In 1993, Suede released their debut album which brought an edge, swagger and a much-needed kick to the UK indie music scene. Now 30 years later, after breaking up and returning with a handful of exceptional albums, Suede is still firing on all cylinders with a youthful vigor that would put many younger bands to shame.
Although the Menorah Mivtachim Arena was not at capacity, once the lights went out and the band started playing the opening chords to Turn Off Your Brain and Yell from their most recent album Autofiction, the crowd was on their feet and fully engaged in what would be a joyous hour and a half.
The quality of their songwriting has not diminished in any way as old tracks blended seamlessly with new material. Playing classics such as Trash, We Are The Pigs, So Young and Animal Nitrate alongside newer releases like Personality Disorder and She Leads Me On, they showed a consistency in quality that would make their peers jealous.
Brett Anderson, now 55-years-old, and in my opinion, one of the most underrated and charismatic frontmen in rock music was on top form as he jumped off monitors, danced with more Mick Jagger moves than the Rolling Stone frontman himself and on many occasions he would walk into the crowd to engage with his audience. Vocally he was on top form singing with quality to match the recorded versions.
Suede has not lost any of their fire
One of the highlights of the night was when Anderson spoke to the crowd about the importance of live concerts and how it brings people together to sing. He then sat down to play a stripped-back acoustic version of The Wild Ones, a classic from their second album Dog Man Star. At one point during the song, he stopped strumming his guitar and sang acapella which emphasized what a gifted singer he is.
The rest of the band was in top form as well. Lead guitarist Richard Oaks played mostly with his eyes closed and immersed in the music, as he provided crunching power chords or melodic fills to the songs, although sometimes his guitar was a little lost in the mix.
Mat Osman on bass guitar and Simon Gilbert on Drums were a tight rhythm section, while Neil Codling added a keyboard or extra guitar for more texture in the songs.
They ended their set with the crowd-pleasing Beautiful Ones from the album Coming Up before returning for one more song, the plaintive Saturday Night from the same album. Anderson then thanked the Tel Aviv crowd for what had been a truly special evening, and then they were gone.
Suede has been a powerful live act for over 30 years, and their performance in Tel Aviv last Thursday night proved that they have not lost any of their fire and are still sounding so fresh and 'So Young.'