The Strange Magic of Jeff Lynne’s ELO

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 20, 2018 05:24pm | Post a Comment


By Brent James

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of attending the opening night of Jeff Lynne’s ELO world tour. The massive Oracle Arena in Oakland, California could hardly contain the excitement of the sold-out crowd that had traveled from as far away as New Zealand just to witness the return of one of music’s most unique and mainstay institutions in the flesh.

On Thursday, August 2nd, 2018, they were not disappointed…

Opening with “Standing In The Rain”, the 14-piece powerhouse band pummeled the crowd with blast after blast. “Evil Woman” kicked off an operatic hard rock cavalcade, and by the time “Do Ya” was over the fans could take no more! “When I Was A Boy” slowed things down so folks could catch their breath or perhaps refresh libations.

“Living Thing” was the band’s showcase, redefining the word “orchestra.” Iain Hornal was one of many VIP’s this evening and shined through on “Handle With Care,” channeling Roy Orbison with an almost eerie precision. “Xanadu” brought the house down, and “Shine A Little Love” demonstrated the technologically visual prowess that ELO has been known for since the very beginning. A show within a show.

The third “act” kicked off with “Wild West Hero,” and galloped all the way through classic staples “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Turn To Stone” before finally settling down. The encore, “Roll Over Beethoven” written by Chuck Berry but basically owned by Lynne and ELO, left the crowd on their feet and begging for more. Like an orgasmic, euphoric roller coaster ride, you want to ride it again and again.

Jeff Lynne looked and sounded just as good as ever, almost as if no time had passed since last we’d all been together. That’s the strange magic of the Electric Light Orchestra, something that will live on for generations to come. A new kind of Classical Music. A true living thing.

Opening the show was the ever-amazing Dawes. Having performed an acoustic set at Amoeba SF just two days prior, it was great seeing them on an arena stage and at full volume. If you have the chance to catch this show, do it.

"Standing In The Rain"
"Evil Woman"
"All Over The World"
"Do Ya"
"When I Was A Boy"
"Living Thing"
"Handle With Care"
"Can’t Get It Out Of My Head"
"10538 Overture"
"Shine A Little Love"
"Wild West Hero"
"Sweet Talkin’ Woman"
"Telephone Line"
"Don’t Bring Me Down"
"Turn To Stone"
"Mr. Blue Sky"
"Roll Over Beethoven"

Relevant Tags

Brent James (13), Elo (2), Electric Light Orchestra (3), Jeff Lynne (4), Oakland (87), Dawes (2), Concert Review (4)