Friday, April 13, 2018

OMD arrive in Orlando revived and recalibrated with GGOOLLDD

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 4:40 PM

click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
OMD and GGOOLLDD, The Beacham, Apr. 12

A show by synth-pop kings Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is a lot of history loaded into one night. Although one sort of eclipses the other at this point, there are two distinct schools of thought in the OMD appreciation society: fans of their artier early days as electronic adventurists and fans of their generation-defining pop. The poles of that divide, and the very fact of its existence, are symptomatic of the trajectory of their oeuvre.
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
Although it seemed for a while there that their international ‘80s stardom would guarantee the group’s course, the dichotomy at the core of their DNA would ultimately contribute to their unraveling in the ‘90s. Debating which side of their creative-commercial duality is superior really just comes down to a matter of personal preference. However, although they were good as experimentalists, they were peerlessly masterful at grand pop anthems. An uncool opinion, I know.
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
Now, three albums into their full-blown reunion, it looks like OMD have finally found a way to thread the needle and unify their halves, striking an art-pop balance probably not seen since before their John Hughes breakout. Thankfully, their melodic flair is still in bloom in their latest material. It’s just framed with a smart and timeless Kraftwerkian purity.
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
It’s a sleek and streamlined sound that the band capture well on stage, incorporating enough live playing to be full and present. And, my god, the voices of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humpheys are marvels of agelessness, especially the golden croon of the former.
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
Even the way McCluskey moves does not observe age. With the way he still commands their crowd, the spirit is alive and well in him. My hero, this guy. And here in Orlando, it was an adoring crowd for a revived and appreciative band, the perfect union.
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
click to enlarge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at the Beacham
To warm it all up, Milwaukee opener GGOOLLDD gave a performance of big dance-rock energy. Their tall, commercial-quality songs were stroked with enough brio, attitude and glittery enthusiasm to hang with the Sounds.
click to enlarge GGOOLLDD at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • GGOOLLDD at the Beacham
click to enlarge GGOOLLDD at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • GGOOLLDD at the Beacham
click to enlarge GGOOLLDD at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • GGOOLLDD at the Beacham
click to enlarge GGOOLLDD at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • GGOOLLDD at the Beacham

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com



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