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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I missed quite a number of concerts during my medical hiatus. One of the shows that crushed me the most was the return of OMD at the Music Box in March. OMD is touring in support of their latest album The History of Modern is their first album with the original line up since 1986.
Hailing from Australia and trying to break out stateside,Washington kicked off the evening by warming the crowd up with a batch of tunes. Their lead singer Megan Washington vocally reminded me of Gwen Stefani. Washington has a new release Insomnia in the works.
Under the cover of a dimly lit stage, a slow wash of synthesizer pads circulated throughout Club Nokia as OMD took the stage for "Dazzle Ships". Firing up the Delorean back to 1980, "Stanlow" had Andy McClusky quip "doesn't every band open with a song about an oil refinery?". OMD surgically stacked their setlist and immediately ignited the audience with the chirping synthesizers of "Messages" as McClusky strapped on his Fender Jazz bass.
Seeing that that crowd was in the age range from late 30's to 50's, it was impressive to see most of the dance floor go absolutely nuts for "Tesla Girls". OMD never let up the whole evening by working through "She's Leaving" and "History of Modern (Part 1)". Paul Humphreys took center stage for "(Forever) Live and Die" which was bolstered with a saxophone solo by Martin Cooper.
Arguably one of their biggest hits "If You Leave" had McClusky reminisce about going to Paramount pictures and writing the song for "Pretty In Pink". Humphreys continued to display his timeless voice for "Souvenir" as the crowd enthusiastically clapped along. A double shot of "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans" sounded flawless and had McClusky interruptive dancing vigorously across the stage.
McClusky prefaced their new song "Green" as a fantastic before renenergizing the crowd by going down to the front rail to greet fans as he sang. The hits just kept coming as "Talking Loud" and "So In Love" had the crowd still moving their feet. "Locomotion" was recreated perfectly with its steel drum like synthesizers.
The digital cameras popped out en masse during "Dreaming". "Sailing on the Seven Seas" had another classic McClusky quip when he deadpanned "Even if you don't like it..it is a brilliant song". The classic synthesizer plinks of "Enola Gay" were rapturous had McClusky warn the crowd that they better not be tired.
OMD reemerged to kick off their encore of "Walking On the Milky Way". McClusky told the crowd that they got in trouble for not playing "Secret" back in March and I was glad they played it as it is one of my favorite songs from them.
McClusky took us down memory lane one more time stating he remembered playing "Electricity" at the Whisky A Go-Go nearly 31 years ago. If you own a synthesizer or enjoy dancing then do not miss OMD who are one of the most energetic and vital synthpop bands from the '80s.