Stone Roses: Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam – live review

Stone Roses
Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam
June 12th 2012

We’ve already had one review of The Stone Roses Amsterdam gig (by Fergal Kinney & which you can find here – the photo attached to this piece should also be credited to Fergal) but we’ve just been sent another & knowing your insatiable appetite for all things Stone Roses we thought you wouldn’t mind another review of this gig from a different perspective. Assuming we’re right, read on…

Bucket hats, long hair, acid house and English accents. Tonight, it appears the Heineken Music Hall and Bijlmer area is Amsterdam’s new Little Manchester district. The British invasion of fans (who had probably missed out on Heaton Park tickets) was upon us. My experience of Dutch crowds at gigs is that they are usually pretty static. I was interested to see how this mix would work.

Inside the hall acid house and early techno tracks are playing. Derrick May’s Rhythm is Rhythm ”˜Strings Of Life’ and Lil Louis’ ”˜French Kiss’ don’t appear to mean much to the Dutch half of this audience but there’s already some bucket hat wearing Brits dancing away. They’re here for the party. The DJ weaves through Sex Pistols then a little Ska before The Supremes ”˜Stoned Love’ abruptly starts and the returning foursome appear on stage. Ian Brown asks for the lights to be turned on the audience who show their appreciation before those familiar bass notes of ”˜I Wanna Be Adored’ bring louder cheers. Squire, Mani & Reni combine perfectly and jam their way out. The first of many jams to come.

Prior to the tour there were rumours that Reni couldn’t still do it and replacements were being lined up. No need. Through Sally Cinnamon he is spot on. Brown strolls the stage like this is all too easy (despite repeating the 1st verse, to some boos from a minority of the crowd) and then asks “Are there any scousers in?”, and of course there are, “are you bitter?” he says as they launch into Mersey Paradise, after which he asks if there’s anyone in from Amsterdam which gets a slightly quieter cheer. The loudest comes for “is there anyone from anywhere else?”

Sugar Spun Sister goes down a storm, the crowd are getting lively (those from “anywhere else” are anyway) and then B-side Where Angels Play brings a slight calm across the audience until, bang bang, Squire needs no excuses to give us a bit extra through the outro. All eyes on Squire as Brown saunters over to his beer and takes a sip only to spit out what appears to be a condom that someone in the crowd had accurately thrown into his glass. He throws it back and turns as if to say something but Squire’s already into Shoot You Down.

By now the mix of Amsterdammers and Anywhere-elsers is entertaining. Static people, showing their appreciation through applause between songs are getting bounced off and jumped on by their new long haired friends.

“We’re back!” exclaims Brown as the psychedelic wah-wah of Fools Gold send the crowd up a level. We get at least 10 minutes of Fools Gold and Squire weaves into Day Tripper amongst others as once again he jams through an extended outro. After 10 minutes of ”˜Fools Gold’, ”˜Tightrope’ gives the audience chance to catch their breath and appreciate Brown’s vocals ”“ and they should because for all the stick he gets, he hits all the right notes in what is quite a demanding song to sing. We get a double hit of ”˜The Second Coming’ tracks as ”˜Ten Storey Love Song’ follows before heading back to ”˜Waterfall’ which blends beautifully into ”˜Don’t Stop’.

This Is The One, She Bangs The Drums, Made of Stone and Love Spreads all seem to blend into one. It feels like the spats never happened, like they never stopped playing these songs. They all appear to be enjoying it. Except Reni, who through the last 2 songs clearly has a problem with the drum kit (we only notice form the roadies running on, not through his playing). The set seems to have been put together brilliantly rousing to a finish that leaves everyone cheering for what we know MUST be coming next ”“ the I Am The Resurrection encore!

What did happen next? At the end of Love Spreads Reni walked off hugging John Squire as they both left the stage. The crowd are cheering the performance and asking for more. We’re all waiting. One of the roadies runs on and is clearly trying to fix something on the drum kit. The lights go up ”“ we all think it’s part of the game. Brown comes on and says that the drummers gone home and that’s it. That’s all I heard. Then some kid ran up and sat behind the drum kit before being grabbed and taken off. I think a couple of people thought it was Reni as they started to cheer. ”˜Redemption Song’ put a stop to that as it signaled it was indeed home time.

It wasn’t a great end to the night. The confusion inside spilled outside, I heard people saying the gig was mediocre ”“ when pressed they said it wasn’t but the end had ruined things. Not for me. They were clearly enjoying playing live again, you could see it in the looks & exchanges between them. There was nothing staged about this performance. There was no sign of just doing it for the money. The three tracks from The Second Coming were played with a love that was probably lacking the last time they were heard live. Reni can still drum. Squire can still play. Mani still lives in Mani-world and seems to be having the time of his life. His infectious grin beamed throughout. Ian Brown is still a frontman.

So the encore didn’t happen. But, then it’s just like the Stone Roses to leave us wanting more.

Stone Roses played:

Ӣ I Wanna Be Adored
Ӣ Sally Cinnamon
Ӣ Mersey Paradise
Ӣ Sugar Spun Sister
Ӣ Where Angels Play
Ӣ Shoot You Down
Ӣ Fools Gold
Ӣ Tightrope
Ӣ Ten Storey Love Song
Ӣ Waterfall
”¢ Don’t Stop
Ӣ This is the One
Ӣ She Bangs The Drums
Ӣ Made of Stone
Ӣ Love Spreads

All words by Ged Hawes.


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