Why travel to Coachella and fight the crowds when you can stay home in the Bay Area and benefit from spill-over shows and a material decline in the hipster population? Exactly. Friday night the Regency Ballroom was the place to be, featuring O.M.D. headlining a sold out show supporting their latest release, English Electric, which dropped just this past week.
The crowd, generally younger than expected, filed in early and seemed more inclined to nab a spot up front on the floor than a seat in the balcony. And with the age obviously came more disposable income which resulted in a long pre-show line at the merch table where the band was kind enough to not ream folks on prices. Even the $10 O.M.D. tea towel seemed a bargain and most wouldn’t even know what to do with it.
The band took stage at 10 pm sharp with Holmes and Cooper taking up position first, positioned behind their keyboard and drums at the back of the stage. Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey, for whom the crowd went wild(er), followed shortly thereafter. “We told you we’d be back,” remarked McClusky as the band launched into “Metroland,” the first single off of English Electric. With the bass thumping hard enough to rattle teeth in the front row, the reaction from the crowd made it clear that the crowd was, a) already quite familiar with the new material, and b) there to have a good time.
Even though O.M.D. has been at it for 35-ish years, they quickly demonstrated that they still have a passion for the music; McCluskey energetic and frequently venturing out between verses to the edge of the stage to get closer to the audience. Early in the set, Paul swapped positions with Steve and stepped out from behind his keyboard and picked up the mic for fan-favorite, (Forever) Live and Die, before pulling out If You Leave which got the crowd’s cell phones in the air, presumably for some video. All that during the first third of the set, yet so much more to come including an encore which wrapped up the night with Electric.
The night’s enthusiasm might have resulted in some collateral damage with a few fans finding themselves being treated by the on-site medical team for various afflictions. Other than those that had to sit it out on a gurney or in a wheel chair, there’s no way that this show could have been a disappointment for even the most casual of O.M.D. fan.
Supporting act: Diamond Rings
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