Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Stone Roses @ Glasgow Green, 15th June

Every reformed act must dance with their past one way or another, but today The Stone Roses rekindle history in a very specific way, revisiting the scene of a landmark 1990 gig that’s since been consecrated by fans as one of their finest moments. The 50,000 tickets sold out fast, and all roads leading to the gates of the Green are crowded with bucket hats and lined with blues and twos, treating the already ailing and nicking misbehavers. But while outside things are uncomfortably lairy, inside the arena the atmosphere is more welcoming (albeit burdened with an abundance of bad apples), with an air of devotional joy mingling with the fast food aromas and pot smoke.

A three-strong support bill stokes anticipation, with The View and Jake Bugg laying the groundwork and Primal Scream poised to reap the rewards. But rather than capitalise on the marked hunger for older favourites, the Primals proudly allot half their slot to More Light, and consequently garner only a fraction of the sing-alongs they’re warranted. When the hits arrive, though, the impact is high, with Swastika Eyes instigating much shape-throwing and Rocks seeing many a-pint lofted skywards.

Then – a between-band downpour and a solo piper intro later – the Roses walk out to get reacquainted with a city Mani later labels “the second best in the world.” I Wanna Be Adored occupies its standard vanguard position, Brown pacing his territory and all-but buried by the sea of disciples singing every word. Elephant Stone follows (a welcome appearance, having only recently been reintroduced to their set), while early outings for Ten Storey Love Song and Sally Cinnamon confirm they aren’t about to play hard to get with the tent-pole tracks.

Everyone gets a chance to shine: Fools Gold sees Squire indulge in some premiere fretwork; Mani supplies Made of Stone with its anthemic clout; Reni delivers a blistering drum solo without instigating a bar-wards exodus; and Ian… Well, true to form his vocals aren’t exactly on point, but his cocksure demeanour is present and correct – which for a frontman of his styling is rather more vital than tonal accuracy anyway.

Admittedly, it’s hard to shake the feeling that, at its core, this is hawked nostalgia and little more; a victory lap for the partisans rather than a new chapter. But with I Am the Resurrection hoisting spirits higher and higher, the misgiving pales: tonight is ‘crowd-pleasing’ epitomised, and aloofness is not an option.

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