2015 was one of the most exciting years musically, one of the main reasons for that being the return of The Libertines. The indie rock band performed on Saturday evening to their home town crowd of London, playing to a sold out O2 arena. Following a messy, complex 20 odd years, following their formation in 1997, the band are responsible for shaping modern day indie and garage rock and their London gig definitely proves why. 2015 was their summer, and the festival season belonged to them, given their secret set at Glastonbury and immense headline set at Reading. And their garage rock revival from the early 2000s shone through on Saturday evening, as they totally owned the night too. Following a series of massive gigs all over the UK, including performances at Manchester and Birmingham, the boys in the band ended it in style, playing an electric set to their home crowd.
The O2 isn’t traditionally a venue for heavy garage rock, and The Libertines who are used to playing smaller intimate venues should have seemed out of place, but they weren’t. They were completely at home in the 20,000 capacity venue, playing hit after hit from all their albums. Following the insane success of ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ last September, the band played a range of tracks from all their albums, including a cover of ‘Albion’ by Pete’s rock band Babyshambles who formed in the early 2000s. Overall, their set was insane; the crowd went especially mental for classics ‘What Katie Did,’ ‘Time for Heroes,’ ‘The Good Old Days’ and ‘Boys in the Band,’ as well as new favourites ‘Gunga Din, ‘Fame and Fortune,’ and ‘You’re My Waterloo.’ The band’s chemistry was undeniable as well, with Pete and Carl sharing the microphone at any given opportunity. Their beautiful vocals together with John’s bass and Gary’s intense drumming made for amazing music which sounded even better live than on record. They also had an emotional tribute halfway through with pictures of the late Amy Winehouse and David Bowie filling the screen. Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ was also playing as the band walked on stage to thousands of deafening screams.
The crowd was insane as well; one of the slight negatives about larger venues is the crowd can sometime be a bit dead, but it was the complete opposite on Saturday evening. The entire standing area was one huge, mad, sweaty mosh pit with crazy fans screaming the lyrics and chucking beer everywhere, one intense crowd going out of their heads. The atmosphere was electrifying and exhilarating, with every second of the show gripping every single audience member. Definitely a 5 star gig…now just waiting for their next line of live dates to be announced!
Listen to the band’s setlist here: