Edit this event
- Massive Attack »
You can endlessly tell people that a band is the 'defining sound of a generation' or waltz around with stickered album sleeves proclaiming the music contained within as indispensible as paper and the most important guitar album since Oasis' debut, but you can't argue with bare, staring-you-in-your-face facts.
Massive Attack are one of the most important outfits ever and if I, or anyone else in a forest in Gloucestershire ever dared to doubt it for a second, tonight is the night we're well and truly set straight.
From the dizzying atmosphere of Mezzanine's 'Inertia Creeps' (tonight taking on a new life of its own, guitars bigger than ever, drums more tribal and affecting than the recorded piece could ever do justice) to the stoner-pleasing, laid-back glory of 'Karmacoma', Massive Attack have carved their own enviable niche and consistently delivered to it.
Our surroundings merely add to the spectacle. A wall of trees on one side, rolling hills to the other - Westonbirt Arboretum was made for evenings like this. Sporadic light rain adds yet more to the performance, warming members of the audience who take turns in rolling joints, miming the words (singing doesn't quite work to Massive...) and trying not to dance too uncontrollably.
An encore that includes the legendary 'Unfinished Sympathy', pulled out here with as much freshness as it displayed back in 1991, is all that's needed to cement their place in history. Yes it's fifteen years old, but it still brings the hairs on the back of my neck to attention.
A crowd filled with everyone aged 8 to 80, an outdoor live setup that I've never seen bettered, and a set so effortlessly filled with incredible music from a band at the very peak of their live performance capabilities all combine to comprise a near faultless ninety minutes. By the time the extended outro of 'Group Four' comes to a climactic end, there's nowhere else I'd rather be.
The only complaint? Well, with a catalogue like this, ninety minutes is never going to be enough.
- Riot Protection: Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja makes massive sweeping statement
- The Big Chill 2010: the DiS review
- French festival La Route Du Rock announces lineup for 20th anniversary: win tickets & travel
- Festival News Round-Up #7
- This week’s albums ft Massive Attack, Pantha du Prince and Built to Spill
- Massive Attack - Heligoland
- Massive Attack announce details for new LP Heligoland
- Spotifriday #19: This Week on DiS as a playlist