The Stone Roses at Heaton Park review

'Back with a chaotic beauty'

The Stone Roses at Heaton Park review

Photographer:Jason Downes

Phil Brady - 30 June 2012

The Stone Roses come home to play a monumental gig in Heaton Park and are welcomed to the stage by 75,000 adoring fans. The anticipation rises like a tube train thundering up the spine of this well versed army of lucky ticket holders, veterans and new recruits alike, all here on one mission, to bare witness to what has, in some quarters, been labelled 'the gig of the decade'.

Ian Brown weaves in with the stealth of an urban tiger to the cross stitch in the rich tapestry of The Stone Roses. A shamanic figure appears through the mist carrying the totem of 'I Wanna Be Adored' as Mani thumps out the bass line that pours into the park and floods the hearts and memories of Spike Island castaways all over the world. Reni bangs the drums as the tribal swell heaves and bounces to the call of their idols and John Squire sends that guitar line out like a message in a bottle which is thrown back onto the stage in a mass chant from this vast ocean of fans and  every word is belted out by the choir of the masses in the church of Heaton Park.

Chris Horan, a life long fan tells Virtual Festivals: "This is more holy than when the pope came. The Stone Roses mean more to the people round here than Jesus Christ, this is our religion."

A spectacular performance from the boys unfolds as the colossal instrumental leads into 'Mersey Paradise'. Ian's out of tune attitude reflects the fractured lives of a million mancunians as he bounds up and down the stage showing off the fruits of a nine month labour, jamming out the lifetime works of arguably one of the most influential band this country has ever seen.

Breathing new life into 'Sugar Spun Sister' and 'Where Angels Play' jamming out lengthy instrumentals as the shamanic frontman directs the human traffic into 'Shoot You Down' and 'Bye Bye Badman'. Then 'Fools Gold' washes over the elated crowd and again the band jam it out, take it apart and thrash it back in with chaotic beauty.

A lull follows as the bass throbs over the vocals of 'Ten Story Lovesong' and drowns out Ian's words, the sound becomes bass heavy and distorted which brings the atmosphere down a notch for the next five or so songs.

"There's people falling down here." Ian says, "Pick'em up. That's what we do when someone goes down, we lift them up again."

Spirits rise as 'Waterfall' washes towards the end of their set to a crescendo of 'Love Spreads' and 'I am The Resurrection' as a hundred and fifty arms spread into the air. The band hug each other with the love of family and a titanic fireworks display fills the Manchester skies as a night to remember explodes to an end until tomorrow when the masses return to this arena of dreams.

Michael Eavis is among the thousands watching on, and appears overwhelmed to see their refound love for the music. He tells Virtual Festivals: "We would love to have The Stone Roses headlining Glastonbury next year, if they are still together."


The Stone Roses at Heaton Park (29/06/2012) Setlist:

I Wanna Be Adored
Mersey Paradise
(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister
Sally Cinnamon
Where Angels Play
Shoot You Down
Bye Bye Badman
Ten Storey Love Song
Standing Here
Fools Gold
Something's Burning
Don't Stop
Love Spreads
Made Of Stone
This Is the One
She Bangs The Drums
Elizabeth My Dear
I Am The Resurrection

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