The Stone Roses played the first of two consecutive nights at north London’s Finsbury Park yesterday (June 7), in a concert that featured three tracks not performed by the band in the UK since the 1990s.
‘Elephant Stone’ and ‘Going Down’, both unplayed since 1990, appeared early in the set, as well as ‘Breaking Into Heaven’, which was last played by the group in 1996.
Taking place almost a year after the Madchester legend’s three comeback shows at Manchester’s Heaton Park, The Stone Roses’ London debut proper (they played a secret show at the Village Underground in 2012) had a similar sense of occasion, including a full programme of supports. The first night featured Rudimental, The Courteeners and Dizzee Rascal. “I’ve waited 20 years to see them,” fan Louise Roe told NME before the show. “I couldn’t make it to Heaton Park last year and I was gutted when they didn’t play in the south.”
Other than the new additions to the set, the show followed a format now familiar to those who have followed the Roses’ comeback. There were visuals employing the band’s iconic artwork and some dynamic camera work, there were extended guitar solos in their jammier tracks, and there was little communication with the crowd. Singer Ian Brown was typically a man of few words, beyond an early “nice one, thanks”, and his dedicating ‘Waterfall’, which segued into its backwards version ‘Don’t Stop’, to “the ladies, as always”.
The show did, however, suffer sound problems, with many in the crowd complaining that the volume was far too low. As Finsbury Park is in a residential area, the gig also had an early 8.40pm start and was over by 10.20pm, meaning much of their performance took place in the light. The difference was notable at the end of the set, as lasers lit up a long-extended ‘I Am The Resurrection’.
The Stone Roses played:
‘I Wanna Be Adored’
‘Ten Storey Love Song’
‘Shoot You Down’
‘She Bangs The Drums’
‘This Is The One’
‘Made Of Stone’
‘Breaking Into Heaven’
‘Elizabeth My Dear’
‘I Am The Resurrection’