I have been listening to Echo and The Bunnymen since I was born. They have always been one of my favourite 80s bands with their catchy melodies, unique guitar sounds, and enchanting gloomy vibe. When I really got into new wave music a few years ago I gravitated towards Echo almost effortlessly. While my love for them grew I started to truley appreciate their music as a more mature being and overall music nerd. I would (and still do!) listen to their records for weeks on end trying to absorb all that is occuring in their cutting-edge tunes. It began to dawn on me just how much they have inspired so many bands that came after them. They are the epitome of an avant-garde band.
Since everybody knows I’m such a huge fan, anyone could imagine how thrilled I was to hear that they were touring! When I realised that they were coming to TO and playing at one of my favourite venues, The Danforth Music Hall, I was overjoyed! If I ever had a bucket list, seeing Echo and The Bunnymen would unquestionably be on it.
So when I arrived at the venue I was greeted by a sea of loyal buzzing fans and black clothing. I even saw some of the fans wearing genuine vintage Echo tour t-shirts from ’84. It was like I travelled back in time to where post-punk was all the rage, and no complaints were leaving my mouth! It was amazing to see how devoted Echo and The Bunnymen’s supporters were! With this as my first impression, I knew I would be in for an extraordinarily unforgettable night.
Echo hit the stage with Meteorites, a track off of their newly released album of the same name. For a band who has been reduced to just two original members, Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, the energy was high. The Bunnymen then went into some older favourites such as Rescue, Do It Clean, Never Stop, and Seven Seas. The guitar sounds that were being developed by Sergeant captured the rich tone on Echo’s albums and in a way that elevated them. McCulloch’s voice transported us back to ’84 for he was hitting every melody and line note for note and even changing it up at spots. The Bunnymen also did their popular cover of The Doors legendary hit, People Are Strange, along with another Doors tune Roadhouse Blues.
Before Echo left the stage for their two encores, they played a trifecta of hit singles, including Bring On The Dancing Horses, The Killing Moon, and The Cutter. Before launching into the tunes, McCulloch encouraged the crowd to sing along if they wanted to. Each song was on point and backed up by singing audience members who knew the songs word for word. For most of The Killing Moon, McCulloch stepped back from the mic and let the crowd sing their hearts out.
The first encore consisted of an exceptionally huge medly containing Nothing Lasts Forever followed by Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side, The Beatles Don’t Let Me Down, and Wilson Pickett’s In The Midnight Hour. The crowd exploded when the band did an expanded version of Lips Like Sugar.
After exiting the stage, the Bunnymen came back for one final encore which included a gloomy and flawless version of Ocean Rain.