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Short-stories : Placebo concert on the Sziget Festival 2012

Placebo concert on the Sziget Festival 2012

Useless-girl  2012.08.15. 23:17

My concert report from the Sziget Festival...

Placebo on Sziget Festival (8th August 2012)

A report by Useless-girl


Being busy with work and other stuff I only had the time to write my report of the day Placebo played on Sziget Festival (Budapest, Hungary) now. So here it is!


It was a hot August day (the 8th) when I’ve arrived to Budapest and waited for my friend to show up with whom we were heading to the 20th Sziget Festival. Soon Edó and Lola joined us and we took the HÉV (suburban railway) surrounded by a bunch of happily chatting Dutch group who seemed to be “the hit party nation” on the Sziget Festival in the news this year. Anyway, soon we could walk into the VIP tent where our e-tickets were checked and we’ve got our wristbands. Unfortunately, I had to switch mine, because it was too loose, but the service was fast and soon we were loading money on our new festival cards. I have to confess, I wasn’t fond of the idea of such a card previously, but it turned out to be fun and I was happy that at the end I could keep it for my memory box ;)


The first thing that greeted us on the Sziget – besides the heat – was the dust. Then the very colorful sea of young – or not so young – people. Crazy costumes, a coffee stand serving delicious coffee, tons of different kind of food stands, bars, bungee jumping, a huge ferris-wheel, exhibitions, different tents (offering all sorts of music and culture) and that certain festival atmosphere than doesn’t really come through the television or the computer screen. We walked around for a few hours, discovering a little what the Sziget could offer to us. We rested by a food stand waiting for Marcsi to find us then the four of us headed for the huge dusty field before the main stage because the Hurts concert was about to start.


Luckily we could get a good spot around the 15th row before the concert started and there to cool off the crowd we were sprayed over with water from above our heads. I enjoyed the Hurts concert, but to be honest, compared to Placebo, it was not such a blast. I like their music and album, have been listening to it for months when it came out, but live they were not so strong for me. They’ve put on a good show, Theo sang well and the female dancers were beautiful too, but we were waiting for the next act impatiently. Now I can understand how Placebo could have felt in 2006 when they were playing in front of Depeche Mode, though here the crowd was more receptive to the music of Hurts. Looking around I could barely hear Hungarian talk, but it didn’t bother me, I always knew that this festival was more for foreign people – in the prizes too… Soon the concert ended and meanwhile we managed to sneak closer to the stage. Now we were standing in the 10th row or so and waited a good hour for Placebo to start.


When the PLACEBO sign flashed and the lights went out, all hell broke loose for the next one and a half hours or so. The boys put together a strong setlist with a few awesome surprises (for me).


1. Kitty Litter 0:02:08
2. Battle For The Sun 0:05:58
3. Every You, Every Me 0:12:04
4. Speak In Tongues 0:16:32
5. Black-eyed 0:21:06
6. Special Needs 0:24:45
7. For What It's Worth 0:29:33
8. I Know 0:32:34
9. Slave To The Wage 0:37:33
10. Bright Lights 0:43:19
11. Meds 0:47:07
12. Teengage Angst 0:51:10
13. Song To Say Goodbye 0:54:54
14. Bitter End 0:59:46
15. Running Up That Hill 1:05:40
16. Post Blue 1:10:47
17. B3 1:14:35
18. Infra-red 1:18:38


I won’t go through each and every song on the list, I cannot really highlight more than just a few tracks, because the whole concert was very together, very powerful and very awesome to say the least. By Kitty Litter I thought of Edó, because I remembered a few discussions we had about this song and how much she loves it. And it was only the beginning of a mind-blowing concert. The energies of the guys and the crowd were awesome from the first moment. During the show I realized that Edó disappeared from in front of me and ended up in the third row somehow, while I stayed where I was, maybe got a little closer to the corridor on our left that divided the audience in two half. Stefan used it after Song To Say Goodbye – where I was very high on their music and the situation – and indicated with his hand first the right then the left side of the crowd to scream and clap in turns then we did it together too. Wow, it still gives me goose bumps as I think back on it!


Speak In Tongues was a great surprise for me too, because I love its second part and it worked very nicely live. When Special Needs came on I was totally in my happy place, because that is a huge favorite of mine and although I’ve heard it 2 years ago in the Papp László Sports Arena (2010), I felt the same magic flow through my veins. But what really crowned the concert for me was my absolutely favorite Placebo song that made me a fan (which is like Useless for me from Depeche Mode) – I Know. I would have never thought that my dream of hearing it live will once come true. And now it did. When I recognized the music I totally went crazy and screamed as if my life depended on it, goose bumps all over, jumping. I think the people around me might have thought that I was throwing a fit, but I really didn’t give a damn. I cannot really describe how deeply it moved and I tried to channel that towards the stage, to Brian, with whom our eyes met several times during the show. It was really out of this world. Only for that song the whole day was worth it. Those who have such a special song and can melt completely into the music like I, will understand what I’m talking about…


I loved that Meds started in the acoustic Angkor Wat version (like as far as I can remember two years ago too) and then switched into the album version. Song To Say Goodbye was another huge blast for me, because ever since the Meds album came out I’ve been hooked on it and some personal memories are attached for this song as well. I loved it from the first second to the last. Hearing it live again was more than great! During Bitter End the crowd around me went crazy, a lot of pushing has started and it was difficult to share my attention between the stage and staying on my feet and avoiding the elbows that made contact with my back and side, so I don’t know a lot about what happened on the stage during this song. I have to admit, that we all missed that water spray thing (sadly they didn’t use it after the Hurts concert), because the heat was getting nearly unbearable and to cool down a little we had to put up our hands in the air during the concert a lot of times to feel the cool breeze over us. But nearly fainting comes with such big concerts and we survived and that’s what counts, isn’t it? ;)


The encore came soon enough. Running Up That Hill is a special song for me too and hearing it live again after 2006 it brought back nice memories too. I’ve heard the new song B3 for the first time and I really liked it, I cannot wait for the new album to come out! And the last song Infra-Red came along, making us go crazy once more, chanting, screaming and jumping around at the end of this amazing and energetic concert, bringing back old memories and making new ones. I could feel the huge crowd behind me move together and the smiles on the band members’ faces were priceless. It was clear that they enjoyed this show just as much as we did; they praised us too and clapped for us at the very end.


I won’t go into the technical stuff that reviews always write about, I just tell that I think the sound and the volume was good – my ears rang even when I’ve got home a few hours later, but it was very worth it! Brian sang perfectly in my view and he seemed to really enjoy the show with the rest of the band too. I still love that they included the violin in their songs! As I’ve said, the energies were awesome and made the concert driven and fluent. It had a mixture of a very professional but still easy-going vibe.

To describe my own feelings seeing Brian (again) I could quote my short writing I did two years ago after the concert. Those who are interested, it can be found here:



After we found each other with the girls in the crowd – which I had no idea it was this big until I saw the pictures next day – we stumbled totally under Placebo’s spell to the ferris-wheel where we met another girl for a few minutes. On our way we couldn’t stop talking about how mind-blowing we found the guys on stage once more. We went to a blues stage to cool off a little then with Edó I went to fetch her stuff from the lockers and on our way we found an amazing bar where the DJ was awesome and we could barely get away from there because of the songs he played. Later when we fetched the other two girls and enjoyed a Hungarian band’s (Belmondo) concert we went back to that bar and stayed there dancing, drinking and chatting exhausted both physically and emotionally until we headed home around 3 am. It was a little early for my taste to go and I guess because of that and from being emotionally overwhelmed and full of energies after this day, for the first time in years I didn’t fell asleep on the train but was listening to Placebo on my phone with an idiot grin on my face. It was totally worth it waiting for this day during the whole summer and we agreed with Edó that next year if someone we like will come to play on Sziget Festival, we’ll go again for sure.


Thank you again, guys!



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