Goldfrapp: 23 June 2010 – Hammerstein Ballroom, New York

Sachyn Mital

Wearing a jacket made from streams of black tinsel, Alison Goldfrapp led her band through an hour and a half long spirited performance, giving the audience a highly charged glam-rock extravaganza.

Wearing a jacket made from streams of black tinsel, Alison Goldfrapp led her band through an hour and a half long spirited performance, giving the audience a highly charged glam-rock show. The tour stop in NYC was only one of a handful in the US the English lass has planned on either coast. Supporting their new album Head First, Goldfrapp worked the crowd over with many of their 80’s emblazoned songs.

Starting with two more melancholic and ambient songs, “Voicething” and “Crystalline Green”, Goldfrapp charged into their characteristically synth-heavy pop with “I Wanna Life”. From there, the band propelled along on overdrive for an hour with very dance-friendly songs, like “Number 1” and “Alive”. “Dreaming” closed out with a frenetic solo from the violinist. During the main set, Goldfrapp’s flirtatious cooing was enhanced by waves of air tousling her hair about while each song walloped the audience with powerful glam-rock energy. After introducing it as a song some might be familiar with, Alison let “Train” take the audience into a couple of older synth singles, “Ride a White Horse” and “Ooh La La”. Bright lights punctuated the chorus bathing the dancing crowd.

Golfrapp quickly left the stage, and the audience soundly cheered for an encore until the band returned for the otherworldly “Utopia”. The combination of Alison’s attire (she was wearing a jacket with lights stitched in and broad shoulders) and her rising stacatto climax seemed akin to that of The Fifth Element’s diva Plavalaguna, and I don’t mean that in any derogatory manner. Unfortunately, the cranked up music swallowed her vocals a bit on this older song.

Following another quick break and costume change, into a more colorful ensemble, Goldfrapp returned for their final two dance numbers. “Rocket” and “Strict Machine”, which both benefited from the imposing synths, fueled the audience’s fervor. Though the crowd was hungry for more, the music was over, the band had gone, and the outfit changes were no more. At least the memory of Goldfrapp’s sizzling glamour will linger on.

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