The Stone Roses, Public Enemy, Blossoms: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

The Stone Roses by Sean Bradbury

The Stone Roses by Sean Bradbury

As the most anticipated shows of the summer kicked off at the Etihad Stadium, Getintothis’ Daisy Scott witnessed the Stone Roses put on a show to be talked about for a generation.

The Stone Roses third coming. It was what Manchester and their legion of fans all over the globe had waited for.

Filling the streets with bucket hats, Fred Perry and any form of Pretty Green – The Stone Roses faithful were out in force ready for the opening night at the Etihad Stadium. Almost biblical in proportions, 60,000 fans filled the stadium. No matter what your age, it was a moment you were going to remember for the rest of your life. The Spike Island of this generation?

Hyping up the crowd before the main event were Blossoms. Relatively fresh on the block and receiving love everywhere they go, Stockport’s hottest prospects have been pushing their way to the top from the day they began, and now only three years into their careers, they’ve made it onto the bill with Manchester’s biggest band. A nondescript set from Chronixx follows before the might of Public Enemy with their live ensemble adding considerable force to the early evening as Chuck D, his superlative live band and supporting star Flavor Flav ramp up the intensity for the rest of the night. ‘Peace, love and togetherness‘ comes the rallying cry – and boy, does Manchester respond as the Roses make their entrance.

I Wanna Be Adored kicks things off – a track that feels as if it was made for exactly that. The crowd sang Mani‘s bass solo and Ian Brown seems completely at home, his voice sounding like it had recovered from recent shows in Halifax. The crowd brought flares and a kaleidoscope of smoke in every colour fills the entire stadium – front to back the place is bouncing in unison.

Sally Cinnamon and Shoot You Down were the early crowd favourites, with the 60,000 strong crowd coming to life as soon as the opening notes of the former rang out, something that was worthy goosebumps. Characteristically for a Roses gig the crowd were louder than the band itself.

The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses

Surprisingly the atmosphere became more electric when rarer tracks were played, such as Where Angels Play, Don’t Stop and Elizabeth My Dear. The set-list was as perfect as it could be for any die-hard. However, their new single All For One got the audience’s attention and the almost primary school lyrics were easy to blast out for the crowd as the togetherness spilled over into a mass love-in.

Sure, it’s almost primitive in its simplicity but in the vast Etihad there’s simply no denying this track is made for a huge singalong. And it’s worth noting just how energised the band seem – they’re positively effusive, with Ian Brown throwing additional moves to Squire’s guitar lines.

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Waterfall and Fools Gold prove emphatically that John Squire could play for eternity and we’d still be in love with him; his solos keeping the audience going and wanting more.

They leave the best to last, with Made of Stone, She Bangs the Drums, This Is The One and I Am the Resurrection completing a run right through until the end of the night. Although Ian’s voice was breaking near the end, did we care? No, the atmosphere was revolutionary with flares lighting up the crowd and joy spreading all around. It was mass hysteria – is it any other way when the Stone Roses are in town?

The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses

At this moment, the crowd were wrapped around the finger of the band, they could almost do anything and they would get a loud roar from the crowd. What was so heart-warming was the way the crowd moved together throughout the night, they jumped together and sung together and this only proves how much of an effect a band can have on generations of music lovers.

I Am The Resurrection tingled out from the stage and into the crowd, as Mani gushed: “You always will be the best fans in the world”. Completing an almost perfect night, fireworks blast across the stadium – a night to tell your grandchildren about.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury.