Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Andy Bell at Irving Plaza

Andy Bell was born in England on April 25, 1964. In 1985, he was working in a meat packing plant, when he responded to Vince Clarke's classified advertisement in a newspaper. Clarke was looking for a singer. Together, Bell and Clarke formed the synthpop duo Erasure, which sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Bell also launched a solo career in 2005 with the album Electric Blue and 2010’s Non-Stop. He is headlining the Regeneration Tour with Howard Jones and opened the tour tonight at Irving Plaza.

At Irving Plaza tonight, Clarke was in the audience, but did not join Bell onstage. Bell made his entrance wearing a moo-moo. By the end of the show, he stripped down to what looked like a black corset and glitter pants. Bell was accompanied by two musicians, an inaudible percussionist and a keyboardist, and a whole lot of pre-programmed synthesizer music; midway into the show, he was joined on stage by two drag queens with mountainous hair who did a bit of background singing and a few choreographed moves. Erasure videos were projected onto the large back screen as Bell sang the songs. The music? Well, being that most of it was prerecorded, let us just say that Bell mimicked the Erasure hits karaoke-style. Bell’s singing was mediocre, but he carried himself with a lot of flash. His adoring fans danced in place and sang along to the dance club hits. The show clocked in at only 50 minutes, and that included a two-song encore. Maybe it was more like an evening at La Cage aux Folles than a rock concert.

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