Friday, September 29, 2017

Alison Moyet concert review: Los Angeles

photo: Steve Gullick
Alison Moyet wrapped up her North American tour on Wednesday night. The sold out LA show at the Fonda Theatre had fans enraptured from the get-go. Much of it was devoted to the British veteran's latest album "Other." The exquisite electronic pop effort saw her re-team with producer Guy Sigsworth (Bjork, Madonna, Alanis Morissette) to fine effect.

Following Moyet's spoken word recording "April 10," the 100-minute set kicked off with the high drama of "I Germinate." Backed by a pair of male keyboardists (occasionally adding guitar) and a blinding, yet dazzling lighting design that often kept her in the shadows, Moyet gave "When I Was Your Girl" a robust vocal delivery. "Wishing You Were Here," from 1991's "Hoodoo," was an early highlight.

Yaz - Moyet's successful early '80s collaboration with Vince Clarke of Erasure/Depeche Mode fame - was represented by five songs in the set. When the familiar melody to "Only You" (#2 UK) played, the crowd immediately went crazy. "Getting Into Something," off 1994's "Essex" sounded gorgeous.

"This is about a peculiar kind of romance that I don't understand whatsoever," Moyet said, as an introduction for the ominous, industrial-tinged "Beautiful Gun," which recalled Shirley Manson of Garbage.

After acknowledging her large contingent of gay male enthusiasts in attendance and a longstanding relationship with them, the vocalist did an intimate "Man in the Wings," backed by subtle synths. Later, "The Rarest Birds," a majestic song of praise for LGBT community, found Moyet talking about living in Brighton, England, where everyone "lives together freely." Orchestral sounds provided added depth.

All the between song banter was quite enjoyable. Before stately piano ballad "Other," Moyet admitted that being "middle aged feels pretty good." Upstairs in the balcony, people found a way to dance around during more uptempo numbers like "Right as Rain," "Happy Giddy," the Yaz selections "Bring Your Love Down," "Don't Go" and high energy closer "Situation" (the latter two topped the US dance chart).

While Moyet preferred to emphasize her newer material over Eighties solo work live, she did perform a pair from 1984 debut LP "Alf": a reworked "All Cried Out" and "Love Resurrection." All told, it was truly a hypnotizing evening of music. 

No comments: