Whether excited or barely functioning, the crowds were out in force for the exclusive Scottish return of yesterday's heroes, The Stone Roses.
Ankle-deep in mud, but otherwise dry in Balado, the late 80s/ early 90s legends have been hugely anticipated on Scottish soil, (and boy did we churn up plenty of that for them), since their surprise announcement of this comeback last October.
After waiting nine months, all good gestation periods must come to and end, with last night being the grand old day of rebirth. Balado were more than ready for it; to this point 'The Roses' were heard being referenced all weekend, probably more so than in a florists on Valentines day. With a roar of approval from the crowd, the four were served, reunited after carving their own entities over the past sixteen years.
Projected onto the big screens in vintage sepia, the greying band showed their age without the visual effect, though they still remained to rock their individual styles and personalities of their youth- yes, Reni was wedged in a bucket hat with his Adidas three-stripes.
Tackling their catalogue of anthems with ease, Sally Cinnamon had the crowd dancing along with wide-grins. Much better behaved than anticipated, the crowd were either sedated in inebriation, or in awe of their heroes. There was a lot of the former, but on the whole, it was the nostalgia of the latter that soothed Saturday, not quite believing the performance.
With John Squire delivering the youthful sing song riff, Reni shuffling his signature beats, Mani punching out the bass, and Ian Brown on his very best behaviour, his live vocal pretty much as good as it gets, this was a serious performance, the band exactly as they were, with no over-the-top novelty factor thrown in just because they hadn't played in over a decade.
The deadpan delivered Shoot You Down had the crowd singing along, just a mere stretch of the vocal chords in comparison to the Fools Gold treatment. With that old familiar bass riff, wah wah guitar, and psychedelic lasers projecting into the field, it could easily have been 1989, if it wasn't for the field of water-damaged-spared IPhones capturing the occasion.
With Brown being the bravado maker that many of today's frontmen model themselves on, (see Sunday headliners), his behaviour was gold-star awarding, unlike his previous solo effects at the festival. The performance also refrained from a lot of crowd preaching between tracks- the band were either very relaxed, trying to fit in as many of their hits as they could, or they simply hate each other.
There didn't seem to be too much sentiment attached to the performance either, though rather than ignorance, this required the show to actually be good, ensuring it couldn't just float on by, wrapped up in the sense of occasion.
The mantra of Love Spreads and Made Of Stone were there with the rest of the hits, the band warming, and interacting on stage as the performance grew to its peak. Ian Brown in particular remained in surprisingly good spirits throughout, even waving to the crowd in This Is The One. Actually appearing happy, and free of all his usual monkey business, last night he could have just about got a job presenting kid's tv.
With growing comradery, She Bangs The Drums spurred on the well-trampled party atmosphere to the finish line, before a strung-out I Am The Resurrection to close. Here, extended instrumentals shone the spotlight on the individuals of the band that grew apart and then came back together, still with a tight fit.
With a tartan scarf sported by the frontman for the set finale, the return of The Stone Roses only evoked one, "Here we four-lettered-word-in' go" from where I was standing. Looking like the fans could have perhaps grown up as much as the band, last night, The Stone Roses showed all the right reasons for their mass adoration. I wonder how long this will last.