November 11, 2014 Erasure non-stop fun at Moody Theatre Austin, TX 10-19-14
English Synth-Pop pioneers Erasure, consisting of singer/songwriter Andy Bell and keyboardist Vince Clarke, kicked off their 2014 tour with a spectacular performance for two back-to-back fun nights, October 18th and 19th, at the Austin City Limit’ Live at The Moody Theatre in support of their newest album The Violet Flame. Clarke, co-founding member of Depeche Mode and Yazoo, is the pivotal piece to the instrumental band and remains an integral part of Erasure as Bell is the unique vocals in front of the songs. While Bell partook in a solo tour on Regeneration Tour in 2013, this marks Erasure’s first North American tour in three years. Now with their sixteenth studio album in hand, Erasure is exciting New Wave fans again with a world tour concluding on New Year’s Eve in NYC. The duo team, which came to fame in the early 1980s, has continued to wow their adoring, die-hard fanbase with their electric Dance hits and Synth-Pop energy, ready to put on a dazzling show returning to the Austin City Limits stage for the first time in three years.
While the crowd waited in anticipation for Erasure to take the stage, opening act from Los Angeles, Superhumanoids, came onstage and set the tone for the Electro-Pop dance party. Combining Electro-Pop with a little R&B undertones and sweet melodic grooves, the trio took turns with Sarah Chernoff as lead singer and playing synth, co-vocalist Cameron Parkins handling lead guitar and playing keys, and Max St John playing guitar, keys and drums; performing songs from their latest album, Exhibitionists. Bringing a homegrown feel that encapsulates the synthetic blend of electrifying beats that makes a sound all their own, Superhumanoids was a fitting appetizer for the evening.
Moments after Superhumanoids left, the stage lit up as Erasure emerged onstage and kicked it off with a bang, opening the set with one of their earliest fabulous hits “Oh L’Amour.” The ambiance shifted when dazzling Bell, clad in skin-tight pants, shimmery coat, over-sized top hat, and shades, appeared with his wizard sidekick Clarke standing in the background quietly, yet boldly, on his keyboard and laptop dropping the wondrous electronic beats. Bell and Clarke epitomize a breathtaking circus of screaming colors of pride and glamour that attract valiant, as well as uninhibited, aficionados. Flanked by two gorgeous backup singers with afro-puffs and matching silver glittery attires, Austin City Limits Live was transformed into a 1970s’ Disco nightclub scene with flashing strobe lights that sent a wave of energy and excitement all around the packed venue. Bell strutted his stuff on the stage, singing his heart out to hits like “Breath of Life” and “I Lose Myself” as the crowd burst into singing along, clapping, and dancing the night away. Throwing in some impressive new songs from the band’s latest release, The Violet Flame, the audience danced along to their unfamiliar material. Later, Bell stripped off his pants and jacket and sported some sparkly signature shorts and good ole’ cowboy boots and shimmied and pranced from one side of the stage to the other while he dried himself with a hand towel between songs. It was not surprising to see a roaring crowd chanting along to a lineup of nearly three decades worth of extraordinary hits like “Love to Hate You,” “A Little Respect,” and “Chains of Love,” as everybody was moving, even those in the balcony.
Captivating the audience and closing out with a spectacular encore of massive Dance hit from their 1994 album I Say I Say I Say, “Always”, Bell knocked it out of the park, sending the fans brimming with glory and exhilaration on their drenched-elated faces. The final mega smash hit, “Sometimes” rounded out the evening, giving the cake all its icing and topped off the enchanted evening. A perfect snapshot of both nights at best was an evening filled of a unique blend pairing of vivacious flare and vibrant flamboyancy exuded by the magnificent Godfather of Synthpop himself, Bell, as well as the unsung protagonist that was responsible for their thumping beats and creativity, Clarke. This was truly a momentous night that will go down in Austin history.