When I was in high school, I would drive with my friends across the state line into Kansas to go to a club called Pogos where teenagers could dance until curfew. I vividly remember driving to Pogos one night and “A Little Respect” by Erasure came on the radio. I think I blew out the speakers in my Chevy Cavalier that night. The techno synth brilliance of Vince Clarke, the falsetto vocals of Andy Bell, and the message of standing up for yourself and demanding respect at an age when respect is the last thing you get, launched my three decade-long love affair with Erasure. This week the duo played two sold out shows at Terminal 5 in New York, supported by Frankmusik, a talented performer and producer. Frankmusik produced Erasure’s new album Tomorrow’s World, due out in October.
So smart of Erasure to team up with Frankmusik both for his producing role, and as opening act. He is the definition of warm-up act. So entertaining, he didn’t stop singing for a second. It was sort of a long medley of songs from his first album, Complete Me, songs from his forthcoming sophomore record, and covers of ’80s hits like Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” and the Eurythmic’s “Sweet Dreams.” He’s so talented and handsome. He sort of reminded me of Justin Timberlake. That’s it! He’s the U.K.’s answer to JT. While I don’t know his new music, I love that he played “When Your Around” and “Better Off as Two” from Complete Me. Keep an eye on this one. BTW, the hot Josie and the Pussycats-esque keyboard player is his fiance. Congrats, Frank!
Finally, Vince and Andy took to the stage set with gargoyles and cages. Perfect for Terminal 5. Surprisingly, they opened with “Sono Luminus,” a beautiful slow tempo song off their 1995 self-titled album. Clearly, this show was going to crescendo into a dance party like Pogos. Up next, “Always” from 1994’s I Say, I Say, I Say album. I love this song because it was released the year I came out. I have at least a dozen remixes of this song. Then Andy asked the audience if anyone saw Blondie the night before. No one screamed except for me. His point? Their set list was like Blondie’s. Lots of classics mixed with new songs from Tomorrow’s World, starting with “When I Start To (Break It All Down).” I’m already loving the new tracks. “Fill Us With Fire,” “You’ve Got To Save Me Right Now,” “Lose Myself” and “A Whole Lotta Love to Run Riot” were all performed.
But it was the classics that everyone wanted to hear. I was surprised how many songs they have that I’ve forgotten about. From 1987’s The Circus: “Victim of Love” and “Sometimes.” From 1988’s The Innocents: “Ship of Fools,” “Chains of Love” and “A Little Respect.” From 1989’s Wild!: “Blue Savannah” and “Drama.” From 1991’s Chorus: “Chorus,” “Breath of Life” and “Love to Hate You.” As predicted, the show crescendo to a great encore of “Oh L’Amour” off their 1986 debut album and “Stop!” Pretty damn great. Can’t wait for Tomorrow’s World to land in my iTunes.