Simple Minds at the O2 Arena
Ultravox – the opening act of the night – has been a seminal band since the end of the 70s. They were one of the first to mix up Kraftwerkian techno sound with post-punk melodies in several masterpieces (Dancing with the Tears in my Eyes, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Vienna and Sleepwalk), so at the O2 Arena on Saturday, the expectations were naturally massive.
Besides these superb songs, the band has a great verve on stage, especially considering their age (to date close to their sixties), but in many moments they were a bit too stadium-like, with Midge Ure inviting the audience to clap their hands, and a bit too cheesy a finale, all of them playing a barrel each. It seems like they have adopted a mainstream pop attitude and forgotten who they were.
But it was Simple Minds’ night, and they were celebrated by a warm and welcoming audience. Starting with a mighty version of Waterfront, Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Mel Gaynor from the classic line up, plus Andy Gillespie on keyboards and Ged Grimes on bass, played for two hours with four encores.
All the big hits had been played (I Travel, All the Things She Said, Love Song, Don’t You, New Gold Dream, Alice and Kicking among others) and band’s live boost pushed the songs into a new light, with more energy and more grit. Kerr brought passion and love to create a sensational mood on stage: running, jumping and singing.
This Scottish band has been around for thirty years, and sadly it has never been as popular as its peers, like New Order, Spandau Ballet or Tears for Fears, but this is actually one of the finest live acts of them all, catching everyone by surprise with a pure energy charge.
Photos: Adam Bennett
Watch the video for Don’t You (Forget About Me) here: