Live - Placebo Follows Ambulance To Sold-Out Metro Show





Ambulance are a fairly new signing
to TVT records. They dropped their debut EP
last month and are making some noise at
commercial specialty radio this week. They
are, like 84.25% of new signings these days,
from New York City and just might be the next
big thingÖ or '03 artist to watchÖ or, uh,
buzz-worthy. Get the idea? Wednesday night,
I found out what they were all
about.


After encountering the always-pleasant and
cheery girl who handles the guest list at the
Metro, I walked up two flights of stairs and
found myself a nice little spot on the balcony
just to the left of the stage. Because of a fairly
large line out front, I missed the band's first
tune, but they had plenty more in store. As
expected, the band rolled through most of
their debut EP, showing flashes of brilliance
along the way. Playing for a packed house
that was entirely there to see Placebo
(the band's had virtually no airplay in
Chicago save for a spin on Q101's TBA
last Sunday), frontman Marcus
Congleton seemed not to notice. He was
the center of attention and was clearly the
most animated performer of the bunch. The
band didn't look like the hipster, indie-rock,
NYC band I was expecting. Instead, they
looked like your average joe. No uber-cool
clothes. No vintage T-shirts or $200 "I haven't
showered in a week" haircuts either. They did,
however, pay homage to NYC's finest with a
cover of the Velvet Underground's
"Ocean."

When Ambulance played, the songs
sounded stellar and this band does in fact,
have the potential to be great. There is one
major area that needs improvement though.
Between every song, literally, their would be
dead silence (or the hum of the amps) as
Marcus tuned his guitar. The band
would end a song with an amazing climax,
have me (and the rest of the crowd) totally
focused and attentive, then just stop
completely. At times it seemed like we were
watching them rehearse. They need to work
out some segues. I'll say it again though,
these guys have some serious potential and a
bunch of great songs. Hit up TVT for a copy
of the EP.

Where Ambulance is a young,
relatively inexperienced live band,
Placebo are experienced veterans.
They took the stage to a wild roar from the
sold-out crowd. Dressed in all black,
Brian Molko and Stefan
Olsdal came out with guitars blazing like
demons from the rock & roll underworld. A
high-energy instrumental jam, "Bulletproof
Cupid," complete with rock jumps, filled the
first five minutes or so of their set.
Molko and Olsdal were the
focus of attention - both out front and
interacting with each other continuously.
Much of Placebo's new album,
Sleeping With Ghosts, was featured
throughout the evening and although it was
released just a few months ago, the majority
of fans were singing along like every song was
their favorite. The band's fan base stretched
from black-clad, body-pierced kids to older,
polo shirt and khaki-wearing yuppies - quite
interesting.

Placebo were incredibly tight.
Olsdal switched from bass to guitar
every few songs and wielded each like they
were an extension of his body (he even
"stroked" them from time to time, if you get
my drift). Molko's voice was, as
expected, amazing. He sounded better than
ever. Take a look at some of the action
below.

Ambulance

Placebo






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Live - Placebo Follows Ambulance To Sold-Out Metro Show