Sunday, 14 July 2013

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Live At The Danforth Music Hall

First off, I had no plans to see this gig last Thursday. I had checked the Ticketmaster website a couple of weeks ago and it seemed that they did not have any tickets left. After hearing Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark sounding really good on the CBC Radio show Q earlier in the day - and after having a couple of drinks - I changed my mind and decided that I would try to get tickets through scalpers. Luckily, I checked the box office first and much to my surprise they had tickets.

Note: I was late and missed the opening set by the always excellent Diamond Rings.

Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys and band came out at 9:30 PM sharp to the pre recorded sound of "Please Remain Seated," the introductory track off their latest album English Electric. Once the guys were settled they launched into another English Electric song, Metroland, their Kraftwerk-like ode to bad suburban planning. McCluskey seemed happy and energetic while giving high fives to the fans in front of the stage. He announced that “There will be old ones and there will be new ones,” referring to the song selection and sure enough OMD provided a good mix of their classics along with plenty of new songs.

Unlike other bands who regroup after a long hiatus, OMD made the decision that the reunion of their original group would not be a cash grab and that they would record new material. Since they got back together in 2010 they have put out two excellent LPs, History of Modern and the aforementioned English Electric. Most of the older crowd seemed to like the new material but I  did notice some fans who were disinterested. Those people got what they wanted though, and most of the set list was comprised of oldies including my personal favourites "Tesla Girls", "So in Love" and "Enola Gay". The band even played "If You Leave,"the mega hit from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. OMD don't particularly care for this song but it did make them a lot of money and McCluskey jokingly acknowledged that fact.

Another funny moment happened near the end of the first set when McCluskey stated that he was tired. He had good reason to be exhausted because the band were stuck on an airplane for 20 hours due to Toronto's shitty weather earlier in the week. McCluskey did get his second wind, finished the last two songs and with the crowd shouting O.M.D. over and over again the guys seemed reenergized and ended with a three song encore that included two more classics, "Secret" and "Electricity".

If you are in Toronto and you missed them, OMD will be back at the same venue on Friday July 19th. Go see them.

Set List:

Please Remain Seated 
Tesla Girls 
History of Modern (Part 1) 
(Forever) Live and Die 
If You Leave 
Night CafĂ© 
Joan of Arc 
Maid of Orleans 
Our System 
Kissing the Machine 
So In Love 
Sister Marie Says 
Sailing on the Seven Seas 
Enola Gay 


Walking on the Milky Way 

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