Live review: Giorgio Moroder, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 4 Apr
- Sean Greenhorn
- 5 April 2019
An uneven full band show from a pioneer of disco and electronic production
There is a strange cross-section of audience walking into the Giorgio Moroder 'Celebration of the 80s' concert at the Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Parts of the audience look like obscure record collectors, whilst roughly the same amount look like they are there for a boozy tribute night, and then there are some who just want to cosplay like Miami Vice. Strangely, all these audiences are served by tonight's performance.
Moroder is generally recognised as the godfather of disco and a pioneer of electronic music in general. He was credited as creating the 'sound of the future' with Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', which gets pleasingly assembled sound by sound tonight. Simultaneously, his presence can also be felt in nearly every cheesy wedding song from the decade, including Berlin's 'Take My Breath Away' and Irene Cara's 'Flashdance…What a Feeling', both of which also get an outing (and both of which also won Moroder an Oscar alongside proto-techno track 'The Chase' which showcases another side of the Italian master's oeuvre tonight).
Joined onstage by a full band, with synths, guitars, percussion, singers and a slightly out of place string quartet, Moroder takes his place front and centre, behind a huge desk which he fleetingly operates at points during the evening. The four singers are tasked with doing much of the heavy lifting during the performances, and each takes their turn to twirl and project to the rafters, with unfortunately uneven results (covering everything from Kenny Loggins 'Danger Zone' to Limahl's 'Never Ending Story'). Luckily, Moroder himself is a charismatic and charming presence. His chat between songs, along with his general giddiness at performing, manages to hold much of the show together.
In some ways, the evening resembles the successful show that Niles Rodgers and Chic have been touring recently, with a smattering of their original songs propped up by covers of the mega-hits that they share credits in. However, where that show benefits from Rodgers virtuoso guitar playing and Chic's decades-long band chemistry, this show feels slightly cobbled together, with the band never fully gelling.
At its best, the show is a history lesson from a titan of music production, and at its worst it's a night on the karaoke deck of the world's fanciest cruise ship.