The glory days lineup of the Boston-based combo has reformed for the first time since the late-1980s, minus bassist Ben Orr, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000. The get-together wasn't all about nostalgia: Much of the 90-minute set came from "Move Like This," a CD released earlier this month after a 24-year recording hiatus. And some of the new material fused fabulously with the back-in-the-day offerings. The chorus of the synth-driven "Blue Tip" was as catchy as pop music can get, though the song didn't get the response it deserved from the unfamiliar fans. Another highlight: "Sad Song" from the latest disc sounded like Dylan doing techno.
But retro carried the evening. David Robinson sat behind an electronic kit that, digital audio advances be darned, was set to make unmistakably electronic drum sounds. Guitarist Eliot Easton reprised every note of his awesome rockabilly solo on "My Best Friend's Girl."
The entire ensemble delivered a note-for-note recreation on "Moving in Stereo," remembered by the male half of a generation as the soundtrack to Phoebe Cates' slo-mo pool scene from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Given that the room had a vibe similar to that of a class reunion, any interaction between the band and fans went a long way. Before "Touch and Go," keyboardist Greg Hawkes, who grew up in Howard County, Md., gave a shout to his "high school buddies" who were in the house, and also to Orr, who wasn't.