OMD – Washington 2011

Tour Stop #5 – 9:30 Club, Washington 10th March 2011

So here I am in DC, the city that has by far the coolest subways… I feel like I’m in Gotham City! Unfortunately the subway, along with the airport, were the only two things I saw for the day leading to the gig. Due to American Airlines giving me wrong information, I got stuck at the airport for 6 hours! See the plan was to get into DC early, check in my luggage for my 6am flight the next day, then go see the Capital Bldgs and area, finally going to the gig before ending up back at the airport to sleep.

No need for a hotel when I’d only be there literally a few hours anyways but once I got in, I was told I couldn’t check luggage in and it was well after 4pm before I got a hold of the venue to confirm I could check my luggage in at their coat check. Thank God they said yes, I just had to wait until doors opened. Bummed though as I have wanted to see the Capital Bldgs and was looking forward to being able to follow OMD, AND cross something off by bucket list but ah well… some other time I guess, its not like the capital is going anywhere.

So I arrived at the venue shortly after doors and LOL, the doorman felt bad but had to check my luggage “In case you are trying to bring in a weapon”. OK. And I am guessing by the reaction, the coat check doesn’t get too many suitcases but they were nice about it and once checked in, I quickly proceeded up the stairs to the balcony (yes I was serious about the “Lori-free zone”) where I had a birds eye view of the whole club. It was medium sized, decent floor and full balcony which was actually in bleacher style on the sides which I don’t often see but think is a great idea. I chose the area straight back in line with the stage and settled in. It wasn’t long before 3 ‘youngins’ (I’m guessing early 20s) arrived and stood by me. I just couldn’t resist asking them how they found out about OMD and as it turned out, Nick heard ‘So In Love’ on an 80’s radio channel at home, liked it and checked them out. He then eventually introduced Brett and Alyssa who both enjoyed what they heard so the three drove up from S. Carolina. Alyssa is a huge country music buff so wasn’t sure what to expect but was excited as like she said “I’ll try anything once”. Nick was totally psyched and I was excited for them!

Oh Land came on later than normal (90 minutes after door) and did the new song they debuted in NYC but also another one Nanna announced was going to be done for the very first time. “It’s called ‘Perfection’… so I guess it has to be perfect.” It went down well and this crowd seemed promising. During the first part of their show I noticed a couple guys out of the corner of my eye, I glanced back and, unintentionally rude of me, I did a double take to look… it was Mr. C and Mr. H#2, HA! They only stayed for a couple of songs but I hope they liked what they heard.

When it was time for OMD to start, the crowd got on and Mr. M’s bass cut through the air. I had noticed during Oh Land that the sound was a bit a loud but quite clear. Nanna’s vocals were easy to understand and ‘We Turn It Up’ was more intense than normal. This same intensity came with OMD’s music. It wasn’t the stomach vibrating pound, it was just THERE in your face and I loved it! (unfortunately, it seemed to be too loud for the guys though as Mr. M later stated he couldn’t hear himself).

One of the songs Nick was hoping for was ‘Messages’ so, as expected, he was thrilled when it came on. Up front, I noticed a lot of energy was coming from the first few rows and of course this fuelled the group. (though for the first time I noticed it appeared to be mostly men… not nearly as many women tonight).

‘History of Modern (Part I)’ was its usual addicting self though. Stage left balcony seemed to be a bit sluggish so Mr. M let them know by pointing to them and then yawning, urging them to get moving… a few obliged.

This being my first time in the balcony, I quickly noticed that I could see Mr. H and Mr. C’s hands and I found it fun to watch who was playing what part. And I also had a great view of Mr. H#2’s drum kit and all he did with it… he really is an amazing drummer, not just during ‘Maid Of Orleans’, though that is a stand out… great stuff! I had turned to Alyssa just before ‘Maid Of Orleans’ started and said “Prepare to be wowed”. She gave me a look like “um, ok” but by the time it was over and everyone was going crazy, turned to her again and this time she said “OMG, these guys are friggin amazing!”.

Being stuck in the airport, I didn’t have to deal with the rain but Mr. M apologised for bringing the English weather with them and then tried to make up for it with the summery ‘Talking Loud And Clear’. But once the recouping songs were up, it was time to jump into the fire again and off we went. ‘So In Love’ had everyone singing and ‘Sister Marie Says’ was also a hit. It also became the first show of the tour that saw Mr. M change shirts on stage – that got a lot of cheers! During ‘Locomotion’ (the goofing song as I now see it) Mr. M asked Mr. H if he would want to put on the scarecrow costume again. Not surprising, Mr. H said “Um, no I don’t think so”.

By now the crowd had no doubt proven themselves and Mr. M announced it was making them regret not having come back sooner. We will forgive you, just don’t let it happen again!

Dreaming went down wonderfully and a fan got a chuckle out of Mr. M when he held up vinyl covers of the greatest hits and also the single for ‘Dreaming’ (that he then turned around to face the crowd, eliciting another cheer). When it was time for ‘Enola Gay’, the place just erupted and I saw others in the balcony start bouncing… yippee!

As in Montreal, while we all anxiously awaited for them to return, the “OMD… OMD… OMD├╝” chant took form and I think about every mouth was involved because I didn’t hear anything in between… no talk, no nothing, just “OMD… OMD..”. Did my heart good! Sadly, ‘Walking On The Milky Way’ and ‘Electricity’ came and went too quickly and when the band walked off stage again, it was for real this time but no doubt leaving a lot of happy fans! And overall, I would say this show ranks up there with Montreal in terms of the crowd. Brilliant!

So now I’m homeward bound. I can’t wait to land and then get into my car for the road trip to Michigan. It will feel good to be able to throw my suitcase in the trunk and just go, no lugging around the public transport systems (though I have to admit they haven’t been too bad, thank goodness for the internet research!). And for the first time since Toronto, I have company… Nicky McMillan is going with me so should be fun! Not sure how much the town of Pontiac really has but for tomorrow, they will be the ones carting OMD and that’s all that matters!!

Photos by Lori Tarchala