Setlist History: Blur's "Song 2"

It's the year 1996 and brit-pop is finally a THING. Oasis is dominating in the music charts and Blur is following closely behind. Gorillaz hadn't even been conceptualized yet and Damon Albarn, with his boyish good looks, was at the front-and-center of mainstream rock.

Blur formed in 1989, but they started reaching commercial success in 1994 after the release of Parklife, their third studio album featuring hit track "Girls & Boys." They went on to win four awards at the 1995 Brit Awards, including Best Band and Best Album for Parklife.

A year later Blur is successfully touring around the world and snagging headlining slots at the biggest music festivals at the time. Enter 1996's Hultsfred Festival in Sweden during their "Seaside Tour," where the band made Blur history. This was no normal, quick festival set we'd see today. Nope. This was a whopping 20-song setlist, and seven of those songs were part of the encore.

For the first song of their encore, Damon told the lucky festival crowd that they'd be playing a new song that they'd call "Song 2"—they hadn't thought of a name for it yet—and apparently they never did. This track was very alt-rock compared to their previous brit-pop efforts. They were now over the pop thing and more into rock bands like Pavement. Guitarist Graham Coxon was especially more into being lo-fi and underground. Albarn came around to this idea and after playing "Song 2" several times on that tour. The track made it onto their fifth self-titled studio album, which was a substantial move away from the brit-pop scene.

Blur 1996

Americans loved this of course, as the album reached number 61 on the Billboard 200 and "Song 2" became their most recognizable song in the country. But that set where they played the song for the first time marked a major shift in their sound. They delivered some other gems that day too, live debuting another track off Blur, "Chinese Bombs." Those Swedish fans were the first to see the change coming.

Hear a live recording from the festival below:

"Song 2" LIVE - Blur

"Girls & Boys" is still the band's most played song, with "Song 2" being the forth. In 2015, Blur released their first album in over 10 years, The Magic Whip, followed by a tour.

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Last updated: 18 Jun 2024, 05:32 Etc/UTC