COMING SOON: Photos by Laura Yan. For more shows, check out our photo section
The elaborate gilded ceilings and baroque ceiling painting of the Hammerstein Ballroom (which feels more like stage for an opera than a concert) was perhaps the perfect stage for Goldfrapp's show last night, which exploited the brilliant lighting, smoke and space of the giant venue to create a grand theatrical dream. The band appeared in the echoes of "Voicething" as the thick cloud of smoke dissolved from the stage, and Alison Goldfrapp, with her signature golden locks and a dress made of sparkling black strands that danced in the wind of the stage, only needed to stand to inspire the crowd to rioting enthusiasm.
There are two kinds of Goldfrapp fans: the casual listener, and then, the Goldfrapp fan, who goes for extravagant costumes and sings along to every song with a fervor, who dances according to the gospel of the heart of every Goldfrapp song, who treats Alison as the awe inspiring goddess. While it might be hard to imagine that dedication from listening to an album, in the midst of the brilliant lights and Alison's striking image, with the thunderous accompaniment of the beats and her exquisite voice, it became difficult for the first group not to shift into the latter. From the mix of anthems from Goldfrapp's latest record, lush and catchy choruses, optimism filled songs to old favorites like the frenzy that "Number 1" inspired, it seemed impossible that anyone would have not felt an ecstasy during the soaring chorus of "Alive."
It was during the latter half of the show that this obsession and liberation blossomed into full effect. An exquisitely sex appeal filled "Train" rendered dancing that was wrought with tension. Followed by a relentless version of "Ride a White Horse" and then, the ultimate delivery of "Ooh La La" with an entranced audience screaming the chorus and dancing to a brilliant end.
While it seemed impossible that Goldfrapp could possibly top that finishing track, after an excruciatingly long call for an encore, Alison returned in yet another change of costume, this time with the stage dipped in a brilliant blue light, and wrapped in a glow-in-the-dark silver puffy concoction like a spaceship around her upper body to create the religious moments of "Utopia," when the stage and the beauty of her voice, the song made the audience all converters. Then, a silky rendition of "Black Cherry" that while haunting, still left the crowd hungry. After a (slightly shorter) demand for another encore, Alison took the stage in a looser, pink feathery piece that seemed ideal for a hope filled version of "Rocket," where the chorus had the crowd with hands in air and eyes closed, singing along with the fullest conviction. And what could end the show but the legendary "Strict Machine" that took Goldfrapp to fame? Just when it seemed enthusiasm could not get any higher: when Alison sang "I'm in love with strict machine," the Hammerstein was every bit as in love too.
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COMING SOON: Pictures:Goldfrapp at Hammerstein Ballroom
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