Full report and setlist...
There are a million places to be on the planet tonight as a new century and a new era tears itself across the face of the earth but for over 50,000 Manics fans Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium was the only possible place to be.
Fittingly the Manics tackled the potentially daunting task in typical indignant and heroic style – these are the people who’ve always promised everything with style so making a stadium in Cardiff the most important place on the planet on millennium night was as easy as applying smeary lipstick.
Aided earlier by Shack, Feeder and Super Furry Animals. the 22-song set was both triumphant and full of hope. The show was split in two with a 15-minute gap over the midnight hour when large screens showed Big Ben and the celebrations across the country.
The setlist only strayed occasionally from that of recent shows in their 1999 festival slog. ‘La Tristessa Durera’, ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ and ‘Tsunami’ were all dusted down and given a shot of millennium adrenalin. They broke from recent tradition by playing a couple of rarely aired tracks ‘Stay Beautiful’ and ‘ Elvis Impersonator Blackpool Pier ‘. For the first time they played ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Music – the B-side to their next single ‘Masses Against The Classes’.
Inevitably concluding with a monumental ‘A Design For Life’ James Dean Bradfield emotionally introduced the band member by member, including missing lyricist and guitarist Richey Edwards whose absence appeared to be acutely felt tonight. Bradfield added: “This is the best night of our lives”. And offered to buy everyone in the stadium a drink.
Nicky Wire, alone at the end, set about smashing up his bass guitar with heartfelt and almost ritualistic fervour. As one of the biggest and best bands of the last decade it made a profound and fitting exit as we crash headlong into the next century.
You Stole The Sun From My Heart Faster Everything Must Go Tsunami Masses Against The Classes The Everlasting Kevin Carter La Tristesse Durera Rock ‘n’ Roll Music (B-side to next single – cover of a Chuck Berry song) Ready For Drowning Of Walking Abortion No Surface All Feeling Motown Junk Motorcycle Emptiness (Break for midnight link-up with Big Ben and UK celebrations) Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – (played solo acoustic by James Dean Bradfield) Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky – (played solo acoustic – dedicated to Richey Edwards “best friend and coolest companion of the decade”) Australia Elvis Impersonator Blackpool Pier You Love Us Stay Beautiful If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next A Design For Life