It’s been 4 years since the unforgettable Stone Roses Heaton Park Weekender. The Madchester band are back. Staging four shows in their hometown, at the Etihad Stadium home of Man City. Tickets sold out in a heartbeat, resulting in the hasty addition of an extra night. It’s what Manchester and their legion of fans all over the globe have been waiting for.
There has been a huge buzz about the city for months since Lemon posters have appeared on digital billboards and record shop window across the city, a typical ‘Stones’ way of announcing new material. The Stone Roses release new music for the first time in over 20 years, singles ‘All For One’ and ‘Beautiful Thing’
Today’s event is supported by acts; Public Enemy, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot and Audioweb. The sun is out and the stadium is filled with bucket hats, Fred Perry, Adidas and any form of Pretty Green. The crowd are pumped and ready to party.
Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni stroll onstage and power into their 1989 classic ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ and 60,000 people roar approval. Fans immediately clamber on their mates’ shoulders.
The sensational ‘Waterfall’ is driven by Squire’s riff and Reni’s rhythm, flowed into equally gorgeous ‘Don’t Stop’. A real standout moment (all ten minutes of it) is the extended version of ‘Fool’s Gold’, as the last of the light slips over the stadium’s concrete walls and the sky is lit with smoke flare in every colour filling the entire stadium.
‘All For One’ the band’s first single in 21 years, silences its critics, it’s a real success It has more seriousness live, its bass more obvious, drums more enthusiastic and the audience joining in already means this new single spreads a familiar and warm feeling across the fans. It’s only the fifth performance of this song yet it feels well established.
A breathtaking version of ‘Made of Stone’, ‘She Bangs the Drums’ and the dedicated Man United anthem ‘This is the One’ are perhaps the highlights of the evening, the show at this point really steps up a notch. The atmosphere is electric.
There is a display of fireworks outside the stadium for epic sing-a-long ‘I Am The Resurrection’– “I am the resurrection and I am the light” it sends everyone bouncing with the last of their energy. This music of the north has a huge sense of bringing people together tonight.
120 minutes in and 20 tracks later. The four Mancunians hug, and meet at the front of the stage, they beam with delight at each other and depart jubilant, stubbornly refusing to do an encore.
The night’s only disappointment was that latest release ‘Beautiful Thing’ wasn’t played live but only a recorded version as fans leave the stadium. Apart from that the set-list was as perfect as it could be. This massive homecoming show was a solid performance and an astonishing atmosphere. What’s next? Will there be a full new album?
On their third night at the stadium The Stones Roses go from strength to strength. Bring on night No. four!
I Wanna Be Adored
Sugar Spun Sister
Bye Bye Badman
Where Angels Play
Shoot Your Down
Elizabeth My Dear
All For One
Made Of Stone
She Bangs the Drums
Breaking Into Heaven
This Is The One
I Am The Resurrection
Beautiful Things (Recorded)