Erasure’s Andy Bell summed up the band’s history perfectly in one sentence last night: “Vince dated several bands (Depeche Mode, Yazoo/Yaz) and then married Erasure”. That marriage has lasted over 30 years, 17 studio albums, and several world tours. Erasure’s latest album “World Be Gone” brought their tour with the same name to the State Theatre last night.
Of course the intro set was provided by DJ Jake Rudh who had dedicated his show on the Current last Thursday to Synth Pop Duos.
Openers Reed and Caroline performed in front of a video screen. The duo got drafted by Vince Clark to open for Erasure on their tour. A mad scramble to write new songs resulted in their second album “Hello Science”. Their set was well received by the crowd with cheers – especially the song with the cat video in the background.
I got a crash course in Erasure back in 1988 when I started working on cruise ships. My cabin mate (a lovely French fellow) had 2 CDs : REM’s “Green” and Erasure’s “The Innocents” – and pretty much played them in rotation for 2 weeks (until I bought some for variety’s sake). While I was ready to head butt Michael Stipe after that time, I still find myself singing along to “A Little Respect” to this day. I got to see Erasure at First Ave in 2007 and still remember it as one of the most fun shows I have attended. Needless to say, I was looking forward to last night.
“Oh L’Amour” started the show in dramatic fashion with Bell on a chair in a long spotlight surrounded by large light squares. Everyone was out of their seats and by the 5th song “Chains of Love” there wasn’t a single person not moving to the beat. The stage setup was simple putting Vince Clark on top of the center cube (and out of the spotlight – end of photographer gripe). As usual Clark controlled all instruments and the 2 backup singers “outsparkled” Bell with some spectacular makeup. Erasure retained the attention of fans through their slower ballads – the songs from “World Be Gone” are a bit more serious than their earlier dance tunes and have a haunting beauty to them.
What stood out was the fun vibe from the crowd. Everyone was there to have a good time even the guy wearing his Iron Maiden shirt in protest :). The moment that defined the show for me came courtesy of one of the security staff. The tall, burly, bearded fellow flashed me a grin as he walked by me and shouted “I LOVE MY JOB!” – Erasure’s show found me in full agreement with him.
Set List: Oh L’Amour \ Ship of Fools \ Breathe \ Just a Little Love \ Chains of Love \ Sweet Summer Loving \ Victim of Love \ Phantom Bride \ World Be Gone \ Who Needs Love Like That \ Atomic \ Love To Hate You \ Take Me Out of Myself \ Blue Savannah \ Drama! \ Love You To the Sky \ Sometimes \ Always \ Stop! Encore: A Little Respect