Blur since their very first single, so you can imagine my excitement when The Magic Whip got released earlier this year and they announced they would be playing live in Melbourne. Belinda and I arrived at Rod Laver Arena tonight and found a position on the floor (yay for general admission). The opening act was UK singer-songwriter Jamie T, who I thought was ok and got a good reaction from the crowd for a few of his songs.
The last time I saw Blur live was in San Francisco in 1997, so it's been a long time between gigs. When they came out onstage after the ice cream van jingles it was as if no time had passed. They started the evening with "Go Out" off the new album and then played "There's No Other Way" from their first. Damon had so much energy as he worked the stage and got the crowd going (thankfully I was just out of range for his water bottle sprays). Alex was the epitome of cool on the bass, Dave was fantastic on the drums, and Graham was his usual genius on the guitar.
The set list for the 2 hour concert spanned all their releases and was a great mix of old and new. The Magic Whip is a fantastic album and I was glad "Lonesome Street," "Ong Ong" and the magnificent "Thought I Was A Spaceman" got played. Everyone in the crowd sang along throughout the night, especially for those epic ballads like "Tender" and "This Is A Low." Graham said hi to the crowd before launching into my all time favorite
Blur track "Coffee & TV," and managed to mostly keep it together at Damon knelt in front of him and made faces while he sang.
It was the big singles though that really got the crowd jumping around - "Beetlebum," "Parklife" (where Damon invited some people up on the stage) and "Song 2" all went off. The encore started with "Stereotypes" and then everyone was seriously dancing for "Girls & Boys." I never thought "For Tomorrow" would make it in (loved that everyone shouted out the "modern life well it's rubbish" line) and then it all ended with a lovely version of "The Universal." I still can't believe I finally got to see Blur again live after all these years (hopefully it's not another 18 years until the next one).
Here's the video for "Lonesome Street"