Dan Boeckner fronts Operators at the Mercury Lounge in New York City on April 5, 2017. (Photo by nevbrown)
Dan Boeckner is a compelling frontman. The high-spirited crooner danced and weaved his way through an excellent show by his band Operators at U Street Music Hall recently, doing it all as he sang, strummed, and synthed his way through 14 gorgeous songs.
Operators (Photo by Shervin Lainez)
Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade went totally new wave with his latest project, Operators. The synth-forward trio released Radiant Dawn, a second studio album, recently via Last Gang Records, and Operators perform at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, July 13.
Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.
That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.
Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)
Devojka and Dan Boeckner of Operators perform at DC9 on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
“The US Department of Homeland Security, the DC Department of Public Works, and you have all cooperated to make tonight happen,” commented Dan Boeckner from the stage of DC9.
Dan was referring to two thwarted attempted by his band Operators to perform at DC9 in the past two years –- visa issues stymied the band’s visit from Canada once and a watermain break closed DC9 on another occasion.
But if Dan were worried about a third strike against Operators at DC9, he need not have. The new wave quartet hit a smash home run in a sold-out show on Tuesday night as they delighted and entranced their crowd, which was eating out of their hands. Operators performed a stellar live show in part because they have boatloads of talent and charisma. Everyone in the room pressed as far forward to the stage in earnest anticipation as to what would come next from the synthpop band.
Note: DC9 closed early last night due to a water main break, forcing cancellation of this show! Operators have been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 16
DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) hosts a pretty exciting electronic line-up — now on Monday, Feb. 16!
The main act Operators is the latest band from Canada’s Dan Boeckner, who formerly supplied guitar and vocals to Montreal quartet Wolf Parade. Operators puts a big emphasis on dance music and the band released its first offering EP1 last year.
For Operators, Boeckner has partnered with keyboardist Devojka, hailing from Macedonia, and drummer Sam Brown (the latter of whom he also worked with in Divine Fits). Their EP1 supplies us with five tracks, including the likes of “True,” a very new wave track with funky vocals and pleasantly pulsating electro.
Opening for Operators is DC’s own Pleasure Curses in their first show of 2015. Pleasure Curses, hailing from the very electronic label Prince George Records, recently released the track “Burn,” a slinky single that shows off their increasingly polished, and dare we say seductive, sound.
The duo of Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell say they have big things planned this year, but catch up on their catalogue to date below:
Tickets are available online and at the door.
Monday, Jan. 12