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Stage Buzz: Live Shots & Review – Erasure

| October 6, 2014

Erasure 2b

Chicago Theatre, Chicago
Saturday, October 4, 2014

Now that Erasure’s approaching a 30 year career, it would be easy for the duo comprised of singer Andy Bell and keyboardist Vince Clarke to coast off the oldies like so many others from their era. But just because mainstream radio’s relegated the guys to the retro bin, they continue to be a mainstay on the club circuit, notching more than 40 singles under their sequined shorts, while recently releasing The Violet Flame (the group’s 16th studio album and third since 2011).

Given the constant flow of creativity and renewed interest alongside the latest electronic music revival, the unlikely pair of the flamboyant, falsetto-bearing front man Bell and reserved, enigmatic knob twirling Clarke (who also helped get Depeche Mode and Yaz off the ground), sold out back to back dates at the venerable Chicago Theatre as part of an extensive 58 show tour. And considering the second performance fell on a Saturday night, there was definitely an aura of celebration in the air from the moment Erasure’s blinding sea of strobes lit up the candy-coated surges of the oldie “Oh L’Amour.”

For the next hour-and-a-half, the main pair plus a couple of soulful background singing pals juggled ‘80s and ‘90s gems with equally exceptional examples from The Violent Flame. In fact, current cuts like “Reason” and “Elevation” could easily fit within the context of today’s EDM scene, while “Sacred” in particular sounded like it came from the brains of guys in their 20s rather then their 50s.

Bell specifically didn’t let age slow him down, even stripping down to his sparkling skivvies as he belted out “Ship Of Fools,” which was definitely an over the top display, but oh so Erasure. Intentional wardrobe malfunctions aside, past treasures like “Blue Savannah” and “Chorus” got everyone out into the aisles, plus the band’s final portion pacing was impeccable with back to back attacks of the beat freshened “Love To Hate You,” “A Little Respect” and “Chains Of Love.”

An encore of the mid-tempo ballad “Always” may have been a break from the action, but best highlighted Bell’s upper register and suggested there’s just as much merit in the simpler side of an otherwise highly decorated act. As Clarke’s synth surges kicked off the famous finale “Sometimes,” it was once again obvious just how much these consistent artistic partners have to be proud of, and perhaps more importantly, the fact that their music can bring people together from practically any walk of life.

-Photography and live review by Andy Argyrakis

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Category: Featured, IE Photo Gallery, Live Reviews, Stage Buzz

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