Echo and the Bunnymen at The Moore 9-24-16

Echo and the Bunnymen have created some of the greatest songs in history.  Just ask lead singer, Ian McCulloch who mentioned fan favorite “Killing Moon” as such during their sold out show at The Moore on September 24th.   Unlike many of their 80’s piers, Echo continue to record and release albums, most recently the quite good “Meteorites”.  This gives them an edge when performing as their creative juices continue to flow.

Echo introduced their dark, doors-inspired post punk in 1980 and attracted a huge cult following which continues to follow them 36 years later.  Originally begun by Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope, who left before their first album to form Teardrop Explodes, guitarist Will Sergeant joined Ian in 1978 and finally released their first album in ’80 called “Crocodiles”.  Their output ever since has been incredibly consistent and creative.  Ian and Will are the only remaining members, but they’ve put together a tight and capable band which, this year, includes Sub Pop’s own Kelley Stoltz on rhythm guitar.

Ester Drang opened with a set of experimental, post rock to, unfortunately, a paltry crowd.  It’s their loss because they sounded great.  From Oklahoma, Ester Drang’s music is a wash of reverb drenched beauty.  Personally, I had never heard them and I was completely won over by their Radiohead nodding airy music.  Totally enjoyed them.

Echo hit the stage Going Up off their first album.  As usual, the stage was dark with the band mostly backlit.  In fact, Will Sergeant off the side in complete darkness for the entire show.  What followed was a parade of mostly hits such as Doo It Clean, Seven Seas, Rescue, Never Stop and Bring On the Dancing Horses with a few obscurities thrown including All That Jazz and In the Margins.  It’s no secret that Ian loves The Doors and we were treated to a rousing rendition of Roadhouse Blues.

For an Encore, we got a medley which included an interlude of Lou Reed’s Walk On the Wild Side which was a ton of fun.  Lips Like Sugar concluded the first encore followed by one last ending tune “Ocean Rain”.

All in all, it was a great night.  Ian was in top form as he smoked and slugged bottles of Milk throughout the show.  The band was tight and high energy taking the show to a higher level than most of their 80’s counterparts.  Thumbs up!