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This Little Underground

Bao Le-Huu takes on Erasure, Anderson Gang, Rudy, Oak Hill Drifters, Aficionado and Soul inSanity, and urges the music scene to chip in for NK Tapes' Summer Single Comp

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But just when that seemed like a halfway reasonable excuse, the headlining Anderson Gang stepped up and delivered. They, too, have always been a part-time band at best, but they played with passionate acuity. In fact, this was their first public gig in more than a year. For a band that kicks up real country soaked in the spirit of Hank Sr., that’s far too long. I got behind this band a long time ago, and this is why.

I fondly remember seeing Erasure as a kid in the old arena, and the priceless shock on my ultra-hetero but naïve friend’s face (sorry, Chris!) when Andy Bell walked onstage in a tutu. So it was nice to see one of synth-pop’s all-time era-defining acts represent so well after all these years (Sept. 2, House of Blues). Even though they’re about to release their best album in many years (Tomorrow’s World, Oct. 4), this was a set that catered to their longtime fans. While it’s true that soundscaper Vince Clarke did as little as any synth guy typically does live, their music has an unusually heavy and athletic vocal demand for a synth-pop act. And Bell, ever the powerful vocalist and charismatic frontman, still loves the stage. Most importantly, he can still lift the house with his operatic blue-eyed soul.

Also, I’ve seen all manner of tough rock guys make snide Disney jabs when playing HOB. But none of their cred-padding statements were as hard-core as the muscle shirt Bell put on depicting the heads of Mickey and Minnie on real and highly pornographic nude human bodies (yep, full frontal). Punk as fuck!

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