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Massive Attack

Glasgow Academy on 8th April 2003
Reviewed by Bob on 18th May 2003

When Massive Attack eventually came on stage after leaving the audience in darkness for at least 15 minutes, they requested a minutes silence for victims of the war in Iraq. Obviously a chance for them to further their protests against the war. The group stood at the front of the crowded stage, heads hung low.

A giant electronic notice board, similar to the type you would expect to see in a Train Station, dominated the stage. This sprung to life halfway through the first track (Future Proof), when binary code (hundreds of 1's and 0's) materialised and scrolled down the board. The screen was a major part of the show with a variety of different displays appearing on it for each song, from the binary to HTML code and covering topics such as Government military spending, costs of different weapon systems, population, pollution and a whole host of random things, although with the same common theme: political agenda's.

The big screen provided most of the visual entertainment, a prerequisite for most "dance"-type bands, who usually consist of two people behind a stack of keyboards; although in the case of Massive Attack, who had a full band on stage with them, quick paced graphics just helped to soup-up of some of the slower, less interesting tracks.

The setlist varied between Massive Attacks back catalogue of tracks, with songs like Unfinished Sympathy to Angel and Inertia Creeps, although the gig was also inevitably new-album heavy. Vocals were performed by Dot Alison (standing in for the Liz Fraser songs, also supported Massive Attack with an acoustic set), Horace Andy and Shara Nelson, Robert '3D' Del Naja and Grant 'Daddy G' Gee also provided vocals.

In total the gig lasted about 2 electric hours although 2 encores is a bit.. well I'll let you draw your own conclusions, needless to say the second wasn't really necessary (encouragement from the crowd wasn't there). Other than that - fantastic band, fantastic stage show and a fantastic set of performances.

Rating: 9/10
Website: www.massiveattack.co.uk

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