Seminal U.K. rock band the Stone Roses made a triumphant start to their comeback tour, playing a hit-filled, ninety-minute set at Barcelona's intimate Razzmatazz venue.
The rapturously-received gig was the first date in the Manchester-formed band's eagerly-anticipated 2012 world tour, which includes three shows at Manchester's Heaton Park, June 29 - July 1. The U.K. shows, which are promoted by Manchester-based SJM, sold out in just over an hour, with fans snapping up all 220,000 tickets.
Having disbanded in 1996, following the departure of founder member John Squire, and a disastrous subsequent headline set at that year's Reading festival, last month saw all four original members of the Stone Roses - singer Ian Brown, guitarist Squire, drummer Alan 'Reni' Wren and bassist Gary 'Mani' Mounfield - share a stage together for the first time since 1990, when they performed a low-key, free 60-minute show at Warrington Parr Hall on May 23, which had been announced only hours earlier via the band's official website.
Tonight's Barcelona concert (June 8) marked the official start of the group's highly lucrative 27-date world tour, with a highly vocal and largely British crowd - which included Oasis members Liam Gallagher and Gem Archer - filling the approximately 2,500-capacity venue. They were not to be disappointed.
Beginning with a stirring rendition of the band's eponymous debut album opener "I Wanna Be Adored," the on form four-piece delivered a 14-song set, spanning its two studio albums, 1989's "The Stone Roses" and 1994's "Second Coming." Among the highlights was a rare live outing of 1989 single "Fools Gold," which culminated in an epic instrumental jam; a driving, distortion-drenched rendition of "Love Spreads" (complete with Ian Brown rap), and resplendent versions of fan favorites "Waterfall," "Mersey Paradise," "She Bangs The Drums" and "Made of Stone."
The often-derided vocals of singer Ian Brown, while still far from angelic, were thankfully a vast improvement on the tuneless croak that characterized the band's final days in the late 1990s. In line with the band's May 23 Warrington show, the group played no new material.
The evening ended with a ten-minute encore of "I Am The Resurrection" before all four members joined each other arm-in-arm at the front of stage, to rapturous applause. The Stone Roses is due to play a second show at Barcelona's Razzmatazz venue tomorrow night (June 9), before calling at Amsterdam's Heineken Music Hall (June 12) and Sweden's Hulstfred Festival (June 14).
The band will also appear at Denmark's NorthSide Festival (June 16), Germany's Hurricane Festival (June 22), Spain's Benicassim Festival (July 14) and Japan's Fuji Rock festival (July 27) before wrapping the tour at Belfast's Vital festival on Aug. 22.
Set List for June 8:
I Wanna Be Adored
Ten Story Love Song
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
She Bangs The Drums
Made of Stone
This is the One
I Am The Resurrection