Alison Moyet at Irving Plaza
New York, NY
September 15, 2017
Alison Moyet is not an artist who resides in the past. Not her's or anyone else's. Many fans feel that her biggest hits were as part of Yazoo with Vince Clarke and then perhaps a few songs some from early in her solo career. These same fans often feel that her concerts should serve as nostalgic remembrances of those past glories--and not much else. The fact of the matter is that Moyet has continued to make music, releasing nine studio albums since the demise of Yaz and she shows no signs of wanting to stop.
Her concerts, of course, give a nod to the songs that first made her famous, but they also pay attention to the thirty-some-odd years that have passed since her first solo release Alf (Columbia Records, 1984) hit the shelves. Moyet has not let any grass grow under her feet. She has grown and adapted as the times have changed and the years have moved forward. And that is what makes them special.
On Friday evening, September 15th, dressed smartly in a tailored suit as smoke billowed across the intimate venue's stage, Moyet opened her fabulous concert with "Germinate" from her recently released Other CD (Cooking Vinyl, 2017), "When I Was Your Girl" from 2013's Cooking Vinyl release The Minutes and "Wishing You Were Here" from Hoodoo (Columbia, 1991).
It wasn't until the fourth song, "Only You," that Moyet visited the past when she was a member of Yaz. Moyet's synth-pop cum electronic gumbo has the mostly middle-aged audience dancing and bopping in place in the crowded club.
Other highlights of the main set included: "Changeling," "Beautiful Gun," "The Man in the Wings," "This House," "Lover, Go," "Right As Rain," "All Cried Out," and the three other Yaz songs that graced the basic performance--"Nobody's Diary," "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)" and a sparse version of "Don't Go." The beauty of the performance was the fact that many of the songs featured slight re-workings that made them both fresh and contemporary without losing the DNA that made these songs and Moyet the artist and the treasure that they are and that she is.
The encore consisted of fantastic versions of "Love Resurrection" from Alf and "Situation" from Yaz' Upstairs at Eric's (Sire/Mute, 1982).
Even after thirty-plus years, Moyet's voice remains a most amazing instrument. Her incredible range was on display early and often. Her voice is both husky and sultry, poppy and rockin' when need be and finally smooth as silk when she delivers a heartfelt ballad. Her vocal styling remains instantaneously recognizable and real without the need for auto-tune or using vocal gymnastic tricks. It is truly a god-given treasure...and on this night that treasure was on display.
Photo credit: Christine Connallon
Alison Moyet at Irving Plaza - 9/15/17 Setlist: Germinate; When I Was Your Girl; Wishing You Were Here; Only You; Ski; Other; Nobody's Diary; Getting Into Something; Changeling; Beautiful Gun; The Man in the Wings; This House; Lover, Go; Right as Rain; Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I); The Rarest Birds; All Cried Out; Happy Giddy; Don't Go; Alive Encores:Love Resurrection; Situation