: A sacred why, a mystery gaping inside.
A line outside the Fillmore that stretches up Geary Boulevard is no great
marvel on a foggy Saturday night. One snaking a left turn up Steiner
and across O'Farrell, one long double conga line comprised in the
overwhelming main of excited ladies aged 22 to 55, was by common consent
a freak occurrence. "I've never seen it all the way back here!"
squealed a knowledgeable scene brat as some stentorian-voiced loser
kept up a ceaseless wheedle to buy anyone's spare tickets to this
sold-out show. Quickbuck artistes were asking $690 online before the
show, but this leather-lunged dipshit found no takers as the line
inched inside the hallowed THC-soaked walls of the historic venue.
Fillmore staff oversaw the immense labor of getting them in with
cheer and barely visible effort. This kind of operation can't even be
attempted in L.A. without 100 cops and rousing the fire marshal
out of bed, so props to institutional competence.
Once inside, the main room was an estrogen bath, the giddy fumes of
which were already turning the few males in my line of sight into
isolated pashas of feminine attention. I was rapidly acquiring my own
little fan club while my photographer tested the light and then gave
up on getting multiple angles in this gathering wall of frisky flesh.
Tension rose, lights were doused, and the headliners sauntered out without
hindrance of an opening act and laced into the spine-tingling intro to
"Planet Earth." Once the prettiest boys of the old New Wave, the
remaining original members are sightly fellows still, with frontman
Simon Le Bon in full possession of every atom of his '80s MTV
charisma. Add a catalog chock-full of Thatcher-era pop blockbusters you
still hear played on the radio, plus an energetic new album titled All
You Need Is Now,
and the result is a hypermelodic variant on all those
old Hammer caveman movies in which a handful of male explorers wind up sunk sternum deep in Amazonia
Le Bon's every move elicited prolonged squeals and moans -- and he made
plenty of moves. The stripping away of the great man's jacket was
practically its own event, while similar frenzies greeted manly rolling
of his own shirt sleeves. By the end of "Girl Panic!" the women
at my end of the room were beginning to lose it entirely. One brunette
with eyes like squashed raisins took one look at my photographer and
fell in love at once, trying to drag her toward the stage while eyeing
me with "Tell your boyfriend I could really, really like him!" She was
soon overcome by drink and had to be carried off by her male
companion. A superbly eerie 007 movie medley segued into "View to a
Kill," which begat yet another mass catharsis before the band filed
off to wait out the short tumult before encore. They played two more
odes to feminine misbehavior, "Girls on Film" and a blistering swatch
of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" before filing offstage, leaving a perfect
salvo of madhouse wails in their wake. As a warmup show for their
Sunday night stand at Coachella, this was all the glamour without
hassling with ornery locals in two-dollar hats out in Indio.
Random notebook dump:
"Totally digging on the dainty blonde in the
bubblegum card minidress."
Hungry Like the Wolf
All You Need Is Now
Safe (In the Heat of the Moment)
Friends Of Mine
Leave a Light On
Blame the Machines
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
Bond Medley/A View to a Kill
Girls on Film/Poker Face
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