Pop Break Live: Placebo 2023 North America Tour with Deep Valley and Cold Cave at Franklin Music Hall on April 29, 2023
Placebo, one of the best alternative rock bands to come out of the UK, played the Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia on 4/29. This trendsetting band emerged in the ’90s with a cutting edge sound and has consistently been putting out great music over the last few decades. They are touring in support of their first album in nearly 10 years. This critically acclaimed album, Never Let Me Go, is the band’s 8th album and it’s highest charting to date.
Knowing it was also their first North American Tour in almost ten years, there was no doubt this highly anticipated tour would have the Philly crowd fired up. To be honest, that was an understatement.
Placebo (Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal) were met with screams the minute they appeared on stage. Both looked unbelievably fit, Brian is 50 now and Stefan is right behind him. Molko had a cool new look with his long hair and thin ’70s mustache. There were many musicians in their backing band, some were multi-instrumentalists. The stage setting for the night was some smoke and a beautiful array of ever changing colors throughout their set. They started the night off with “Forever Chemicals.” The set was a nice mix of new and old songs.
They played at least 10 songs of their new album. That doesn’t always fair well at shows as some of the fans want to hear their more popular hits, but this Philly crowd did not seem to mind at all. They knew the words and sang along. Some of the highlights from this show were on their newest work that included “Twin Demons” and “Surrounded by Spies,” played back to back. The band was unreal on the latter and the crowd really responded. Another stand out from Never Let Me Go was “Sad White Reggae.”
It was such a great appreciative crowd. They screamed on the opening chords to “Too Many Friends” and on the intense stunner “Song To Say Goodbye”. There were hands in the air on “For What It’s Worth.” They played big fan favorite “The Bitter End,” which 20 years later is still one of the best videos ever made. They also played older stuff like “Bionic” and “Slave To The Wage.” They encored with “Fix Yourself” and two covers, the Tears for Fears song “Shout” and the Kate Bush classic “Running Up That Hill”( A Deal With God).
It was such a special performance. Placebo and all the incredible musicians on stage really gave us a sound you’d expect from a big stadium show yet seen in such an intimate space. It was a great night for their fans. Hoping it’s not another ten years to come visit Philly again!