NME Awards 2016: Suede at O2 Forum | Live review

Attendees to Suede’s gig at the O2 Forum last night witnessed one of the best shows the band has provided so far.
Given the energy with which Brett Anderson moved on stage, the singer’s nearly infallible vocals and the fact that songs dating back to 1993 such as Metal Mickey sounded still as fresh as when they were released and first performed, it is hard to believe Suede have been around for so long.

Listed among the acts featured in the NME Awards tour, Suede treated long-standing fans as well as new adepts to an epic two-hour show which consisted of both old hits and new material.

It all began with a spectacle which simultaneously delighted the audience’s visual and hearing senses as the band played their latest record Night Thoughts in its entirety, ‘hidden’ behind a see-through screen on which a short film directed by Roger Sargent was projected.

Initial perplexities regarding this entertainment choice soon gave in to the certainty that the show couldn’t have been devised otherwise as this full-on cinematic experience proved to make perfect sense. Such moving images adroitly matched to each of the tracks that constitute Suede’s ‘rock opera’ added more intensity to the songs’ poignant lyrics and infused their touching melodies with stronger emotions.

The concert could have easily ended there, but it would have been unfair to dismiss twenty-plus years worth of tunes altogether in favour of the recently published record that needs promotion. Last night was also the celebration of a long-lasting career and, once all the frills were disposed of, Suede metaphorically and literally revealed themselves for what they truly are – a band capable of reinvention without forgetting their origins and that still have what it takes to please an adoring crowd all the while having fun themselves.

Anderson seemed So Young, jumping around the stage, getting closer to his fans during favourites like Trash until he physically joined them as he sang For the Strangers. Encouraging the audience to listen and “talk about fuckin’ Eastenders later”, Anderson dedicated an acoustic version of High Rising to those who had been following him and the band throughout Europe over the past two weeks.

During the encore, an acoustic rendition of Everything Will Flow, “a good song from a bad album”, sent shivers down the spine.

Closing up with the whole venue accompanying the band to New Generation, Suede confirmed they still have game.

Verdict: •••••

For further information on Suede, visit here.

 

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