Live Review: Daði Freyr @ 9:30 Club — 9/18/22

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Daði Freyr performs at 9:30 Club on Sept. 18, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Two things you grasp about Icelandic musician Daði Freyr right away — he’s very tall, and he enjoys being something of a lovable goof.

Those two aspects of him were very easy to spot at 9:30 Club recently when Daði dropped in for The Fabulous, Wonderful, & Nice Tour, his first *major* headlining journey around the United States. At about a third of the way through the set, for example, Daði warned his audience to steel themselves for the most serious song he would play, but then he and his band broke out into an electronic version of the famed “Chicken Dance,” the ubiquitous German beer hall dance adopted by weddings all over the world.

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Preview: Pet Shop Boys and New Order @ Merriweather Post Pavilion — 9/21/22

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Pet Shop Boys (Photo by Phil Fisk)

Pet Shop Boys and New Order’s long-awaited joint The Unity Tour kicks off in North American tonight and then stops at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Both bands alternate as opening and closing acts throughout the co-headline tour, with Paul Oakenfold playing a special DJ set before each act.

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Snapshots: CHVRCHES @ 9:30 Club — 6/5/22

CHVRCHES perform at the 9:30 Club on June 5, 2022. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

Generally when a band comes back to town touring behind the same album, it’s because they’re playing a bigger venue after winning over more fans. CHVRCHES did things a bit different earlier this week, with a very sold-out three night run at the 9:30 Club for the latter part of their Screen Violence tour. It was the band’s first appearance at the club since way back in 2014.

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Live Review: Aurora @ Lincoln Theatre — 6/5/22

Aurora captivates at the Lincoln Theatre on June 5, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

Aurora deftly mixes the sense of Norwegian folk melodies with electronic sounds that pack a range of emotions in these small boxes.  It’s hard sometimes to wrap one’s head around the impossibly strong voice coming from the figure on stage, but it’s real and has the ability to move a room full of listeners with its power.

Returning to the Lincoln Theatre Sunday night, Aurora once again showed us what we’ve all been missing the last few years. Even before the the doors to the theater opened there was a line from the sold out venue that wrapped across U Street and up the next block — something I hadn’t witnessed in a long time — as fans, some dressed in costume, eagerly made the slow march inside.

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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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