The feeling in the air on Monday night was one of electric anticipation. Not only were The Manic Street Preachers in Toronto and set to perform at arguably the best venue in the city, but they were here to play their 1994 release The Holy Bible from start to finish for the first time ever in this country. The Danforth Music Hall would also mark their only Canadian stop during the North American leg of the tour.
The Manics have consistently released music since their debut release of Generation Terrorists in 1992 up to 2014’s release of Futurology. Even after the disappearance of band mate Richey Edwards in 1995, the band decided to continue on within 6 months with the blessing of Edward’s family. With 11 albums now under their belt, it was really no surprise that the vocals of front-man James Dean Bradfield showed no signs of rust when the Manics launched into “Yes”, the first song off The Holy Bible.
For a 3-piece, The Manics have a huge sound punctuated not only by Bradfield’s effortless vocals, but his mind-blowing skill on lead guitar. He is an absolute wizard and swapped out what seemed to be a truck load of guitars but clearly a master of all of them. Plucking out the low notes on bass guitar and owning much of the stage was Nicky Wire and driving the music with his incredibly tight drumming was Sean Moore.
Hearing The Holy Bible performed in the order presented on the album was nothing short of magic, and these types of “albums in their entirety” tours are becoming massively popular. Before completing The Holy Bible set, Nicky Ware gave a touching shout out and dedication to Richey and the fans showed their love and appreciation in return.
Bradfield then performed flawless acoustic versions of “Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky” and “This Sullen Welsh Heart” before Wire and Moore returned to deliver “Motorcycle Emptiness”. What followed was a show-closer selection of fan favourites that included “You Stole the Sun From My Heart”, “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” and the beautiful “Design for Life”.
The Holy Bible Set
Of Walking Abortion
She Is Suffering
Archives of Pain
This Is Yesterday
Die in the Summertime
The Intense Humming of Evil
Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky (Acoustic)
This Sullen Welsh Heart (Acoustic)
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
Walk Me to the Bridge
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
You Love Us
A Design for Life