It’s been 38 years since Echo & the Bunnymen got their start in Liverpool but the band still generates quite the buzz when coming to town. First Ave was nearly sold out despite a big music festival the next day. DJ Jake Rudh had dedicated his weekly radio show to bands from Liverpool. He also provided the pre-show DJ set. What I love about his sets is that each and every time I re-discover a song I had forgotten about that I really liked back in the day.
Opening was Ester Drang and Oklahoma 5-piece. It’s been a few years since their last album. Described as an “experimental rock band” they sound was guitar heavy with the occasional synth after thought.
Promoting 2014’s “Meteorites” Echo & the Bunnymen are currently on a 6 week North American tour. Two of it’s founding members Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant still make up the core of the band. Their set takes place in smoke, dark colored lights and of course dressed in black. Text book 80s “alternative” a genre that Echo & the Bunnymen helped define. “Going Up” set the mood and took most of the crowd back to a time when their t-shirts fit less tight and getting lost in the sound was just another Friday night.
Singer Ian McCulloch’s voice has aged well, there is a maturity to it that for me works well with Echo & the Bunnymen’s sound. Fans were having a blast singing along to many of the songs. It was great to see Echo & the Bunnymen, a band that was a staple of my Walkman tapes in my youth for the first time live.
Set List: Going Up / Do It Clean / Crocodiles / All That Jazz / My Kingdom / In the Margins / Rescue / Zimbo / Over the Wall / Never Stop / Villiers Terrace / Bedbugs and Ballyhoo / Seven Seas / Dancing Horses / The Killing Moon / The Cutter Encore: Nothing Lasts Forever / Lips Like Sugar Encore 2: Ocean Rain