OMD Live at Terminal 5
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the iconic electronic band that sadly most in the US only know from “If You Leave,” played their first US shows this week in over 20 years. At NYC’s Terminal 5 the energy was palpable and nostalgia flooded the room.
OMD’s latest album, History of Modern, is a welcome return to form. Unlike many other past-their-prime pop stars’ recent efforts, this album is quite good. It’s so good in fact it trumps much of OMD’s back catalog, which has always been a bit uneven.
But when OMD are good, man, are they good. And they electrified the crowd with “Enola Gay,” “Dreaming,” and the aforementioned hit from that Molly Ringwald movie. Their new songs solicited huge reactions. This is because the floor was packed with diehards, but also because they were really tight songs that the band obviously wanted to play. The music was crystal clear and so were Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys’ voices. Sadly my favorite, the early 90s disco-stomper “Pandora’s Box,” never made the cut.
But the show went on and the band captured the energy of its youth. Along with Kraftwerk and Human League, OMD really did create the sound we know as electronic music today. They’re widely under-appreciated and worthy of rediscovery.