From The Vault > Erasure

Erasure: The Tank, The Swan, and The Balloon
Live [2DVD]

Release Date: 2004
Label: Mute Films


Alive, well, and still coming on rather strongly...   

Erasure (1985 – present) are a synthpop duo from the United Kingdom consisting of keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer Andy Bell. Any description of Andy Bell as a flamboyant entertainer might be such an egregious understatement as to actually be insulting. Think of the most spectacular, colourful and imaginatively creative onstage performance that you have ever witnessed, even from the remote auspices of your favourite sofa, and then spontaneously ignite and explode that experience into a zillion brilliantly creative shades of colour. Now engorge your mind with electro synth pop dance hits such as "Chains of Love", "Voulez Vous", "Take A Chance On Me", "Oh, L'Amour", and two dozen additional videos of live music performances held inside the Beacon Theatre (N.Y.C) and you just might find yourself standing upon the threshold of experiences bursting the seams of this 2DVD live music collection.

Sweat, Dance, & Devotion   

Audiences love Andy Bell for so many reasons it might be an injustice to nail him down to a few praiseworthy descriptors. My immediate impressions during the first several minutes of rolling the feed on this Live music DVD set is that Andy Bell exhibits a tremendous energy level and that he flaunts it shamelessly, splashing it back and forth and into every corner of the stage in a completely uncontrolled manner until the entire audience shares in the same collectively enthusiastic cavalcade of entertainment as intimate as an all night pubescent sleepover energized by an endless rainbow of über-caffeinated flavours.

The Good The Bad And The Ugly   

This spectacular performance is rife with creative transitions between song performances, all of which maintain the momentum of audio and visual entertainment without skipping a single beat. "The Good The Bad And The Ugly" delivers one of the most elaborate of such transitions with a thematic tribute to America's Wild Wild West fascination. Pirouettes resembling tumbleweeds crossing the high desert plains open and permeate this showcase. Vaulted backdrops featuring high mesas and steep cavernous walls corral acrobatic dance choreography. Ladies in dresses and bloomers ride bareback gents wearing butt-less chaps, while other young ladies in short-shorts, and still others in Palomino chaps, bard dance the hoe-down showdown. And altogether, there's a whole lot of strutting-the-stuff going on. More flirtatious fun than a barrel of monkeys only to be topped by the glittering, energizer-blue cowboy himself. Shimmering head to toe in blue sequins, again minus any gluteal coverage, this glittering stud, singing, "Who Needs Love Like That", dons the appellation of Ms. Maybelle Mabeline, channeling the spirit of Mr. Elvis Presley. Vince Clark enters looking like Dolly Parton with a breast enhancement. Bell flirts with the up-standing audience a bit more and then leads all into a sing along dedicated to "Ms. Tammy WhyNot", ostensibly to encourage one and all to "Stand By Your Man!"

Elaborate costume variations are too numerous and the changes too frequent to accurately convey with the written word. Suffice it to say that this is a must see performance. All of the above and so much more viewing pleasure awaits inside Disc One. Disc Two provides "Behind the Scenes" interviews, design details, and play-by-play action. Collectors of Erasure discography will find this 2DVD set both essential and irresistible!

Helpful links for further exploration:
Erasure MySpace
Erasure.com
Last FM

~Jett Black