Yaz At Terminal 5

Last night Aaron and I attended the first of three NYC shows by Yaz (Yazoo to you Brits) as they close out the American leg of their Reconnected reunion tour. It’s been over 25 years since Alison Moyet and Vince Clark released the second of their meager two album output, but you wouldn’t have known that by the reaction of the audience at the sold-out show at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen. People sang, they swayed, they waved, Alison beamed – it was a total love fest.

The duo played pretty much every song from their two classic albums (1982’s Upstairs At Eric’s and 1983’s You And Me Both), as well as my personal favorite State Farm, which was the non-album b-side to the show’s opener, Nobody’s Diary. Alison Moyet sounded amazing. A-mazing. You would never ever dream it’s been 26 years since Situation blew the roof off every gay club in the world. Vince Clark stayed in his usual stoic Erasure-mode, occasionally lending a vocodered vocal over his very slightly re-worked versions of their beloved catalog.

The audience, as might be expected, consisted primarily of gay men in their late 30’s – late 50’s, guys who once danced to Yaz in shiny buckled shoes as they tossed their blue-black asymmetrical bangs out of their mascara’d eyes. But last night they waved their heavily tatted arms over their shaven/bald/salt-and-pepper heads and sang along to every song. Who knew so many people knew all the words to Winter Kills and Ode To Boy? (The link to Ode To Boy is a performance clip from last night already on YouTube.) During the encore of their immortal Only You, somebody in the front of the audience passed out a couple of hundred red paper hearts, which the audience waved slowly over their heads, bringing Alison to visible tears. It was lovely.I’ve seen Vince Clark many times as part of Erasure, of course, and I’d seen Alison perform solo at SF Pride in ’99, but like probably everyone else last night, I’d never seen them as Yaz. Now all I need is a proper Alison Moyet solo tour so I can hear Love Resurrection, Invisible, or my all-time Moyet favorite, the uber-fabulous Whispering Your Name.

Terminal 5 Set List: Nobody’s Diary, Bad Connection, Mr. Blue, Good Times, Tuesday, Ode To Boy, Goodbye 70s, Too Pieces, In My Room, Anyone, I Before E Except After C, Walk Away From Love, State Farm, Sweet Thing, Winter Kills, Midnight, Unmarked, Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I), Don’t Go. ENCORE: Only You, Situation.

Below is my blurry, shaky video of Don’t Go, the last song before the encore. I pan around a bit at the end so you can get a sense of the crowd and the venue. Ah, the venue! I kept saying to Aaron, “This place would make a GREAT nightclub!” Then it finally dawned on me that it had been a club, Exit, and that I’d been there many times five or six years ago. Time has not been as kind to my memory as it has been to Alison Moyet’s voice.

Yaz plays Terminal 5 again tonight and closes the tour at the Beacon Theater on Saturday. Get there. Or wait another 25 years.

(Photo via Troubled Diva)