The threat of monsoonal rain could not stop the torrential downpour of die-hard fans rushing riverside to see the third coming of The Stone Roses last Friday night. It has been 17 long years since the pride of Manchester played in these parts. In fact most Rose lovers had lost hope in a band revival after an elongated disharmony amongst the four musicians. But in this crazy world nothing is set in stone. Unfortunate circumstances brought the lads back together and their spark for music has reignited an old desire, an opportunity not to be missed.
On tour with Future Music Entertainment, The Stone Roses announced a series of sideshows across Australia. First stop, Brisbane. The crowd grew extremely anxious. Ian Brown and the boys were almost ten minutes late. It looked to me as if they were having a cheeky warm-up back stage. With all band members now 50 years old, with the exception of young Remi (49 in April), it’s probably wise to stretch up before a big match.
“Alright. Let’s give this a go,” said a modest Ian Brown as they took their places. Wasting no further time they jumped straight into I Wanna be Adored. You could hear the ear-to-ear delight as the crowd sang along to a generational anthem.
Displeased with the sound coming from Mani’s bass guitar, Ian Brown’s ear for perfection forced the band to stop midway through the third song. Brown walked off the side of stage and shared some words with the sound techs. “Sort that bass out,” Ian said candidly – and they listened.
It was a walk down memory lane as The Stone Roses played a list of hit songs from their first (and only) two records: The Stone Roses (1989) and Second Coming (1994). Then it happened. It really, really happened. It was the Madchester guitar warp. In the name of Fools Gold their magic came to life. On stage they transformed in a perfectly formed organism working in audible harmony. The shape was beautiful.
The melody progressed into an extended version of Waterfall. Lead guitarist John Squire showcased his incredible ability to dance up and down the fret board in a psychedelic rock journey into the night. The lighting display followed suit. Hallucinating beams of light flickered on creased faces as the show intensified. This mind-altering experience wouldn’t have been complete without a drop or two of Mother Nature’s finest resource.
The show ended with a genuine heartfelt embrace between Ian Brown and John Squire. There is certainly no love lost. The Stone Roses are booked to headline the mega Coachella Festival in April. After witnessing their first Australian performance in 17 years, I am confident in saying that this is the one band not to be missed on their 2013 world tour. If you kids out there don’t know who the hell The Stone Roses are, you should try this new thing called ‘Google’. It could change your life.