Echo and the Bunnymen Let "Ocean Rain" Fall On Radio City Music Hall

October 2, 2008 11:39 AM ET

Echo & the Bunnymen's 1984 album Ocean Rain was a bold, ambitious record that marked the pinnacle in the moody Liverpudlians' career, and still stands up as one of the finer moments of the post-punk/new wave era. The band celebrated their 30th anniversary by presenting Ocean Rain live in its entirety with the help of an orchestra on a handful of U.K. dates. For the lone U.S. performance, New York's swanky Radio City Music Hall provided an appropriately dramatic, grandiose setting.

The evening opened with a run through the band's non-Ocean Rain hits, including a raw spin through "The Cutter" and the radio hit "Lips Like Sugar," which provided a frothy counterpoint to the heavier second set. Post-intermission, the Bunnymen launched into their masterpiece backed by a ten-piece string section and an extra percussionist, upping the already-potent drama quotient. Frontman Ian McCulloch was in fine voice, growling and sneering wondrously through Britpop staples "Silver" and "The Killing Moon." The band didn't extend the songs or add in elaborate orchestrated breakdowns — they merely used the extra instruments to transform the nine Ocean Rain tracks from excellent pop songs into epic landmarks. McCulloch, ever aloof, seemed nonplussed by the scope of the evening. "Is Billy Crystal here tonight?" he asked at one point, appropos of nothing. "I love Billy Crystal."

Set list:
"Lips Like Sugar"
"Bring on the Dancing Horses"
"Think I Need It Too"
"The Disease"
"All That Jazz"
"The Back of Love"
"All My Colours"
"People Are Strange"
Medley: "Nothing Lasts Forever" / "Walk on the Wild Side" / "Don't Let Me Down" / "In the Midnight Hour"
"The Cutter"


Ocean Rain:
"Nocturnal Me"
"Crystal Days"
"Yo Yo Man"
"Thorn of Crowns"
"The Killing Moon"
"Seven Seas"
"My Kingdom"
"Ocean Rain"

Related Stories:
Album Review: Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Rain
Ian McCulloch Gets Vicious Late in Career
Echo and the Bunnymen Visit Siberia

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »