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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yaz: Reconnected

I took a precious vacation day to see a concert in Chicago. Why? A band that had broken up long before I started paying attention to music was reuniting, to play a few dates in America. After 25 years, and for a limited time, Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet are back together, finally touring in support of the second Yaz album!

Of all bands that are no longer together, I thought Yaz was one of the least likely to reunite. For one, the band was never that popular, particularly in the U.S., and couldn't anticipate the revenues of a reunion tour of, say, The Police. The band only released two albums. And most importantly, Clarke is still going strong with Erasure and Moyet with her solo career.

Overall, I was impressed by the concert. Moyet retains an impressive voice, and of course, I love Clarke's synthesizer work. The presentation was simple, just the two of them on stage, with a background of colored LED lights and graphics. The few instances where there are two voices on the song (e.g. Walk Away From Love), a heavily vocoded voice was used.

Although the promotional materials for the tour expressed the band's regret for not getting to play the second album live, it was the first album that was played in its entirety. Even experimental track I Before E Except After C was performed, with the band members offstage and only a reel-to-reel tape player and synthesizer playing. The band didn't play You And Me Both tracks Softly Over, And On, and Happy People. (The latter wasn't a surprise, as it is a UK-only track sung by Clarke.) They did play B-side State Farm, B-side and later single Situation, but not third single The Other Side Of Love. (Again, that didn't surprise me, since that song was left off their greatest hits album, despite being a moderate hit in the UK.)

Come the encore, it was clear what songs would be played, as they had yet to play their two U.S. charting singles, Only You and Situation.

Now, to rip my singles into .mp3s and add them to my iPod!

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