Any doubts that the Eurhythmics could recreate their meticulous synth-pop records on stage were quickly dispelled at the Wax Museum last night.
Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, the British duo, were joined by three instrumentalists and three singers; they played their synthesizer-driven melodies without any help from tapes or tricks. Moreover, they departed from the arrangements at key points to inject an unpredictable spontaneity that removed the mechanical inevitability of so many techno-pop bands.
They also recreated the flavor of their famous videos. Lennox, with her glowing orange crew cut and red striped makeup, danced in jerky, wind-up movements to the riveting beat. Then she would abandon that and move with natural ease as she improvised a high harmony to the melody of the songs. Stewart looked like an electrocuted scientist with his white suit and stand-up hair; he played old-fashioned slide guitar solos to subvert his own snowballing synthesizer arrangements.
Lennox proved beyond a doubt that she is a rare singer, as she shifted easily from tough, gritty challenges to high, pealing reveries. She and Stewart proved they have written a full set of songs in the same league as their hit, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."
"Love Is a Stranger" should be their next hit, with its relentlessly building verses and its hypnotic, pay-off chorus. Songs such as "Somebody Told Me" and "Everything Changes" show the duo and also challenge its dancing audience with more unsettling visions of the world.