La Roux Tour Poster
Midnight Magic Tour Poster
US Tour Dates
10/01/2014 Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall
10/02/2014 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
10/04/2014 New York, NY Terminal 5
* All dates with Midnight Magic
New York's disco band Midnight Magic started the show, playing a solid 40 min set consisting of their 2013 album Midnight Creepers (which probably is a compilation of some EPs, Walking the Midnight Streets and What The Eyes Can't See).
Disco music is still pretty big in Europe (why you think they call it Eurodisco?), particularly in Germany and Italy - so I would think Midnight Magic's main market is probably in those countries. The other thing you should know is that Midnight Magic is normally a much larger band, a 9-piece ensemble, but for this tour, the band is a 4-piece... which is probably a blessing since the space they were given on stage was restricted. What is missing is the horns/brass section of their band, which gave the band a more funk and soul sound to their already jerky disco rhythm... at least based on their various YouTube live videos I watched for research.
You can Roth is pretty comfortable on stage, the way she interacted with the crowd. She tried to get people dancing, but realized it was early, "I know it's like 5pm..." (joke), then someone shouted out to play "Drop Me A Line", and she immediately quipped back, "We already did that one, what did you just get here?"
They ended their set with a blockbuster of disco train, "Beam Me Up", "Electric Shock", and "Push". For the latter song, she asked if Prince was in the house (note: we get that a lot, regarding Prince, whenever national bands play First Avenue). The band naturally freaked out, knowing that they were in the same venue where Prince filmed Purple Rain in 1984. Also I should mention that Roth belted out a loud "PUSH!" scream in the middle of the song that felt like she was giving a painful birth! The audience gave a loud cheer in support of that amazing note... and such a good song to end their set.
Just a little background for those not familiar with synthpop/dance London band La Roux (pronounced as "la roo"). The band started as a duo, Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid. They won a Grammy Award for singles, "In For the Kill" and "Bulletproof", but while working on that difficult sophomore album, there was, as they say, trouble in paradise... Only as recently as of May 2014 did they make it official that Langmaid was no longer in La Roux, and that Elly is now the sole member. While it's not disclosed why the two split, it is probably just creative differences (and probably money).
A couple of key things on this Minneapolis show, for "Quicksand", Elly noted that critics compared this song to Prince, which she considered it a compliment so she dedicated the song to him. Maybe it's the way the band played it, but it does have a hint of "When Doves Cry" in the song...
The other thing is after "Cruel Sexuality", Elly stopped to announced, "We're going to play a song that is not on the setlist." And then proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to William on drums.
Of course, La Roux saved the two biggest hit for their encore, "Tigerlily" and "Bulletproof". For the latter, there was actually no need for Elly to sing, as the audience could have sung the whole song by themselves. Elly knew this and often would just stop and hear the audience singing back.
La Roux and Midnight Magic will be wrapping up their tour in early October... so if you live in Chicago, Detroit, and New York, you still have a chance to dance the night away.
La Roux at First Avenue, Minneapolis (29 Sep 2014)