Lead singer Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats has so much energy and talent that if he ever learned to focus it he could become a major talent. Last night at the Bayou, however, he flailed about randomly, only hitting home on a few songs.
Geldof flopped his body around the stage as if his bones were made of Slurpee. He exaggerated every sneering gesture and every sarcastic tone of voice. He mimed his own lyrics and successfully challenged the crowd to dance on the tables. But most of the songs got carried away in his exaggeration and came across as sloppy jokes.
But when Geldof bore down on a song, the result was powerful. The medley of "Rat Trap" and "Joey's on the Street Again" combined the fierce working-class anger of British punk with the rollicking momentum of Jersey Shore R & B. Saxophonist John Earl of Graham Parker & the Rumour provided needed professionalism in a cameo appearance. The literate ironies of Geldof's lyrics effectively set off the emphatic punch of the band.
The Irish sextet (by way of London) had no outstanding musician but played tightly. They had a good sense of Geldof's theatrics but no more self-discipline. The opening act, the Rockets, had no particular talent that needed to be disciplined.