Monday, April 8, 2013

OMD Live in Seattle, 4/6/13

Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark's second stop on the English Electric tour found the Liverpudlian synth-pop outfit here for an inspired performance at Showbox at the Market. Prior to the History of Modern tour, it had been nearly a quarter century since the band had visited Seattle. In a stunning turn, it took OMD only a short 18 months to return. Thank you, Coachella! The first fantastic moment was visiting the souvenir stand to find the new album for sale a few days before the official release. The second pleasant surprise was opening act Diamond Rings. The twentysomething Toronto native was a real ham and quite entertaining. The synths and electronic drums were a welcome sound for us aging new wavers, and the energy of "Mr. Rings" eventually won over a crowd of skeptics. I blame the initially chilly reception on his Vanilla Ice look.

If you're all about the first four albums, you might be a bit disappointed by the setlist. To take 'Dazzle Ships' as an example, all we got was "Radio Waves." In reality, the show was a fair representation of the band's entire career and, unlike many concerts, the new material didn't grind the proceedings to a halt. In fact, as Andy McCluskey told the crowd before "Dresden," "here's another new one, but don't worry, it's brilliant." I won't argue. When the song ended, he asked the crowd, tongue in cheek, whether we thought this was just going to be another nostalgia tour. Before anyone could answer, and with big smiles, the band broke into "Messages."

McCluskey was quite the MC, and the passion and energy of this 53 year old was something to behold. Paul Humphreys was his usual laid-back self, and when he got his turn to front the band, his quiet crooning style was quite a contrast to McCluskey's spastic dance moves. Oh, how the ladies swayed and swooned.

OMD played for about an hour and 45 minutes, but it still wasn't enough. They are one of those bands that can't possibly play everything you want to hear. The fellas, including the classic lineup of drummer Malcolm Holmes and multi-instrumentalist Martin Cooper, have dozens of shows in 2013, including a return to America this summer. If I find out "Genetic Engineering," "Telegraph" and "Never Turn Away" make it into their repertoire, perhaps I'll catch them again on the East Coast. I may be wrong, but I think this was the setlist:

OMD Setlist: Showbox at the Market, Seattle 6/6/13
Please Remain Seated
Radio Waves
History of Modern (Part 1)
(Forever) Live and Die
If You Leave
Night Café
Joan of Arc
Maid of Orleans
Our System
Atomic Ranch
Kissing the Machine
So In Love
Sister Marie Says
Sailing on the Seven Seas
Enola Gay
Walking on the Milky Way


Echorich said...

YES!!! Seeing them in DC in July!
English Electric Box with CDV and signed cards came today!!
The day only gets better with the announcement of the new B.E.F. Music Of Quality Of Distinction Vol. 3 - Dark!!

Brian said...

OOOH! Let me know how you like the extras in the box. Take care, Echorich.

Echorich said...

The Box is amazing. The OMD on the cover was stamped so well that it imprinted on the foam behind it!
Signed card, still cards from the animated videos, B&W photos of them live which are glossy and VERY mid century modern/Polaroid like in lighting and format. The fold out of the cd, extras and video is like a traper/keeper I wish I had in Junior And the lyric book has wonderful artwork imposed over some very mid century architecture.
Just Gorgeous!

Brian said...

Sounds wonderful. I'm envious.

Uncle E said...

That looked like a pretty good setlist! I was lucky enough to see them twice in the early '80's (God Toronto was a wonderful town to grow up a music fanatic!) and would love to see them on this tour. The album is a stunner, I'm lovin' it!

Brian said...

Sounds like you saw them at the right time, Uncle E. I wish I had such a boast. I really like the new album too. Hard to believe we got a gift like that in 2013.