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Concert Mon Aug 11 2014
It's always an exceptional thrill to see a band of the caliber of Echo and the Bunnymen play The Metro because their sound is quite massive and has become the stuff of legend. For 36 years now, Ian McCulloch's vocals alone have helped inspire countless other bands and served as a soundtrack to the childhood of anyone who grew up in the '80s and early '90s. Today, McCulloch's voice still keeps quite a bit of its range and distinctiveness while the backup band makes the songs sound impressively close to their original recordings.
Echo and the Bunnymen's songs, of course, have the kind of repetitious quality that easily gets stuck in your head and they resonate just as deeply as McCulloch's vocals. It's easy to remember his lyrics and sing along, and the crowd did so emphatically with songs like "The Killing Moon" and "Lips Like Sugar" especially. The sold out crowd gave off a sense that these were personal anthems that had helped them recover during harsh times.
Overall, setlist-wise for their 80-minute set was quite aligned with other setlists from earlier on in the tour, including the cover of "People are Strange" by the Doors and Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" -- though McCulloch did refer to Chicago specifically during that cover, which rendered a few cheers. McCulloch also chose the same new songs from their 2014 album Meterorite, with "Constantinople" coming off a bit stronger than "Holy Moses" at least in terms of stage presentation.
Those hoping to catch any between-song banter may have been slightly let down unless they were pretty close to the stage, as McCulloch's mumbling was difficult to hear. His singing, on the other hand, was projected quite powerfully. Overall, one would be remiss to neglect to comment on the sense of iconic style he possessed and his ability to set the mood overall. McCulloch was somewhat correct when he walked back on stage for an encore to sing "Nothing Lasts Forever," but it's very possible the band's recordings will live in the hearts and minds of fans for a very long time.