jakub | May 29, 2024

Echo & The Bunnymen Delivered an Ethereal Experience at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, May 13, 2024


 

The Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, played host to 1980s post-punk British band Echo & the Bunnymen on a blustery Monday night in the city. Returning to North America for their Spring tour aptly titled “Songs to Learn and Sing 2024: The Very Best of Echo & the Bunnymen,” the band was supported by local musician Elly Low. Located a block over from Centennial Olympic Park, The Tabernacle building is over 100 years old, and at one point was a Baptist Church with an active congregation of over 4,000 members. Having attended a number of shows here over the years across a variety of musical genres, I have always been impressed with this facility’s acoustics and intimate feel, even with a posted venue capacity of 2,600 people.

Strolling out to the stage as the clock ticked past 8:15 pm were singer Elly Low and guitarist John Bush. Self-described as “a little bit Amy Winehouse and a little bit Lana Del Rey,” Low delivered a vocally enchanting 30-minute set that accentuated her ”60s-style look and songwriting tone. She performed her wonderfully charming debut single, “I’m Afraid,” which was executive produced by the legendary Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Patti Smith, Cheap Trick). As noted on Low’s website, the song “is a catchy jazz-pop track that explores the relatable vulnerability and uncertainty of falling in love.” Low had no problem handling the large Tabernacle audience setting, but I would welcome the opportunity to catch her live down the road in a more intimate local venue on a date night with the wife.

 

Band:

Elly Low – Vocals
John Burns – Guitar

 

 

With a ton of smoke billowing out from around the stage and the venue doused in deep purple and blue lighting, founding bandmates Ian McCulloch (vocals) and Will Sergeant (guitars), along with the rest of the touring Bunnymen musicians, appeared in front of an adoring Atlanta crowd shortly after 9:00 pm. Reaching back to their debut album Crocodiles (1980), Echo & The Bunnymen started their night off with the song “Going Up.” McCulloch’s vocals immediately sounded as recognizable as ever, much to the relief of the fans who had experienced the disappointment of a stifling illness that impacted his performance abilities back in 2022 when the band had just launched their “Celebrating 40 Years of Magical Songs” Tour at this same venue.

In front of a nearly full audience, McCulloch bantered with the crowd throughout the night as Echo & The Bunnymen performed tracks in celebration of their storied 40-plus-year career. The evening was actually broken up into two sets, with McCulloch joking that they would “be taking a 20-minute break so you all can get another drink.” Before grabbing that drink, however, the fans were treated to the danceable “Never Stop,” which was immediately followed by the catchy and well-loved 1985 single “Bring On the Dancing Horses.”

Upon returning to the stage at approximately 10:00 pm, the second set began with “Show of Strength” from Echo & The Bunnymen’s second studio album, Heaven Up Here (1981). I’ll admit that the second set was much more to my liking than the first, as it included a handful of sing-along, notable hits including “Seven Seas” and “The Killing Moon,” while subsequently ending with “The Cutter.” The band then walked off the stage to prepare for their double encores.

Returning for their first encore after what seemed to be a bit longer than usual following the conclusion of a main set, McCulloch then led the band into arguably their most beloved and internationally-known hit, the 1987 single “Lips like Sugar.” With cellphones high in the air to record the moment, the audience sang along at a thundering volume while bouncing up and down in joy. Following another quick break, Echo & The Bunnymen wrapped up their night with “Ocean Rain” off their fourth studio album of the same title.

With many dates already announced as sold out, the band’s North American tour continues on through mid-June, concluding Friday, June 14th in Rancho Mirage, California, at Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa.

 

Echo & The Bunnymen:

Ian McCulloch – Lead vocals
Will Sergeant – Guitars, Programming

Touring

Stephen Brannan – Bass
Simon Finley – Drums
Pete Reilly – Guitar
Mike Smith – Keyboards

 

 

Setlist:

Set 1:

1.) Going Up
2.) All That Jazz
3.) Flowers
4.) Rescue
5.) Brussels is Haunted
6.) Villiers Terrace / Roadhouse Blues
7.) All My Colours (Zimbo)
8.) Never Stop
9.) Bring On the Dancing Horses

Set 2:

10.) Show of Strength
11.) Over the Wall
12.) Seven Seas
13.) Nothing Lasts Forever / Walk on the Wild Side / Nothing Lasts Forever
14.) Heads Will Roll
15.) Bedbugs and Ballyhoo
16.) The Killing Moon
17.) The Cutter

Encore 1:

18.) Lips Like Sugar

Encore 2:

19.) Ocean Rain

 

 

 

 

 

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Follow Echo & The Bunnymen Online

 

 

 





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