Last Night: Yaz, Psychedelic Furs @ Pacific Amphitheater

Yaz, Psychedelic Furs at Pacific Amphitheater on July 24, 2008

Better Than: trying to find that 1980's cassette mix tape in your garage.

Download: Nobody's Diary (Origin of Essex Remix) from the Official Yaz Homepage

"You have been brilliant, we have been Yaz.". Alison Moyet (Vocals) couldn't have said it any better as Yaz closed out their brief tour of the U.S. at the Pacific Amphitheater.

The Psychedelic Furs rolled out their impressive collection of hits to warm up the enthusiastic crowd. Richard Butler's (Vocals) distinctive ash strewn voice melds perfectly with their yearning songs. Mars Williams's (Saxophone) jugular vein nearly exploded as he tore into the saxophone drenched intro of "Heartbeat". I had to pick myself off the ground when they dusted off "Am I Wrong" which was from Richard's former band Love Spit Love. Richard went into his trademark 360-degree twirls for a sparkling rendition of "Ghost In You". Beach balls were making the rounds in the orchestra area as "Love My Way" ejected all of the audience from their seats. "Pretty In Pink" turned into an informal meet and greet as overzealous fans rushed to the stage to have their picture taken with Richard Butler. It was one heck of an opening set as the bar was raised high.

Contrary to what you might think, Vince Clarke (Keyboards) is not checking his email behind his Apple laptop. Vince was busy triggering classic samples and arpeggios that made him one of the forefathers of electronic music. Vince's programming with Alison Moyet's (Vocals) sultry and soulful vocals combined to form the super duo of Yaz. The ping-pong synthesizer lines of "Nobody's Diary" immediately transported everyone back to 1983 as Alison couldn't stop smiling from the huge ovation from the crowd. "Good Times" lived up to its namesake as I was surrounded by a pack of rabid Yaz fans dancing all around me. Sugar coated synthesizers propelled the "Sweet Thing" into overdrive as Vince added some robotic vocoder vocals. Alison was correct when she warned the crowd they would be dancing till the close of the show as they tackled "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I) and a feverishly audience clapping version of "Don't Go". An encore of "Only You" and "Situation" prompted Alison to come to the front of the stage and sing the songs much to the delight of the adoring fans. Alison and Vince exchanged a warm embrace and bowed as they received a thunderous ovation from the crowd. I beg to differ, Yaz was brilliant.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: As a collector of synthesizers, How could I not like Yaz?

Random Detail: "Only You" by Yaz was on the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack.

By The Way: Yaz recently released a four disc box set entitled "In Your Room" with remastered tracks and 5.1 surround mixes. A must own for any Yaz fan.


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