BOLOGNA, Italy — Popular 1980s synth-pop duo the Eurythmics
may have recently reunited, but former lovers Dave Stewart and Annie
Lennox kept their distance from each other during a two-hour concert
Monday at Palamalagutti.
“We could not be together, and we could not be apart,” Lennox sang during
“Seventeen Again,” a song from Peace, the duo’s first studio LP
since 1989’s We Too Are One. It’s due Oct. 19.
When introducing that song, Lennox said, “This is the story of me and
Lennox, 44, and guitarist Stewart, 47, rarely exchanged glances or even
stood near each other during a hits-heavy show that clearly pleased the
crowd of 8,000.
Stewart played a series of glittering guitars while prowling the stage,
which sported artificial trees and an enormous video screen. Lennox, in
short red hair and black glasses, sang and talked to the audience.
The duo played only a few other songs from Peace, instead
concentrating on their ’80s hits, leaning especially heavily on songs
from Be Yourself Tonight (1985). From that album, they played
“There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart)” (RealAudio
excerpt of live version), an acoustic “Would I Lie to You?” and
“Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” (RealAudio
excerpt). Lennox sang the latter, originally a duet with soul
queen Aretha Franklin, with backing vocalists Claudia Fontaine, Beverly
Skeete and Faye Simpson.
The duo occasionally played alone, but most of the time were backed by
Steve Lewinson on bass, Sam Flynn and Joel Campbell on keyboards, Chris
Davis on saxophone and Pete Lewinson on drums.
“They’re formally perfect, the songs are still great, but they look a
little cold,” concert-goer Dorina Gelmi, 29, said.
The 21 songs in the setlist included only a few from Peace,
including the opening “I Want It All,” the single “I Saved the World
Today” and “Peace Is Just a Word,” which showed up during the last encore
set. The duo closed the show with their 1983 #1 pop hit “Sweet Dreams
(Are Made of This)” (RealAudio
excerpt of live version).
The Eurythmics gained worldwide success in the ’80s as they evolved from
a synth-pop duo to a soulful rock duo. They separated after We Too
Are One, which drew tepid reviews.
Lennox launched a solo career with the double-platinum Diva (1992)
— which was represented during the concert’s first encore by “Why.”
Since the duo parted, Stewart has concentrated on writing movie scores
and producing albums for other artists, including Tom Petty, Bob Dylan
and Mick Jagger.
The Eurythmics’ reunion tour — which began three weeks ago in
Cologne, Germany, and included a performance Saturday at NetAid in London
— supports humanitarian organizations Amnesty International and
Greenpeace. It is scheduled to continue through Europe, Australia and
the United States until the end of the year.