My Chemical Romance + Placebo + LostAlone + Witch Fever @ Milton Keynes Stadium – 19th May 2022


Introduced by a bowel-loosening bass rumble it seems that ‘Blessed Be Thy’ is the perfect set opener and it ensures that Manchester quartet Witch Fever get the evening off to a lively start. They’ve a heavy sound that could easily swing with Sabbath (and possibly win) and their socio-political lyrics, barked with proletarian rage, add extra weight to an already hefty sound. Despite being hemmed in by the other band’s gear Witch Fever turn in an energetic performance and it’s one that’s emblazoned their name on many a memory bank.

After the searing rage that was Witch Fever, LostAlone feel like a band from another, gentler era, and with no new album since 2014’s Shapes Of Screams, they seem rooted in the mid-2010’s. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the crowd soon warm to their alternative rock sound and require little goading to sing and clap along to the explosive ‘Vesuvius’. A sea of hands accompanies ‘Hostages (Destiny)’ and vocalist Steven Battelle, constantly engages the crowd, and melts the metaphorical barrier between group and audience, and, almost magically, the thousands centre stage become one with the band. New single ‘Punchline Punched Back’ sounds especially cavernous in the MK Dons stadium and with a twin guitar attack and a tight rhythm section ‘The Last Drop Of Forever’ makes for a raucous closer.

An elongated intro whets our appetites for Placebo and when the band appear it is in typically understated style. Attired all in black they seem in danger of blending into the background, but this has the benefit of bringing their songs to the fore, and with songs this good that’s exactly where they should be. Latest album Never Let Me Go is a stunning return to form (certainly their best in a decade) and ‘Forever Chemicals’ from that album kicks the set off in the best possible style. The ageless Brian Moloko still has a powerful voice, and his tremulous tonsils fill the entire stadium during ‘Kitty Litter’ while multi-instrumentalist Angela Chan adds texture with some electric violin. Brian still forms the core of the band along with original bassist Stefan Olsdal and the two display a real chemistry as they blast through a crowd-pleasing set. While many bands from the ‘90s haven’t aged that well, Placebo still sound fresh and vital and if you need proof then one listen to set closer ‘Infra-red’ should allay any doubts.

Tonight’s show is the first of three that were originally planned in for 2020 but the pandemic put paid to those plans, and they had to be rescheduled for May 2022. These three gigs originally sold out in double quick time, so the empty seats peppered throughout the stadium are a sober reminder of those we lost to Covid-19. However, the human spirit is eternal and the expectation that hangs heavy as we await My Chemical Romance turns our attention towards the stage. A tangible tension is ramped up to an almost unbearable level by an elongated intro, but it’s abruptly broken as the band appear and launch into ‘The Foundations Of Decay’. The deafening roar that greets their arrival means they’re welcomed like homecoming heroes as those in the seats rise to their feet and punch the air while those with standing tickets jostle for prime position. In an ice white suit that’s splattered with faux blood vocalist Gerard Way cuts a Clockwork Orange type figure as he commanders centre stage and around him the band swirl like mini tornados and launch into the muscular ‘Helena’.

This is my first time seeing My Chemical Romance in the flesh (I know, shame on me) and the first thing to note is that their discography becomes more direct in the live environment. Devoid of any studio wizardry an inherent groove is revealed along with, dare I say, an almost pop sensibility. It’s a sound that’s inspiring a Beatle-mania reaction as the crowd sing along to every word of ‘DESTROYA’ and, as darkness descends over MK Stadium, makes for an atmospheric experience. As you’d expect ‘It’s Not A Fashion Statement, It’s A Fucking Deathwish’ causes some present to lose their sh*t (but in the best possible way) while ‘The Kids From Yesterday’ brings the set to a cataclysmic conclusion and you get the feeling that the band are drawing upon their energy reserves as they bounce around the stage like a gang of whirling dervishes. Of course, they return for some well-deserved encores the first of which ‘Skylines And Turnstiles’ gets its first live outing since 2011 while a spiked up, amphetamine infused version of ‘Vampire Money’ makes a fitting finale and ensures that no one leaves disappointed.


Witch Fever Set List: 

  1. Blessed Be Thy
  2. Beauty And Grace
  3. I Saw You Dancing
  4. Bully Boy
  5. Congregation
  6. Reincarnate

LostAlone Set List: 

  1. Enduring The Dream
  2. Vesuvius
  3. Hostages (Destiny)
  4. Blood Is Sharp
  5. Punchline Punched Back
  6. Crusaders
  7. The Last Drop Of Forever

Placebo Set List: 

  1. Forever Chemicals
  2. Kitty Litter
  3. Beautiful James
  4. Bionic
  5. Hugz
  6. One Of A Kind
  7. Surrounded By Spies
  8. Try Better Next Time
  9. For What It’s Worth
  10. Slave To The Wage
  11. Special K
  12. The Bitter End
  13. Infra-red

My Chemical Romance Set List: 

  1. The Foundations Of Decay
  2. Helena
  3. Give ‘Em Hell Kid
  4. Make Room!!!!
  5. Teenagers
  6. Summertime
  7. The Only Hope For Me Is You
  8. Boy Division
  10. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
  11. Welcome To The Black Parade
  12. The Ghost Of You
  13. It’s Not A Fashion Statement, It’s A Fucking Death Wish
  14. Thank You For The Venom
  15. Mama
  16. Famous Last Words
  17. The Kids From Yesterday


  1. Skylines And Turnstiles
  2. Masters Of Ravencroft
  3. I’m Not OK (I Promise)
  4. Vampire Money