Waiting 16 years for Alphaville to revisit America would’ve been long enough, but believe it or not, up until a summer Sunday in 2017, the band who first began in 1982 had never previously been to the Windy City. Although the German synthpop group might have packed out the Chicago Theatre (just like New York the prior night) had it not been for Lollapalooza across the street, the faithful who did gather for the landmark show were overwhelmingly appreciative.
“Forever Young” tipped off a spine-chilling sing-a-long, and while Jay-Z, Beyoncé, The Killers and Imagine Dragons all the way back to Laura Branigan have given it a go, nothing could compare to Gold’s poignant delivery on what will surely be Alphaville’s key to immortality.
In spite of debuting more than three decades ago, there was nothing dated about the “Stranger Attractor” Tour, which could’ve easily fit alongside any of the EDM acts at the aforementioned festival. In fact, Alphaville frequently headlines similar occasions overseas, so this intimate setting was indeed a treat, though there was still loads of lights, along with a floor-to-ceiling projection screen beaming several graphics that tied into its striking lyrics.Prior cuts such as “Romeos” and “I Die For You Today” co-mingled with the current “Heartbreak City” and “Rendezvoyeur” finding original singer Marian Gold in familiar form with additional reinforcement by his slick backers. The Stateside smash “Big In Japan” also came surprisingly early and was greeted by tons of cell phone and cameras popping up to catch the band’s bustling performance behind illustrative imagery.
The excursion continued with the atmospheric reflections “Summer In Berlin” and “Around The Universe” before picking right back up with the pulsating “Nevermore” and “Sounds Like A Melody.” In between others from “Strange Attractor” and “Forever Young,” the latter’s title track tipped off a spine-chilling sing-a-long, and while Jay-Z, Beyoncé, The Killers, One Direction and Imagine Dragons all the way back to Laura Branigan have given it a go, nothing could compare to Gold’s poignant delivery on what will surely be Alphaville’s key to immortality.
Prior to those much-awaited imports, second generation Information Society singer Christopher Anton and The Joneses got everyone loose with a speedy electro-pop set filled with his own “All You Wanted,” plus the perfectly paired “Send Me An Angel” (Real Life) and “Personal Jesus” (Depeche Mode). Nods to the rarely touring Society also hit the spot, including a replication of the troupe’s darker ABBA transformation “Lay All Your Love On Me,” the freestyle mega-hit “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)” and the Anton era’s “Synthesizer” to help bring the flashback full circle.
Upcoming concert highlights at The Chicago Theatre include Van Jones (Aug. 8); Idina Menzel (Aug. 12); Belle And Sebastian (Aug. 16); Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson (Aug. 19); 2 Chainz (Aug. 26); Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (Sept. 1-2); Rickey Smiley & Friends (Sept. 3); Chris Rock (Sept. 7-10); 2nd Annual Love In The ‘90s (Sept. 16); Margaret Cho (Sept. 23) and Harry Styles (Sept. 26). For additional details, visit TheChicagoTheatre.com.