With a fifth album, Head First, under her belt, Alison Goldfrapp, possibly wearing recycled cassette tapes as a coat, emerged from a plume of stage smoke to tremendous cheers. Resembling an exotic bird-of-paradise and backed by her silver-suited, space-traveling band (they may have borrowed their outfits from The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s wardrobe department) she opened the show with the atmospheric “Crystalline Green.” The next hour and a half at the Hammerstein Ballroom was a mix of disco beats and operatic voice acrobatics.
Each album got a moment to shine; newcomers “Believer” and “Shiny & Warm” sound just as good live as they do on the new album. Arms waved and the dance floor shimmied from a triple hit of “Train,” “Ride a White Horse” and “Ooh La La,” each up to the task of making hips swivel and heads bop. For the first encore and her second costume change of the night, Goldfrapp stepped out in a geometric glow-in-the-dark dress and unleashed her voice upon “Utopia” and “Black Cherry.”
After another costume change -- a phoenix-red shift -- “Strict Machine,” the undeniable fan favorite, strobed its way to a head, searing retinas everywhere. Though the female dancers that accompanied previous tours -- with their sometimes strange but always revealing outfits -- were sadly absent, there was a new, bombastic rock vibe. Or maybe Alison just knows how to strike a pose!
-- OLGA BAS
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