Show Review: OMD at The Warfield, SF. 10/3/11

by Emily Hobson, Senior Product Manager

When a band that’s been writing songs since 1976 and books a second pass of an American tour calling it “History of Modern, Part 2”, you have to think they’re poking fun at themselves. And to a certain degree OMD is doing just that. The first American tour in several years to support their first album in 14 years, History of Modern dates sold so quickly they moved their March San Francisco show from the 1,000 capacity room (The Mezzanine) to the much larger 2,800 capacity Fox Theater in Oakland. This time around they had different obstacles but equal victories.

The Monday night Warfield show had been originally scheduled for the following Tuesday night but was moved just a few weeks after going on sale, on account of, this observer suspects, a conflict with the previously on-sale Erasure show at The Fox. This was confirmed when Andy McCluskey signed off for the night with a shout “to Vince and Andy tomorrow.” It turns out there really is competition for the affections and ticket dollars of aging New Wave fans.

Re-scheduling the show had as little impact on the enthusiasm of the crowd as the band – all original members from the 1980 lineup. They didn’t screw around and brought the hits early and often – Tesla Girls third on the set list and If You Leave, Secrets, Locomotion, All Wrapped Up, Joan Of Arc (Maid of New Orleans), Messages, Sister Mary Says, Enola Gay, and Electricity all included in the show. The crowd, mostly older very enthusiastic fans, sang along to every track and was willing to partake in such ‘rock concert’ activities as clapping ones’ hands over head. OMD shared in the games. If you haven’t seen a 52 year-old man dance with abandon to his own band’s songs you have to question your dedication to music.

With a tee-shirt of their experimental, previous slagged but now revered fourth album Dazzle Ships for sale, OMD knows what fans are looking for thirty-five years into their career. Bring your “A Game,” sweat entirely through two button-down shirts and don’t let up.

Andy McCluskey tells it like it is.

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