Placebo @ Crystal Ballroom | Pop Rock, Industrial, Britpop

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May 16, 2023
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Crystal Ballroom
1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Placebo are on fire again. More than a quarter-century since vocalist-guitarist Brian Molko and bassist Stefan Olsdal started bashing around with broken guitars and toy instruments in Molko’s front room in Deptford, the core duo have dug very deep to spirit up their gobsmackingly urgent eighth long-player.

Called ‘Never Let Me Go’, it channels all their skill as songwriters and sound-makers into music that satisfies their near-brutal appetite for self-expression, but also seeks a furious relevance with the early-’20s world we all find ourselves in – crawling out of the pandemic into a landscape of intolerance, division, tech-saturation and imminent eco-catastrophe.

As such, the 2021-model Placebo are the diametric opposite of mid-career complacency, tackling both global issues and their own creative demands head on. The option to sit back and coast on former glories was there on a plate for them when they were last among us circa 2016-18.

A best-of collection entitled ‘A Place For Us To Dream’ had propelled them onto a world-wide greatest-hits tour – much of it in arenas and large outdoor venues – where they’d dust off mid-’90s arriviste bangers like Pure Morning, Nancy Boy, and Without You I’m Nothing, the single version of which David Bowie lent his vocals to. The marketing script probably stipulated that playing these songs every night would reconnect them with their most commercial instincts, but the experience quickly became nightmarish for them.

“I thought it all got a little bit too commercial, around that period – the retrospective period,” says Brian today, virtually spitting out those words with revulsion. “The whole enterprise was commercial, rather than artistic one, and I guess we reacted against that. I’m like, ‘Fuck this, the next record is gonna be about the pain of the world!’ The silent scream that is everywhere – that’s what interests me. Not this masturbatory, self-congratulatory two-year thing of, aren’t we amazing?”

Adds Stefan, “It was actually like this gruelling five-year tour which went from the last album being released [2013’s ‘Loud Like Love’] into the greatest hits. It kind of went on and on, and it was sucking the life out of me. I didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm left for the band, because I think I was just drained. The thought of doing it again filled me with dread.”




  1. Brent on March 14, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    Really dig their early albums and would enjoy a free pair of tickets to catch them live!

  2. Brandon J on March 14, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    My favorite band is coming to pdx!!!

  3. Shaun P. on March 15, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Haven’t seen them live in over a decade. Thrilled they are coming back to the PNW!

  4. Sara on March 15, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Would love to take my sister and re-live the memories and band we discovered 25 years ago!!! 🙂

  5. Carol L Trekas on March 15, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    The kids will be going back to school in September and I will be depressed so let me win to hear some music please. Thanks

  6. Doug G on March 15, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    I just saw that they were going to be playing in Portland. I’ve been a BIG fan since ~1998, and would LOVE to see them!!

  7. Robert Gronotte on March 15, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    It’s called Placebo, but it’s the real thing!

  8. Noodleround on March 17, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    Since I can’t have The Cure, I’ll take the Placebo!

  9. Emma Brockway on March 20, 2022 at 5:04 am

    recently got obsessed w them, would love to see them live!

  10. Sherry on March 22, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    live music at the Crystal? Yea, it’s been a while for me for sure!!

  11. Joshua Gross on March 22, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Oh man, it’s like I’m living in the depressed era of the late 90s all over again! Would LOVE to see them live, would be a first for me.

  12. Steph on March 23, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    i mean, c’mon, it’s placebo!!!! it would be an awesome time travelling opportunity 😉

  13. Jason on March 25, 2022 at 10:32 am

    I’d like to see them live.

  14. Michelle on March 27, 2022 at 10:42 am

    I would love to see them live, never seen them before.

  15. Jordon Ceccanti on April 12, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Saw them open for silverchair a few times in Australia would love to see them headlining in a smaller venue thanks

  16. Alycia Ernst on April 12, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Sign me up for the Placebo group.

  17. kick toft on April 12, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    I can think outside the box for this!

  18. Kelly on April 18, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Every me and Every you wants to win these.

  19. Hayley W on April 21, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Ok this one is for my boyfriend and his borther…They’re obsessed with Placebo!!

  20. Victoria lopez on April 22, 2022 at 8:18 am

    Omg haven’t seen these guys in forever!! Would be great!

  21. Jes on April 24, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    Would love to see this band

  22. Brian on April 26, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    A friend with weed is better.

  23. Leah W. on April 26, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    These guys remind me of late 90s alt rock explorations. Clever lyrics and smooth beats.

  24. Melody F on April 27, 2022 at 9:28 am

    My husband would love to see this show!

  25. SMP on April 28, 2022 at 1:43 am

    Looong time fan! Even loving the new album! I’m so down to see Molko and the boys!

  26. Heather Hogan on April 28, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Wow… I have been a fan from the beginning and their music has been there for many moments in my life. It would be a dream come true to finally get to see them live.

  27. Matthew Light on April 30, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    Seeing them would be the best

  28. Fernanda Burch on May 3, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    Hell yeah!

    • Victoria on May 4, 2022 at 10:43 pm

      OMG YES PLEASE! Haven’t seen these guys in over a decade it would be so great to again! 🤘🏽🔥

  29. YB on May 10, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    Would love to go!

  30. Derek on May 10, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    I would love to see Placebo please!

  31. Jennifer on May 10, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    This particular Placebo heals all that ails me. Help me get my medicine!

  32. Cat on May 11, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    ‘Cause there’s nothing else to do
    Every me and every you

  33. Jason on May 12, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    Haven’t seen before, definitely want to!

  34. Aimie on May 17, 2022 at 1:09 am

    Will it ever get the opportunity to see them again ?!

  35. Jessica Braasch on May 17, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Bucket list band for me!!!

  36. david manning on May 19, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    They might not be real, but they make me feel better.

  37. Johanna on May 26, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Live music is heaven!

  38. Rob Valdez on May 28, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    I’ve been wanting to see them for years!

  39. April on June 2, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    Navigating a hostile divorce from 20 years of domestic violence. Having an amazing concert to look forward to would help lift my spirits. I miss live music so much.

  40. Tim on June 9, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Would like to see them live!

    • Natasha on August 2, 2022 at 8:15 pm

      Hell yes pick me

  41. Daniel on June 12, 2022 at 8:03 am

    I’ve never seen them in concert but they got me through some rough and confusing times in and after high school. I’m forever grateful to Brian for that. Who saw him in Velvet Goldmine??

  42. Jordan C on June 14, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Ahhh my dream concert!

  43. Carol Trekas on June 15, 2022 at 1:48 am

    Yes yes yes please.

  44. Kate K. on June 15, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Grew up listening to these kings. Would love to go.

  45. Sierra Rice on June 29, 2022 at 9:36 am

    My fiancée just mentioned how he wanted to go to this concert last night! It would be kismet to win tickets for him.

  46. Shadow Rose on July 4, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I am such a big Placebo fan!

  47. Rachael Rude on July 11, 2022 at 9:22 am

    It would be the best birthday present!

  48. Brittany on July 19, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    What I wouldn’t give to see their rendition of Running Up That Hill live!

  49. natasha morlock on July 21, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    best band ever!

  50. Cate on July 22, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Would love to take my heartbroken friend to see them!!

  51. Orest on July 26, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    We really want to attend this event!

  52. Elizabeth on July 26, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Not much I can say besides this would be a wonderful place to take my best friend. They’re birthday is three days before the concert (Virgo power). They have been having a rough past couple of years, I would love to make their birthday a special event by taking them to artist they listen to on repeat.

  53. Carol L Trekas on July 26, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Yes please.

  54. sayMyNamebyke on July 26, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Who are they? I want to go. This is what I’ve had in mind.

  55. Matt on July 28, 2022 at 3:34 am

    I would love to see them live!

  56. Lea Anna on July 28, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    This would be a good show!

  57. Orest on August 2, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    I like good music and dancing. I would really like to attend this concert!

  58. Rose on August 3, 2022 at 9:21 am

    I have patiently waited for 15 years to have the opportunity to see Placebo perform again. Durring the age of Yahoo map print out directions, I made my way from Detroit to Chicago. I only got lost 1 time, but spent hours recovering to find the China Town Hotel which we stayed at. Truly one of the best memories of my life!!

  59. Kristen Wood on August 3, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Placebo was the soundtrack of my middle/high school years and have never strayed far from my small, black heart. Fingers fucking crossed.

  60. Hunter M on August 7, 2022 at 4:19 am

    Yes please!

  61. Madeline Nico on August 8, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Placebo- lets do it

  62. Nicole SmithRyan on August 9, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Bouncing at the crystal under the Placebo!!!

  63. Kiyo on August 9, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    Love Placebo and really would love to see them live!

  64. Ann on August 9, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Love their music! Would die to see them live

  65. Amanda Rose Napolitano on August 12, 2022 at 1:54 am

    They’ve been one of my favorite bands since their first album. Seeing them live in my early 20s was one of my most cherished memories. I have been hoping/waiting for them to do US tour ever since.

  66. Jenn on August 16, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Looks fun would love to go!

  67. Orest on August 16, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    I love their music. I want to attend a concert!

  68. Stephanie Zwingle on August 16, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    As a teen in the 90s when I became obsessed with them, I had no way to ever see them live. Seeing them now would satisfy my 90s kid soul!

  69. Al on August 17, 2022 at 6:38 am

    my Japanese is better

  70. Joel on August 18, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    Placebo! Ever since Velvet Goldmine, I’ve been a fan. Love them. Tix are better than a kick in the teeth.

  71. Paul Czarkowski on August 20, 2022 at 5:50 am

    Crystal ballroom is amazing place to watch a live performance! 😍

  72. Amber on August 20, 2022 at 9:39 am

    I’d love to go. If you have any free tickets available, please let me know. Thank you!

  73. Dia Devine on August 23, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    This is one ticket giveaway I actually want to be a part of! Fingers crossed <3

  74. Brittaney A on August 23, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    What an amazing experience!! Would love to be apart of it ❤️

  75. Carol L Trekas on August 23, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    I’d like to see these guys.

  76. Bob MacKay on August 23, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    What would the kids do with the real drugs?

  77. Rose on August 23, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve always wanted to see them live!

  78. Derp on August 24, 2022 at 5:26 am


  79. Arianne Kimberly on August 24, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Oh my!! Its been forever since I’ve seen them….this Day’s Dawnin’
    Let’s Go!!!!

  80. Van on August 25, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Cuz im a winner chicken dinner. I NEED TO SEE PLACEBO . i will sing along to every song and bounce on the crystal ballroom floor and it will be amazing !!!!!!!

  81. Al on August 26, 2022 at 8:01 am

    A friend with weed is better.

  82. Amanda Rose Napolitano on September 1, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Who won the tickets, I’ve been anxiously checking my emails but with no avail? Or am I just missing something- still over here being as hopeful as I can be!!

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