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The Bangles | November 8, 2011

The extra tables set up on the floor of the Fillmore should have been an early indicator that the crowd for tonight’s return of the Bangles was going to be on the older end of the age spectrum. And while there were some young ones in the crowd, it seems that the release of the Bangles new album (Sweetheart of the Sun) has largely brought the old fans back for more, pushing the average age in the room  into the high 40’s.  No matter … the crowd was clearly ecstatic to see original members Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson back on stage in San Francisco.

If you only know their hits, you may have been surprised by how firmly the rest of their material is rooted in 60’s-era rock … vibes reminiscent of classic Beatles and The Who woven into the melodies.  The setlist ran the gamut including a healthy dose (6 songs) off of Sweetheart of the Sun during which some impatience  on the part of a few in the crowd drew assurances from Vicki that they’d get to the old stuff.  Songs like the “stalker rock” tune I’ll Never Be Through With You and Ball ‘n’ Chain blended quite well with the old.  And impatience aside, the audience seemed equally appreciative of the new material and enjoyed the on-stage banter such as Vicki’s introduction introduction of Under A Cloud as, “a “chirpy little song about depressing things.” 

As for the band, it’s hard to imagine that it’s been 30 years since they first started together. They all looked and sounded great as they traded off vocal duties and nailed those classic 60’s-infused harmonies. And while there were a few men in the band (“Bangles with dangles,” quipped Debbi at one point), the spotlights were pointed at the original members who were clearly enjoying their time on stage together.  As a smokey haze formed over the crowd, Vicki and Susanna joked back and forth about the smell of “incense” and at one point Susanna copped to having a slight contact high, getting a knowing chortle out of the room.

Debbi finally stepped out from behind her kit and picked up a guitar for a few songs including Going Down To Liverpool, addressing that nagging question of what that extra mic stand was for.  Taking a short break after Hero Takes A Fall, the Bangles wrapped up their 90 minute set with the song that everyone in the building knew was coming, Walk Like An Egyptian, which included a mid-song jam on the Who’s Magic Bus.

Setlist:

  • Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)
  • Hazy Shade of Winter
  • Some Dreams Come True
  • Manic Monday
  • Ball ‘n’ Chain
  • I’ll Never Be Through With You
  • The Rain Song
  • If She Knew What She Wants
  • Restless
  • Live
  • September Gurls
  • He’s Got a Secret
  • Under a Cloud
  • Going Down to Liverpool
  • Eternal Flame
  • Get the Girl
  • Open My Eyes
  • Ride the Ride
  • In Your Room
  • Hero Takes a Fall

–Encore–

  • Sweet and Tender Romance
  • Walk Like an Egyptian

Opening act: A Fragile Tomorrow

© 2011 Alan Snodgrass | www.digitaldiversion.net. Please do not use without express permission (contact). If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook for access to exclusive photos.

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