Placebo at Margaret Court Arena

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena

We welcomed Placebo to Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena. It has been three years since Placebo has been to Australia on the now sadly missed Soundwave festival.

Only days since Brian Molko and the boys had to cancel their Perth show at the last minute due to sickness, the waiting was over. After walking the streets of Melbourne on a cold wintery afternoon with 90,000 AFL fans, I was happy to be with my people for a night of rock and roll.

A small but hardcore group of Placebo fans had taken their positions on the barrier, which took me back to the first two times I saw Placebo at the Big Day Out and the Palace in St Kilda in early 2000's. A ripping opening set from Deaf Havana proved the English alternative rock band worthy of sharing the same stage as Placebo. Standout tracks "Fever", "Trigger" and "Sing" from their new album “All These Countless Nights” left me wanting to know more about them and hoping for another chance to see them again soon.

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
Deaf Havana's James Veck-Gilodi

After a 30 minute interval, a trip past the merchandise stand and to the bar for a drink or two, the crowd filled the arena floor. The lights dimmed and on the big screen the video clip for "Every You, Every Me" played. The music video was filmed in 1998 but mysteriously, it has never been shown before in public. It was promptly followed by a short documentary celebrating the 20 years of Placebo, as in darkness the band members slowly appear on the stage.

The band launched into "Pure Morning" from the album 'Without You I'm Nothing'. The song that got me into Placebo and after playing "Loud Like Love", Brian Molko spoke to the crowd… “Thanks for coming to our birthday party. I’ve been sick since we got to Australia and thank you to all the doctors who have helped get me back on my feet. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
Brian Molko

The lineup has a few new faces from previous tours but let me confirm that the performance was still dynamite. Accompanying Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal on bass, replacing Fiona Brice after a decade touring with the band, there is Angela Chen on keyboard, theremin, violin and vocals. Two longest standing touring members are Nick Gavrilovic on guitar and Bill Lloyd on bass and keyboard. In 2015, replacing the flamboyant American Steve Forrest on drums, there is Mark Lunn. A former drummer of Colour Of Fire, who supported Placebo way back in 2004.

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
Angela Chen, Nick Gavrilovic and Mark Lunn.

As it’s a birthday party you want everyone to have a good time and with a back catalogue spanning more than 20 years, Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal set about playing songs including "Jesus Son", "Soulmates" from the album "A Place For Us To Dream". They also played "Special Needs" and "Protect Me From What I Want" from their 'Sleeping With Ghosts' album.

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
Stefan Olsdal

The Band took a moment before playing a tribute to their good friend the late David Bowie with "Without You I’m Nothing". It was quickly followed by the pure classic screaming riffs from "Slave To The Wage”, "Special K", "Song To Say Goodbye" and "The Bitter End" finishing the set.

Before the first encore Stefan Olsdal held his rainbow bass high over his head and said "We stand with you in your fight for equality and tolerance, especially with what you are going through right now… I’m gonna say a name, and I want you guys to say ‘Fork You.’ Can you guys do that for me? Margaret Court Fork You!”

Margaret Court fork you!

The encore started with the fitting "Nancy Boy" which flowed into "Infra Red". This was followed by a second encore with an extended intro of "Running Up That Hill" (A Deal With God) the Kate Bush cover. Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal paused before thanking the crowd and left the stage for the final time. As the house lights came on. I joined the mass of beaming Placebo fans on my way home.

Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush cover)

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
Placebo Set List - Margaret Court Arena (8th Sept 2017)
Source: Andrew Roper via Facebook

Saturday 9th September 2017 Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday 11th September 2017 Brisbane Convention Centre
Tuesday 12th September 2017 Newcastle Entertainment Centre
Thursday 14th September 2017 AIS Arena, Canberra

Tickets are available at or

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
Photography by Carbie Warbie
Placebo at Margaret Court Arena

Carbie Warbie's comprehensive photo gallery featuring Placebo and Deaf Havana is currently being featured on our sister Aussie music website, GigBill.

Placebo at Margaret Court Arena
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