One of my favorite Gang of Four songs is “At Home He’s A Tourist” and that’s how I imagine Andy Gill must feel to a certain extent. As the band members filed on stage, the crowd never even cheered until Gill emerged. Part of that could be that the other members all seem young enough to be Gill’s grandchildren. Much of the crowd probably couldn’t tell the other members of Gang of Four from the roadies and sound guys that had been on the stage before.
As I prepared myself to see what seemed like a glorified Gang of Four cover band, the rest of the audience was getting turnt up. With most of the audience seeming to be original Gang of Four fans from the late 70s and early 80s, it seemed like these 40 and 50-year-olds came to get down. As new lead singer John Sterry stumbled over identifying what city and state the band was currently playing in, a member of the crowd yelled “you know where you’re playing? Everyday in my car!”
While I’m sure the members playing in that gentlemen’s car were much different than those on stage, it has to be said that Gang of Four is still as powerful live as they were back in their heyday. Blazing through a set that included classics like “Paralysed,” “Anthrax,” “Damaged Goods,” and so many others, the crowd didn’t even seem to notice when new tracks from this year’s What Happens Next were mixed in. Although the band’s stage presence was a little odd (i.e., never making eye contact with the crowd, rarely talking to the crowd), it didn’t stop fans from dancing and creating one of the sweatiest crowds I have seen at the Ballroom.