Live Review: Echo & the Bunnymen @ Lincoln Theatre — 9/17/22

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Echo & the Bunnymen perform at the Lincoln Theatre on Sept. 17, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Echo & the Bunnymen were inevitable.

By the late ’70s, electronic instruments had become more widely available, fueling a rise of experimentation in UK cities like London, Manchester, and Liverpool. Inspired by the DIY ethos of the Sex Pistols, many bands picked up these instruments and started creating.

But in Liverpool, Ian McCuloch and Will Sergeant were admirers of The Velvet Underground and the Doors, two psychedelic bands fronted by Americans. Once those bands had recorded, Echo & the Bunnymen were going to happen regardless of flashy keyboards or electronic drum machines. Their American musical roots perhaps explain why the duo still today gets the earnest rock star treatment from packed houses and eager audiences.

Ian, Will, and their touring bandmates once again received a recent hero’s welcome in DC in a sold-out performance at the Lincoln Theatre.

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Live Review: Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band @ Lyric Opera House — 9/6/22

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band bring peace and love to the Lyric Opera House on Sept. 6, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

Peace and love and, well, rock ‘n roll. That is what was served up Tuesday night at the first night of two completely sold-out performances by Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore. After some pandemic-related postponements, the Beatle, drummer, singer, and showman, Ringo Starr arrived just in time to push away the rain clouds that gathered in the early evening and bring some sunshine to Charm City.

I hadn’t seen a rock performance at the Lyric before, so this was a new experience for me, but as fans poured into the hall the care that the opera house had put into making this a memorable event was apparent. From the concessions to the staff directing the the crowd, it made for a comfortable place.

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Live Review: China Crisis @ City Winery — 7/3/22

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China Crisis perform at City Winery DC on July 3, 2022. (Photos by Mickey McCarter)

In a recent appearance at City Winery DC, vocalist Gary Daly of UK new wave quartet China Crisis reflected on the band’s early days and how success came quick for the pop upstarts.

After their first album dropped in 1982, the band found themselves touring the United States in the next few years, and Gary and his bandmates were struck by the vastness of the foreign land. The band ultimately captured that sense of wonder in “Arizona Sky,” a song that appeared on their fourth album, What Price Paradise, and that the band played as the second song on their setlist.

China Crisis maintained that sense of wonder on their USA 40th anniversary tour, during which they performed their easily recognizable dance hits alongside some irresistible deep cuts, including their July 3 appearance at City Winery.

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Snapshots: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ Brooklyn Steel — 4/30/22

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OMD perform at Brooklyn Steel on April 30, 2022. (Photos by Ben Eisendrath; Thoughts by Mickey McCarter)

UK new wavers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are touring the United States to celebrate their storied 40-year career, and they have built the perfect setlist for the series of anniversary performances.

The quartet knocked it out of the park with their 23-song set for two highly energetic nights at Brooklyn Steel recently. Ben Eisendrath captured the action in photos!

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Live Review: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ Lincoln Theatre — 4/26/22

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Andy McCluskey fronts OMD at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on April 26, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

The most extraordinary musical acts in modern pop history have emerged from groundbreaking scenes that imbue them with mythic powers. And so it was wholly satisfying to witness Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, one of the very finest UK bands, fully embrace their own mythology in a pandemic-delayed 40th-anniversary celebration of hits at DC’s Lincoln Theatre this week, when frontman Andy McCluskey and company smartly acknowledged the creative ground that forged OMD in late ’70s England.

In the concert’s most extraordinary moment, OMD reset their positions during the show’s midpoint to place the four band members at the lip of the stage in a Kraftwerk formation, whereupon Andy dedicated the live rarity “Statues” to the group’s long-departed friend Ian Curtis.

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Interview: Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@ Lincoln Theatre, 4/26/22)

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Andy McCluskey (right) with fellow OMD co-founder Paul Humphreys (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR)

English new wavers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, aka OMD, celebrated the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut album in 2020. Of course, they weren’t able to tour a career retrospective at that time due to pandemic lockdowns. But they are back again now to tour North America in what promises to be a thrilling show.

Celebrating hits across their career, OMD performs at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, April 26, the fourth stop on what promises to be a memorable greatest hits tour. Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass), Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxphone, etc.), and Stuart Kershaw (drums) promise a big production — the sort of which they usually only tour in Europe. Also on display naturally will be the band’s rare genius — their combination of thoughtful and intellectual music that also truly inspires you to dance the night away.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently chatted with OMD frontman Andy McCluskey about 40 years of OMD, his working relationship with his co-writer Paul, and his personal art collection. Oh, and Andy shared some info about a new album as well!

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Live Review: The Wombats @ 9:30 Club — 1/20/22

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Matt Murphy fronts The Wombats at 9:30 Club on Jan. 20, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Toward the end of the main set at 9:30 Club on the first of two nights, The Wombats frontman Matt Murphy told the sold-out room, “This song is based on something my wife told me, prior to launching into “If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming with You” from the trio’s brand new album, Fix Yourself, Not the World.

The inspiration for the song surely justified Murph’s high spirits and good cheer. Happily married, he took up residence in Los Angeles and fathered two daughters with said wife in the time since the release of The Wombats’ previous album.

Whatever good life Murph is living paid off big time not only in boisterous nights at the 9:30 Club but also in the form of a No. 1 album in The Wombats’ native United Kingdom this week! The No. 1 score is a first for The Wombats, who usually broke the UK Top 5 at least with their previous three albums. (Extraordinary debut record, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, hit No. 11 on the UK charts back in 2007.)

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Livestream Preview: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ Indigo at the O2, 3/27/21

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OMD (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends)

Editor’s Note: Originally scheduled for October 2020, this concert was rescheduled to March 27, 2021 due to COVID-19.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) recently announced a uniquely special You Me & OMD live show from London’s Indigo at The O2 on March 27, 2021 — set to raise money and awareness for their crew, whose livelihoods have been so affected in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

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Stream Preview: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ YouTube, 5/9/20

OMD Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphries of OMD (Photo by Tom Oxley)

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) announces “Live From Your Sofa!” — an online performance featuring never-before-seen footage of the whole of last year’s Hammersmith Apollo London show. The OMD concert film screens on YouTube on Saturday, May 9.

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