Irving Plaza, NYC
September 15, 2017
Review and photos by David Chiu
Time hasn’t changed Alison Moyet’s powerful and soulful singing voice after 35 years as a professional recording artist. A clear example of that was when she performed “This House” last night at Irving Plaza, where she really evoked the lyrics’ sense of love gone awry from the lyrics. That cry of pain she emanated from the last seconds of that performance sent chills up the spine.
Since her recording debut as one half of the memorable British synthpop group Yazoo in 1982, Moyet has carved a hugely successful solo career built on her amazing and emotional singing, as evident on her recent stop to New York City as part of the Other tour, in support of the new album of the same name. In front of a sold-out audience, a mix of old fans and young, the British pop legend performed a wide range of songs from her long career, ranging from her days in Yazoo to the present with Other.
Accompanied by two keyboard players, Moyet kicked off the set with the defiant “I Germinate” from the new record, and it went all uphill from there, verging between electropop dance hits to somber ballads. The more recent songs from Other and The Minutes albums express a certain boldness both in the sound and the lyrics in contrast to the romantic hits that Moyet have long been known for—such examples include “When I Was Your Girl,” “Changeling,” “Beautiful Gun,” and the stark-sounding “Other”. Not surprisingly, it was the performances of the older songs that fans came to hear for as well, and they weren’t disappointed—among them were “Only You,” “Getting Into Something,” “Don’t Go,” Bring Your Love Down,” “Love Resurrection,” “All Cried Out,” and “Nobody’s Diary.” The only major hit that Moyet didn’t include in the setlist was “Invisible,” because it didn’t reflect how she felt now as a middle-aged woman with a more mature and optimistic outlook. The final song of the night, the dance classic “Situation” got the crowd moving on their feet.
There were some poignant moments throughout the show as well, especially when she sang those heart-wrenching ballads. One highlight was her performance of “The Man in the Wings,” which was dedicated to Orlando-based journalist Billy Manes, who recently passed away; Moyet was hoping that he would’ve been in New York City at her show. She projected self-assuredness and charisma on the more uptempo fare not only in the voice but also in her stage presence.
If you listen to Moyet’s singing from the Irving Plaza concert, and compare it with the very first Yazoo album, Upstairs at Eric’s from 1982, there’s not a trace of difference. It’s proof that her voice is both ageless and timeless. With a packed crowd enthusiastic in hearing every single note from her, it’s a testament to her continued popularity and stature as along with her evolution as an artist.