House of Blues
September 25, 2011
Better than: Staying home and watching The Tank, The Swan, and The Balloon Live.
Roadies placed mysterious steaming white ceramic mugs on the Gargoyle-infested, Gothic-looking stage at the House of Blues. What could it be? Apple cider? Coffee? Tea? Questions abounded as techno music thumped over the chattering, sold-out venue.
Then, at 9 p.m. on the dot, Andy Bell sashayed onto the stage. He wore a hot pink-sequined blazer and black gladiator helmet. Meanwhile, synthmaster Vince Clarke, clad in a glimmering red blazer, took a stance behind a giant gargoyle, whose red eyes glared into the crowd. The gargoyle would have been intimidating had it not been for the glowing apple from Clarke's MacBook peeking out over its head.
Two back-up singers wearing red corsets and black feathers in their hair took to the stage next. Finally, the boys of Erasure launched into the night's opening track, "Sono Luminus."
After the opening number, Bell removed his helmet and strutted around stage in his black roach killer boots.
"It's great to be here at House of Blues with all you cowboys and cowgirls," he beamed before launching into "Always."
Gripping the mic with both hands and belting out the words, clear as day, it was evident that Bell's voice is in as good of shape as ever. And, really, it's not just his voice that's in peak condition. Shortly into the night, Bell removed his hot pink blazer and revealed a black corset, along with some totally defined arms.
"How are you doing?" he asked, rather nonchalant. "I'm going to sip my lovely tea."
He reached down for the steaming ceramic mug, answering one query and moving the night forward, as he and Clarke weaved in and out of old and material. Songs off Tomorrow's World, the bands 14th LP that is set to be released early next month, were easy to pick apart from the rest of the set list due to their techno flare, but the execution of each song came with the same high energy. The last handful of songs were full-blown sing-alongs, especially the two song encore of "Oh L'amour" and "Stop!" which were preformed on a colorfully lit stage, the gray backdrop suddenly transformed into stained glass. It was vibrant -- just like the night's performance.
Frankmusik opened the evening clad in a flannel shirt and rocking a hairdo that looked like the love child of a mohawk and pompadour. He played new material from his album that comes out this week, as well as some covers. It was like a Girl Talk performance, except with a live band, as he weaved together original material with songs from Kings of Leon, Paul Simon and Eric Prydz. It was the perfect kind of performance for the ADD generation. Problem was, only half the crowd there was young enough to buy into it.
Personal Bias: I love Erasure. I watch Erasure YouTube clips frequently. The '80s are the best.
Random Note: Hey, dude who jumped onto the stage during Erasur'e performance of "Stop!" Why'd you do that?
By The Way: Sold out shows are the worst.