|Erasure performs at Oakland's Fox Theater on Oct. 4, 2011. Photo by John Baker.|
Way back in high school, in the summer of 19(mumble, mumble), I went to "yearbook camp" in San Diego in order to learn the proper way to arrange page layouts and proportion photos. Someone brought in a cassette from some pop band I'd never heard of.
The tape was Erasure's "The Innocents," and -- enraptured by the smooth lyrics, bouncy electronics and the (then) quirkiness of a lead singer who was out and proud -- I began a long association with the band that continues to this day.
On Tuesday, the tour came into Oakland's Fox Theatre. I got in line about three hours before the scheduled 8 p.m. start and ended up with a space in the second row (I would've been on the rail, but I had to use the restroom after standing in line for three hours). The show was fantastic. Bell, who admittedly sounded less than prime and was a bit soft the last time I saw the group perform, was svelte and in top form.
The show went off with nary a hitch, save for a brief flub in the lyrics of "Blue Savannah" by Bell. The setlist of 22 songs (13 from 1992 or before) was a good mix of the classic and the modern, with the five songs off the new album -- including the first single, "When I Start to (Break it all Down)" -- received well.
Personally, it was the closest I'd ever been to the front at a concert, making pictures and video a snap. I'm not normally a fan-cammer, but I was impressed with the quality of video taken by my relatively new camera. Below: A brief snippet of "Sometimes."
This was my seventh Erasure concert, and it was among the best. The enthusiastic crowd (admittedly dominated by gay men in their mid-to-late 40s), Bell's better physical shape (which led to better showmanship) and a great set list all contributed to a perfect show.
Not bad for a synthpop group that's been together 26 years now.
|Erasure bows off the stage following its encore performance of "Oh L'amour."|