Echo and the Bunnymen at the Palais Royale, October 26. Tickets: $20-$25. Attendance: 1150 (sold out). Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
ah, yes, it was a good trip down memory lane at the Palais Royale 's Echo and the Bunnymen show last Sunday. One black-clad woman even started picking a fight with me! It was so-o-o-o high school! Except that I was all like, "Bring it on, bitch! I'll kick your ass from here to next Thursday!" In high school I would have peed myself, started to cry and run to the bathroom in exactly that order. The nostalgia continued when the band hit the stage, from the attitudinous posturing and dark shades of Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant 's hair to the post-punk, melancholy dream pop.
The Cutter had the whole room singing along. Killing Moon tugs at those heartstrings and makes you long for rainy days in black-and-white. (I don't know why, but in most of my images of the 80s it's black-and-white and raining). Bring On The Dancing Horses is one of those songs that's so 80s it's only good in retrospect.
Even the newer tunes feel nostalgic, as the Bunnymen never seemed to move too far beyond their roots. There are those who say that Echo and the Bunnymen died along with drummer Pete DeFreitas , describing their current sound as flat, but that's not fair.
What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? was an all right record, and if there is a flatness to their stage show, it has more to do with McCulloch's cocksure attitude than with any musical faults.
True, they're not the most exciting band in the world to watch. They're obviously unwilling to jump through the necessary hoops to dazzle a room and completely lack the sort of modesty that makes an act lovable.
But that's part of their charm. I have to admit Mac the Mouth's voice is in fine shape, and his croon permeated the room exceptionally well - the sound at the Palais Royale is so damn good - and Sergeant's guitar riffs are sweet.
But eventually, I moved from in front of the stage to the bar at the back of the room, content to set the brooding romanticism as a soundtrack for the lives of the characters in the hall.
Kept my back against the wall, though.