'Here we are, here it is, here we go': The Stone Roses greet their fans in Manchester as they take to the stage after 16 years
12:50 GMT, 30 June 2012
The decided to call it a day 16 years ago but then surprised and delighted their fans last year when they announced they were reforming.
And last night it seemed not a day had passed since they last played together as The Stone Roses took to the stage in their hometown of Manchester for their resurrection gig.
Frontman Ian Brown swaggered out in front of the 70,000-strong crowd at Heaton Park and declared: 'Here we are, here it is, here we go.'
We're back! The Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown greets the crowd at Manchester's Heaton Park as he takes to the stage for their comeback gig
And they soon had their fans on their feet as they opened with their traditional gig starter I Wanna Be Adored, one of their best-loved anthems.
The four-piece then went on to play other favourites such as Mersey Paradise, (song For My) Sugar Spun Sister and Sally Cinnamon.
And Brown, 50, bragged to the crowd, 'yeah, as you see we still got it', even though there were times that he struggled to hit the correct notes.
Happy clappers: Brown, who turns 50 next year, got the crowd singing and dancing along
Good to see you! Brown surveyed the 70,000-strong audience
Many fans thought the reunion would never happen after the band's bitter fall out and over the years they had quashed rumours of a revival.
But after sorting out their differences, they agreed to a series of festival dates and a three-night stint topping the bill at their own mini-festival in Heaton Park.
It was the band's first large-scale show in the UK since the band fell apart in 1996 when guitarist John Squire walked out in the spring and the band limped on for a further six months.
Reliving the 90s: Most of the crowd at Heaton Park were fans of the band 20 years ago
The boys are back in town: Bass guitarist Mani shares a laugh with Brown as they played some of their classic hits
But they called it a day in the wake of a disastrous performance at Reading Festival and after drummer Alan 'Reni' Wren quit the previous year.
Brown showed his cocky strut had not diminished since the 1990s as he prowled the stage during the largely instrumental chart hit Fool's Gold, clad in a black leather jacket.
Guests in the crowd for the first of their three-night run in Manchester included actress Jamie Winstone, shadow health minister Andy Burnham and record producer Mark Ronson.
Come on! Mani gets the crowd pumped up as he jumps up and down on stage…
… and looked delighted to be back on stage as he threw his hands in the air
Other songs on the band's setlist included Waterfall and Ten Storey Love Song. But the bulk of the music came from the group's 1989 self-titled album, widely hailed as one of the greatest debuts of all time.
Brown, who went on to a successful solo career following the Roses' split, is not known for his extensive on-stage banter, and said little during the 103-minute performance.
However he did allow himself a small rant as he introduced the anti-monarchy track Elizabeth, My dear, which is set to to the tune of Scarborough Fair.
It's been a while: Guitarist John Squire, who walked out on the band in 1996, was also there for the comeback gig
What did you think of that Brown danced around on stage as he entertained the masses
In reference to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, he said: 'This is dedicated to the dirty parasites 200 miles away celebrating 60 years of tyranny.'
After finishing with I Am The Resurrection with no encore – Brown told the crowd: 'What do you think of that Not bad for a bunch of old c***s.'
Thank you, Manchester! Brown waves at the audience after their first gig for 16 years
And the fans seemed pleased with the performance and Tilly Webber, 21, said: 'They just showed everyone here that they've still got it.'
John Railton, 35, who travelled with her from Bristol, added: 'That was amazing. They were we're so much better than bands who have come after them.'
Now and then: The Stone Roses posed for a snap last October when they announced their comeback gigs….
… and how they were in 1994 when they were promoting their second album Second Coming