Last Monday, I saw (the London) Suede with Manic Street Preachers at the Warfield for the first time and boy, did they not disappoint. I was a pretty big fan of their 3rd album “Coming Up”, which was their first album with their then-new guitarist Richard Oakes. I did like their first 2 albums, but I listened to “Coming Up” during a lot of my night time listening before bed. I wasn’t that into Head Music and kind of didn’t even notice “A New Morning” – which most fans seem to dismiss as not their best.
I also was a fan of their fan club, which to me was a great news source for them and other British bands, which I was slightly obsessed with at the time. Unfortunately, the timing of when they toured the US never coincided with when I was going to shows, their last US tour was in 1997 and I probably didn’t go to shows when they first toured around 1993.
In my 2nd year of college, I met a Suede fan, who I invited to see Marion – who I loved at the time. She compared them to Suede, but after finally seeing Suede, I have no idea why aside from them being British. I ended up visiting the UK in the summer of 2002, which is when I saw Manic Street Preachers at V2002 – a dream come true for me. Not to say I didn’t enjoy them at the Warfield, but I couldn’t feel the same love they had in the UK.
Suede took a long hiatus after breaking up in 2002, but Brett Anderson released 4 solo albums and even reunited with Bernard Butler for The Tears in that time. After Suede officially reformed in 2011, I don’t know why I didn’t really listen. I maybe didn’t realize they were back together. So there have been 4 new Suede albums since 2011 and Brett Anderson has written 2 books! I’m only now listening to them and I will get the books soon.
So what was so great about the Warfield show? I’m sure most of the people who attended waited 25-30 years to see them, but there were some stalwarts who were traveling for the entire tour and came from very far away. And I can totally understand why now. I wonder how Brett Anderson can keep up that energy level at every show, he was on fire that night and dripping with sweat by the end. And if he’s doing that every show, I can see why there’s some frustration with why they aren’t bigger here.
Touring is very expensive, especially for British bands with visas and gear and roadies. Though band merch isn’t cheap, it doesn’t sell itself! I’ve heard rumors that this might be the last tour of the US for both bands (most the members are in their 50’s plus I can’t tell if they’re making money), which would be a real shame as I love them both. The Manics have continued releasing albums since 1989 and are up to their 14th already! I kind of dropped off their album radar with Know Your Enemy, though I did get their 11th album Rewind the Film directly from them and signed!
So while it was hard to resist wanting to just make a quick trip to SoCal for a couple more shows (House of Blues Anaheim and The Hollywood Palladium), it was not happening due to work and the expense of actually going. I’m still very tempted to travel for just one more show, but that’s getting less and less likely. I just hope this isn’t the last US tour and I hope to plan to attend more shows in the future. Until then, I have a lot of catching up to do!