.   

Placebo duo, Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal, have always had a unique way of tapping into the human condition, pushing boundaries, and going against the grain so, the no-phone request kinda made sense. And the show was transcendent. Considering this was the band’s first North American tour in about nine years, it was worth the wait as their setlist spanned decades.  

They opened with “Forever Chemicals” from their latest release, “Never Let Me Go”, and then played another 20+ songs, about half of which were from the new album. At one point, Molko announced that it was Placebo Day, May 2nd, which brought the crowd to a roar. (This is from a lyric in the song, “Bitter End.”) He promised that “the band wouldn’t sound like shit tonight,” then smiled and said that he couldn’t make any promises for tomorrow’s show.  

Since we’re feeling so anesthetized
In our comfort zone
Reminds me of the second time
That I followed you home
We’re running out of alibis
On the second of May
Reminds me of the summertime
On this winter’s day

“The Bitter End”

Closing out Night 1 of their two shows at the 9:30 Club, they wrapped up with a powerful three-song encore that included “Fix Yourself” and two of my favorite cover songs: “Shout” (Tears for Fears) and a wild rendition of “Running Up That Hill” (Kate Bush) Definitely catch them live if you can. There are still a few shows left in the US and then the tour heads back to the UK. https://www.placeboworld.co.uk


  • Forever Chemicals
  • Beautiful James
  • Scene Of The Crime
  • Hugz
  • Happy Birthday In The Sky
  • Bionic
  • Twin Demons
  • Surrounded By Spies
  • Chemtrails
  • Sad White Reggae
  • Try Better Next Time
  • Too Many Friends
  • Went Missing
  • For What It’s Worth
  • Slave To The Wage
  • Song To Say Goodbye
  • Come Undone
  • The Bitter End
  • Infra-Red


  • Shout (Tears For Fears)
  • Fix Yourself
  • Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Kate Bush
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