Parquet Courts – Live @ the O2 Ritz, Manchester

Parquet Courts are the type of band who inspire incredible loyalty and dedication from their fans. This was very clear to see at their gig at Manchester’s O2 Ritz.

Opening the show was Dublin based band Music City. Despite a very limited catalogue on Spotify, they played brilliantly, and were great at getting the crowd excited for Parquet Courts. They had good songs and great stage presence, and I am definitely noting them down as a band to watch.

Parquet Courts finally came bounding on stage to one of their most popular songs Total Football, which was an excellent choice to open the gig. The anthem-like song got the already over-excited crowd even more riled up, eagerly anticipating what was to come.

With five albums under their belt, it was no surprise for Parquet Courts to play a mixture of old and new songs. However, there were a few songs on their new album they did miss out, particularly Death Will Bring Change and NYC Observation. There were some old classics they neglected to play also, in particular Human Performance, which was surprising considering it is one of their most streamed songs. However, the set list seemed to be perfectly created with all the songs played blending together amazingly.

After the opening of Total Football, the band played Dust, a track from their album Human Performance. Following Dust were three tracks from their newest album: Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience, Freebird II and Before the Water Gets Too High. I thought Before the Water Gets Too High was one of the best played songs of the evening, and the band managed to perfectly portray the message of this song live (Hurricane Katrina and environmental politics) which can be a very hard thing to do.

Parquet Courts had amazing stage presence and kept the crowd entertained not only with great music but great banter too. A definite highlight of the night was when percussionist Diego came on stage during Wide Awake! to dance with the band, and the crowd went absolutely wild.

Another great addition to the gig was the Ramones cover of Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World, which really did sound amazing. Parquet Courts also played their song Tenderness live for the first time, and it was almost impossible to understand why they had never played it live before.

The gig came to an end with the track Light Up Gold II, taken from Parquet Courts’ first album, and it was sad to accept the end of a great night.

Seeing Parquet Courts live was an evening full of great music, and even greater energy from both on stage and off. Certainly an evening I won’t forget in a hurry.

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