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Live Review: Erasure – 17th October 2021 – O2 Arena, London, UK

3 min read

Electropop group Erasure, comprised of Andy Bell (vocals) and Vince Clarke (keyboards), has penned more than 200 songs and sold more than 28 million albums in its 30+ year history, and is one of the most successful bands of the late 1980’s and mid 90’s. Formed in London in 1985, they have achieved 24 top 40 hits in the UK by 2007 and by 2009, 34 of their 37 chart-eligible singles and EP’s have made the UK top 40 including 17 in the top 10. Fresh off of their 2020 release The Neon (and recently released NE:EP) they have embarked on a world tour that will take them to arenas all over the UK this October, followed by 26 shows in the US through January and February, and then 7 more European dates in May 2022. We caught them at the tail end of the UK leg of the tour at London’s iconic O2 Arena last night.

Compared to the last time we saw Erasure at the Eventim Apollo in February 2018, it was obvious from the start this would be bigger. The much bigger stage had several tiered platforms including one with a playground swing-set and one with a merry-go-round, as well as big neon lights and three giant oval video panels that showed vibrant graphics and live feeds from the stage. Andy Bell came on wearing long yellow tartan pants paired with a shiny blue, tightly cinched corset over his bare chest. Clark, in typical fashion, stood at the highest platform in the very back of the stage and looked fresh from a job interview in a business suite. They were supported by two backing vocalists who initially sported extremely colourful faux-fur coats, which they quickly shed in favour of bright neon party dresses.

Taking the stage at 8:30pm, they kicked off the show with Chorus, a big hit from their 1991 album of the same title. For the next two hours they played most of their best known and best loved hits to the mostly over 50 crowd, along with a smattering of songs from their latest album and a cover of Eurythmic’s Love is a Stranger. Bell kept the chatter to a minimum between songs, and the crowed really came to life when they heard classics like Chains of Love, Sometimes, Love to Hate You, Drama! and Stop! At 57, Bell has obviously slowed down physically, moving around the stage much less and only occasionally showing off his trademark dance moves. His voice, however sounds phenomenal- seeming to barely have aged at all and even able to hit most of the high, falsetto notes that permeate so many of their songs. Clark, as expected remained mostly in the shadows on the keyboard, except occasionally taking up other instruments like tambourine or acoustic guitar as he did on crowd favourite, Sometimes.

After completing the main set, the band left for a very brief break and then took the stage again for an encore, this time accompanied by Funky Voices choir. The band closed the show, accompanied by the choir, with two of their best known and loved hits, Oh l’amour and A Little Respect. These two beloved songs, along with the added exuberance of the choir, capped off the night for the obviously appreciative crowd. I’m sure many others, like myself, enjoyed the sense of nostalgia this amazing show provided, as well as the feeling of one step closer to normalcy.

Setlist:

Chorus
Hey Now (Think I Got a Feeling)
Fill Us With Fire
Sacred
The Circus
Who Needs Love Like That
Nerves of Steel
Blue Savannah
Chains of Love
Turns the Love to Anger
Careful What I Try To Do
Sometimes
Save Me Darling
Shot A Satellite
Love to Hate You
Love Is a Stranger(Eurythmics cover)
Drama!
Always
Stop!
Push Me Shove Me
Victim of Love

Encore:
Oh l’amour
A Little Respect

1 thought on “Live Review: Erasure – 17th October 2021 – O2 Arena, London, UK

  1. Thanks for this brilliant review I am a member of Funky Voices and was on stage for the encore. I have shared your review with the choir a we really appreciate your kind words. What a fabulous night for everyone.

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