Brit-Pop icons Suede take their Blue Hour tour to Leeds O2 Academy. Blending their greatest hits, modern releases and some lesser seen gems, the show wonderfully highlighted the bands strength within the modern musical landscape.
As the set opened, the tone for the night was firmly established. The dark-brooding tones of As One filled the venue, highlighting wonderfully the darker nature of latest album ‘The Blue Hour’, the brooding nature of the piano-driven sound created an atmosphere primed to be cut by the tracks soaring guitar riffs. The cacophony paved the way for track ‘Wastelands’, with this Anderson’s talent as both a vocalist and front-man truly came to the fore-front. Inciting the crowd to sing-along with his soaring vocals and sleek movement across the stage, one would be forgiven for forgetting this is a band that has been firmly established for nearly 30 years.
This is not to state that Suede are a band afraid of revisiting past hits. This was optimised within the early stages of the show, which the continuous punches of We Are The Pigs, So Young and Metal Micky. All of which incited the crowd into frenzy. Each member of the audience screaming along with a sweat drenched Anderson, who entertained those at the barrier inviting them to sing along, only to return to the stage with a rip in his skin-clinging wet shirt. The bands experience and self-awareness was perhaps best encapsulated within Anderson’s quip of, “Wednesday’s the most exciting night of the week”. The intensity of the night was furthered by Anderson’s post-track antics. Swinging the microphone around his head with such velocity
The set also featured its fair share of tender moments. Tracks such as The Wild Ones and Everything Will Flow held the audience in the palm of their hand whilst creating an intimate and heart-touching environment. The set roared into life with the double-punch of Trash and Animal Nitrate. As the crowed bounced and sung-every note, the strength of the bands back catalogue became obvious to see. Even to Anderson who stood center-stage, lapping up the applause from the devoted fans.
Perhaps the highlight of the night was Anderson’s solo-performance of Daddy’s Speeding, its first outing since 2003. An illuminated Anderson sat on the stage monitor, solely him and a guitar. All in attendance remained transfixed upon Anderson, as his voice soared from note to note, without ever missing a beat, a factor made more impressive by the fact that he had previously placed down the microphone.
The initial portion of the set drew to a close with track Flytipping. The soaring, almost euphoric nature of the track, shining light upon the strengths Suede’s latest release, The Blue Hour. Demonstrating their growth as artists and their time-safe ability to craft wonderfully uniting songs.
The two track encore of the show consisted of age-old hit Beautiful Ones and the wonderfully poignant Life Is Beautiful received the loudest crowd reaction of the night, even acknowledged by Anderson who quipped, “If you don’t know the lyrics what are you doing?” about the former. As the final noted died, Suede disappeared, leaving only a sweaty, rapturous crowd.
Suede undoubtedly demonstrated their strengths and relevancy with todays drastically changing modern climate. Blending a mix of their older hits and more modern releases, it created a cohesion in an almost anthemic way. It seems they have not lost a step or any ounce of intensity in their 30 years in the business, and still know how to entertain the adorning masses. They are still the beautiful ones.