All photos by Qbertplaya

On a recent Saturday night, I had an opportunity to catch a favorite band from my teenage years for the first time, and I had an amazing time. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, otherwise known as OMD, came to New York City’s Terminal 5 and played a tight, nearly two-hour set that appealed to the sentimental, but also demonstrated why they continue to be influential on synth pop music today.

The band came out on stage right at 9:00 p.m. and kicked off the evening with two tracks from their latest album, The Punishment of Luxury, released last September via White Noise Records. The audience of all ages roared upon their arrival and you would never guess that this band has been around in some shape or form for nearly 40 years. Lead singer and founding member Andy McCluskey bounced and danced around the stage with an impressive energy of which I am quite envious. He said something to the effect of, “I just dance like no one is watching,” and that attitude has served him well. He is a tremendous performer, even when weighed down occasionally by the bass guitar for older songs. His longtime bandmate, Paul Humphreys, spent much of the show stationed behind his synthesizer set up, but traded places with McCluskey a number of times, taking lead vocals up front on some songs, including one of my favorites, “Souvenir.” It was a good ebb and flow between these two gents.

We got a setlist that nicely spanned their discography. I was fortunate that once I finished taking photos from the pit, I was able to remain on the sidelines not far from the stage and had a good view of the band. If you glanced over in my direction, you probably would have seen me dancing like an idiot. It is easy to understand why their music still has longevity, and the new stuff fits in seamlessly. And yes, they did play their best-known hit “If You Leave,” after making reference to John Hughes. Everyone went absolutely nuts when band member Martin Cooper picked up the saxophone and blazed through the familiar solo. Drummer Stuart Kershaw was the model of precision as well.

Finishing short of 11 p.m., it seemed like OMD enjoyed the show as much as the audience did. I’m so happy I was able to attend.

Opener GGOOLLDD is touring with OMD throughout their North American tour, and it’s plain to see why they were selected as support. Singer Margaret Butler is immensely talented as a performer with a level of energy that rivals McCluskey’s. Her vocals coupled with the band’s infectious synth pop sounds complement OMD’s music very well. Visually speaking, I really enjoyed taking photos of Butler in her ornate outfit as she raced around the stage. GGOOLLDD did a great job of getting the crowd ready for the headliner.

Find the setlist posted below, along with more photos of opener GGOOLLDD and OMD.



OMD Setlist:

1. Ghost Star
2. Isotype
3. Messages
4. Tesla Girls
5. History of Modern (Part I)
6. One More Time
7. (Forever) Live & Die
8. If You Leave
9. Souvenir
10. Joan of Arc
11. Maid of Orleans
12. Time Zones
13. Of All the Things We’ve Made
14. What Have We Done
15. So In Love
16. Locomotion
17. The Punishment of Luxury
18. Sailing on the Seven Seas
19. Enola Gay


20. Dreaming
21. Secret
22. Electricity

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