Alan Oakes is Let Em Riot, the man-machine synth-pop band that’s just sticky with fearless ‘80s references—Flock of Seagulls, Tears for Fears, Frankie says relax!—but plenty of smart arrangements and production absolutely faithful to the era of unwieldy hair and overworked fog machines. After the break-up of his alt-rock band the Appearance, OC music veteran Oakes dove into the music he’d grown up on, eventually delivering more than an album’s worth of songs split across an EP and a beefed-up single. Now reinforced for live shows by—naturally!—more keyboards, Let Em Riot is in the middle of a residency at Detroit, at which they reveal that sometimes a synthesizer can indeed have a soul.
Mondays, 9 p.m. Starts: April 9. Continues through April 30, 2012