Friday, May 6, 2022

Simple Minds @ la Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt - May 6th, 2022

Simple Minds' current tour is a fan's dream come true. Titled 40 Years of Hits, the show is over two hours long and spans their entire career. Opening with the pre-historic Act of Love, a song that dates back to their beginnings but had remained unreleased until recently, the set list then progressed through the band's history somewhat chronologically, which emphasized the sheer progression of the band from an alternative post-punk band, indebted to Joy Division and new wave, to the stadium pop/rock juggernaut they are known as today.

The show is divided into two sets (not counting the encores) and is as stunning visually as it is musically: set against a breathtaking backdrop of video screens, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill lead a band of top-notch musicians in a celebration of one of the most solid catalogues of hits of the eighties and beyond.

Somewhat disconcerting is the fact that there is no material from after 1995's Good News From The Next World, but if they made way in the setlist to play more of these songs, there would be someone to complain that some of their favorite eighties classics had been passed over. You can't please everyone.

And who can complain with that staggering avalanche of hits: Belfast Child, Sanctify Yourself, All The Things She Said and of course the anthem Don't You Forget About Me... But for this reviewer, the highlights are the renditions of Glittering Prize and Hunter and the Hunted, off of their masterpiece New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84), which was a pivotal album for them as they transitioned from a dark, new wave music to their more streamlined, chiming sound.

Jim Kerr's voice shows no sign of wear or tear despite the man being in his sixties. As for Charlie Burchill, he is one of the eighties greatest unsung guitarists; his tone and phrasing are absolutely unique, and his solos are always tasteful and in support of the song.

The Scots ended with a perfect finale of Alive And Kicking followed by Sanctify Yourself. You simply cannot resist such a staggering barrage of killer tunes. You don't even have to have been born when these songs were huge to appreciate their impact. Sure, the nostalgia factor doesn't hurt. But classics are classics for a reason.

A fantastic show by a classic band that somehow gets better with time. 

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