A number of Universal execs made the trip to Cheshire on Wednesday to see the Stone Roses play their first live gig in over 15 years in Warrington, birth place of frontman Ian Brown, as a warm up for their highly anticipated Heaton Park shows.
The announcement of the show came just hours before the band took to the stage. Wristbands were available to the first fans who made it to the Parr hall box office with a Stone Roses record, CD, T-shirt, ticket or piece of memorabilia, a ploy designed to keep the touts away.
The band played an 11-song set, which included hits such as I Wanna Be Adored, which they opened the show with. They closed with Love Spreads, from their second and final album Second Coming.
Liam Gallagher was amongst the crowd and simply tweeted, “Stone Roses are back.”
Among those to make the trip to Cheshire was Universal Music UK director of digital Paul Smernicki. He says, “'My job has given me some amazing experiences but being at this gig, watching history in real time and enjoying the sort of giddy headrush of music I used to have as a teenager definitely tops the list. I may be a 'Universal Music exec' but last night I was the same beaming Stone Roses fan I was when I bought the Sally Cinnamon 12" record at my local record store in 1988.”
“The gig was a sensation, with a great set list (including Sally Cinnamon) but what was notable was what they didn't play, no doubt saving some real classics for their big outdoor shows in Manchester soon. It was great to see those four guys on stage again, sounding amazing, with the same energy and vibrance they had the last time I saw then at Glasgow Green in 1990."
At the end of 2011 it was announced that Universal Music had signed the Stone Roses for the world outside the US.The Roses, who announced they plan to make new music at their reunion press conference in October, are playing three nights at Manchester's Heaton Park in June, with further shows planned at festivals including V, T In The Park and Spain's Benicassim.