Flashback to the mid-eighties: Everything's in neon; Michael Jackson is still the "king of pop" (and not just 'cause everybody feels sorry for him); Madonna has somehow stuck around this long but we expect her star to dim soon (suckers); and a lil' band we like to call Echo & The Bunnymen (since it's their name and all) were at the forefront of a new genre of music that came to be known as alternative. Kids today donít know shit about bands who paved the way early on, but those of us who do, felt our brittle hearts take flight last night at the Bunnymen show at NYC's Irving Plaza.
The band has two new releases - Flowers (new material), and Crystal Days (a retrospective) - and they culled songs pretty equally from both LPs. Ian McCulloch & Co. kicked the night off with the classic, "Lips Like Sugar," which got the sold-out and packed-tighter-than-sardines-in-a-crushed-tin-box crowd whipped into a frenzy. We were all transported back ñ hey, where's my fucking skinny tie and docs??? Oh, nevermind...anyway, Ian then mumbled something absolutely and utterly incoherent (good to know they partied hard enough throughout the years, like any self-respecting rock band, to 'cause some serious brain damage) and they rolled right into "Rescue" and the beautiful "Brittle Heart." Still tighter than ever, the boys showed little wear from the years (save for the speech troubles), and Ian's voice has only become more distinctive with time. There's no doubt in the crowd's mind that we're hearing one of alternative's seminal bands in stellar form. The next song - and the highlight of the show - was the classic "Seven Seas," which moved the crowd to sing every word at the top of their lungs and bounce around (the '80's version of moshing) in unison. More incoherent speech from Ian. Then more hits for the people ñ "Back of Love," "Killing Moon," "The Cutter," and "My Favorite Kiss." Yet more mumbling...something about "bollocks" I think. Oh nevermind. The band came out for two encores and the crowd ate it all up. They gave us what we wanted. Thank god they're still around.
Source: Ann N. Bowles