The Stone Roses Reunion In Manchester: A Review

16 years after the nightmare that was their Reading 1996 performance, the Stone Roses resurrected the British indie dream this weekend with a trio of hometown shows at Manchester’s Heaton Park. The legendary band drew a line under some well-documented internal acrimony last year and after a trot around various European festivals, they finally brought their reunion bandwagon back to British shores in front of around a quarter of a million people spread over three nights.

Much of the band’s legendary status stems from their ecstasy-laced self-titled debut album which, despite middling reviews at the time of its release in 1989, has grown to become a set-text in Britpop history. Unsurprisingly, the quartet played every song from it during Saturday’s set and chose only two cuts (“Love Spreads” and “Ten Storey Love Song”) from the less-well regarded follow up Second Coming. Worries about Ian Brown’s often tone-deaf singing proved to be largely unfounded, although the front man was helped in no-small way by the crowd who sang along ecstatically to virtually every word, as well as mimicking most of guitarist John Squire’s most iconic riffs to boot.

The real stars of the show however turned out to be bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield and drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren who exhibited a telepathic understanding on the extended versions of “Fools Gold” and the hotly anticipated climax of “I Am Resurrection.” Both tracks were undeniable highlights and proved that the years of incommunicado hadn’t eroded the rhythmic connection that made the Stone Roses the legends they once were and, on the strength of Saturday’s show, seem to be becoming all over again.

Check out photos from Friday’s set in the gallery above, including openers Primal Scream, and the Stone Roses setlist from Saturday’s show below:

01 “I Wanna Be Adored”
02 “Mersey Paradise”
03 “(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister”
04 “Sally Cinnamon”
05 “Where Angels Play”
06 “Shoot You Down”
07 “Bye Bye Badman”
08 “Ten Storey Love Song”
09 “Standing Here”
10 “Fools Gold”
11 “Something’s Burning”
12 “Waterfall”
13 “Don’t Stop”
14 “Love Spreads”
15 “Made Of Stone”
16 “This Is The One”
17 “She Bangs The Drums”
18 “Elizabeth My Dear”
19 “I Am The Resurrection”