Posted in music | pictures on August 18, 2014

Photos by Greg Cristman

Echo & the Bunnymen @ Irving Plaza 8/16/2014
Echo & The BunnymenEcho & The Bunnymen

During Echo & the Bunnymen's 90-minute set Friday night at the Orpheum Theatre, singer Ian McCulloch evoked the spirits of Jim Morrison, James Brown, Lou Reed, Nat King Cole and Wilson Pickett by including snippets of their famous songs in the middle of the Bunnymen's own classics.

Some might argue that the '80s stalwarts don't deserve a place next to such esteemed company, but McCulloch wouldn't be one of them. The Bunnymen frontman, once dubbed "Mac the Mouth" by the British press, is his own biggest fan known for spouting off such pronouncements as calling the band's "The Killing Moon" "the greatest song ever written" and saying that in the Bunnymen's prime, "It felt like we were the best band in the world."

At times Friday night the Bunnymen came close to McCulloch's lofty aspirations. Performing as a sextet with guitarist Will Sergeant as the only other original member, the band played a set of their greatest hits and obscurities, but true to McCulloch's supreme confidence, they opened not with a familiar song, but the title track from their new album, Meteorites. With McCulloch's aching and longing vocals and Sergeant's tasteful guitar figures, it didn't sound unlike past Bunnymen classics. But the crowd didn't fully light up until the band ripped into "Rescue," from their 1980 debut Crocodiles, and followed that up with "Villiers Terrance" from the same set. - [The Hollywood Reporter]

Echo & the Bunnymen are currently touring their new album, Meteorites, and hit NYC for two shows at Irving Plaza on Saturday (8/16) and Sunday (8/17). (The review above is from their LA show.) Despite a new album to plug, setlists for both shows were pretty much an '80s hitfest, with classics like "Rescue," "Never Stop," "All My Colours," "Over the Wall," "The Killing Moon" and "Lips Like Sugar." The band is touring as a six-piece with frontman Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant being the only two original members. Pictures from Saturday's sold-out show are in this post. We don't have the exact setlist for Saturday (anyone know it?), but Sunday's setlist is in the post as well.

The band will also be on The Late Show with David Letterman this Thursday (8/21) to perform Meteorites' "Holy Moses." Pictures from Saturday's Irving Plaza show, opener Mikky Ekko included, below...

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Echo and the Bunnymen @ Irving Plaza - 8/17/14 Setlist: (via)
Meteorites
Rescue / Broke My Neck
Do It Clean
Never Stop
People Are Strange (The Doors cover)
Seven Seas
Bedbugs and Ballyhoo
Holy Moses
All My Colours (Zimbo)
Over the Wall
Constantinople
All That Jazz
Bring On the Dancing Horses
Villiers Terrace / Roadhouse Blues / The Jean Genie / ???
The Killing Moon
The Cutter

Encore:
Nothing Lasts Forever / Walk on the Wild Side / Don't Let Me Down / In the Midnight Hour
Lips Like Sugar

Encore 2:
Ocean Rain

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Comments (17)

I see that the tour shirt says "USA 2014" but has Vancouver and Toronto dates on it........

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 8:56 AM

Ocean Rain! nice

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 9:12 AM

The genre itself might be different. However, there are listeners who are into meaning.

Posted by Flemings Ultimate Garage | August 18, 2014 10:11 AM

Was at the Saturday show - set list is the same, from what I remember.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 10:19 AM

Spare us the cutter

Posted by Alex and his droogs | August 18, 2014 10:41 AM

The setlist posted is the one I created this morning on setlist.fm

I was surprised nobody posted a setlist for Saturday, but "anonymous" above says it was the same.

Posted by joe midtown | August 18, 2014 11:58 AM

I've been looking for where my grandmother's stolen table lamps went

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 12:34 PM

Opening band was total wannabe top-40 schlock. Not the best fit. The guy had a wonderfully trained voice, but the songs were total shite.

Probably was the result of some backroom booking agent wheeling and dealing... agent just wanted to pump up their stock a bit without regard to the vibe of the night.

That being said, Mac and Will were stellar! Mac's voice was better than ever, and the new songs really held their ground--maybe he quit smoking?

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 12:37 PM

12:37 - he did not quit smoking as he was smoking cigarettes when he was in front of the drummer with his back to the crowd.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 12:47 PM

Did they do that Never Tear Us Apart song? I like that one. They sound like INXS on that one.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 12:56 PM

^ fail.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 1:07 PM

^ eatabagadiks, fanboy

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 1:08 PM

E cigarette?

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 1:22 PM

12:56 is actually mildly witty, since both Never Tear Us Apart and Killing Moon were used as intro music for Donnie Darko (director's cut and theatrical release, respectively)

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 1:30 PM

oh yeah of course, the Joy Division classic "Never Tear Us Apart"

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 1:40 PM

1:30 - Yeah, no, 12:56 is a pimple.

Posted by Anonymous | August 18, 2014 6:55 PM

I think he might be right. I could make an argument that Killing Moon is the greatest song ever written.

Posted by Original Fuzz | October 17, 2014 5:02 PM

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