MANIC STREET PREACHERS, SWEET AND SOUR

Recovered from a massive hangover, and digesting the show Manic Street Preachers offered last night in Barcelona, I am in the mood for talking a bit about the experience.

The International Treasures tour was confirmed a couple of months ago, being Barcelona the chosen city in Spain for the performance.

Some months ago I told you how I got acquainted with the band thanks to my English teacher at high school, thus Manic Street Preachers are a band quite attached to my life, and each album brings different memories back.

As the date of the show was getting closer, I was getting more and more excited, listening to the 7 albums I have intensely.

Although I had seen an earlier show setlist, I always try to avoid them before the shows, because I believe in the magic of the element of surprise. You can predict many songs, but those unexpected which blow your mind? Aaah! What a feeling! I can go crazy sometimes!

The show was scheduled to start at 9.30PM, thus I joined my friend Eloy for a couple of warming up beers, and we spent a great time talking about stories related to rock, shows and life in general.

James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, and Sean Moore, jumped onto stage in British punctuality, going for Motorcycle Emptiness and Your Love Alone Is Not Enough as the starters. The thought of me crying of happiness crossed my mind, thinking I was about to witness one of these unforgettable shows I’d include in my top 10, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

The selection of songs was fantastic, however the order didn’t enhance their intensity. That, and again the low general volume, which in my ignorance I’ve come to the conclusion that has to do with all the samples and recorded orchestra and keyboard arrangements, didn’t catch my attention 100%, nor transmit me a landslide of emotions by all means.

Very remarkable the super cold attitude and response from the audience. I’m noticing the lack of passion trend ruling in shows here in Spain lately. It is very sad, to be honest. We complain about many bands omitting this country in their tours, and promoters and business aside, this absence of warmness towards the  artists, must be another discouraging element enough as to influence on decisions.

The band and especially Bradfield, didn’t work hard on establishing boundaries with the audience either, thus this typical artist-public complicity didn’t exist. Only with Tsunami I could feel people quivering. A shame, really.

The show was a good one, just focusing on the stuff Manic Street Preachers delivered, but last night was a good example of the need of an added value, apart from a good setlist and a solid performance. Emotion, excitement, vibe… these are compulsory elements required to create an atmosphere, a momentum.

As my mind was clearing and the influence of alcohol and euphoria vanished, I’ve reached the conclusion that what I saw was sweet and sour, very pleasant sometimes, but my expectations not completely fulfilled.

Here’s the setlist available on setlist.fm

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