Welsh rock band, Manic Street Preachers released their third studio album, The Holy Bible, in 1994. The Holy Bible proved to be a milestone for the band. It marked both a musical high point and a personal low point as it contains the last recordings of Richey Edwards with the band. Edwards, the principal songwriter and guitarist, disappeared in early 1995, under mysterious and unknown circumstances. Although the lyrics tend to be a bit dark and the music is stark and sometimes brutal, The Holy Bible has continued to receive praise, and many British music magazines list the album among the greatest ever made.
In late 2014, celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Holy Bible, the Manic Street Preachers released The Holy Bible 20, a deluxe expanded and remastered edition of the album many consider to be their masterpiece. The band also embarked on a UK tour that included the entire album played live in its entirety. The tour widely sold out and was considered a huge success. Now, following on that success, the Manic Street Preachers are playing their first North American concert dates in six years.
Kicking off the tour at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, singer James Dean Bradfield walked out on the stage and announced, “We’ve never played here before. We’re Manic Street Preachers. This is The Holy Bible.” and the band launched into the album opener “Yes.” From the opening salvo, the crowd reacted with roaring adulation. Wearing his signature Navy uniform shirt, Bradfield’s powerful voice and guitar propelled the songs. Bassist Nicky Wire and drummer Sean Moore replicated the brutal punch of the album while infusing the songs with a new level of energy. Highlights included a fiery rendition of “Revol” and a fast and furious take on the crowd favorite “Faster.” They wrapped up the Holy Bible set with “P.C.P.” With the album cycle complete, it was time to celebrate. The band proceeded to play an abbreviated greatest hits set that included “Motorcycle Emptiness,” and “You Stole the Sun From My Heart,” before closing with the one two punch of “You Love Us,” and “A Design For Life,” which had the audience belting out the lyrics with the band.
Opening the evening was local Washington, DC band U.S. Royalty who played a concentrated set of California flavored indie rock.