Jeff Lynne’s ELO Opens 2018 North American Tour

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Jeff Lynne, Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA, Aug. 2, 2018

This recap first appeared on August 3, 2018. Since Jeff Lynne’s ELO‘s last public concerts in the U.S. –  a combined five shows in Los Angeles and New York in September 2016 – the group that has been his vision since its roots as an offshoot of The Move was finally acknowledged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with their induction in 2017. The Maestro finally returned to these shores on August 2, 2018, for the start of a brief North American arena tour.

Thursday night’s performance at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. was the first time the ELO spaceship had landed in the U.S. in a city other than New York or Los Angeles in well over three decades. (The Electric Light Orchestra hadn’t performed in the Bay Area since the Time tour in 1981.)

The shaggy-haired, sunglass-wearing musician, turned 70 the previous December. After years of dormancy, he successfully resuscitated ELO with a big concert in London’s Hyde Park in 2014, with all 50,000 tickets selling out immediately. In 2015 came a live release of the concert, followed by an underrated, new studio album, Alone in the Universe, and a new name, Jeff Lynne’s ELO.

On opening night of their 2018 tour, the group delivered a 20-song set of hit after hit – almost identical to their 2017 U.K. shows – to the appreciative crowd. The setlist included such classic rock favorites as “Telephone Line,” “Livin’ Thing” and “Evil Woman” as well as earlier songs like “Can’t Get it Out of My Head” from 1974’s brilliant Eldorado (watch it below) as well as the forgettable “Xanadu” from the hard-to-forget 1980 musical film.

Watch “Standin’ in the Rain”

Watch the evening’s second number, with the familiar first line… “You made a fool of me…”

Related: Our review from September 2016

For “Handle With Care,” from Lynne’s former supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys, photos of his former bandmates – George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison – were on the screens. (Incredibly, only Lynne and Dylan remain.)

Watch Eldorado‘s “Can’t Get it Out of My Head”

Watch them perform their first single, from 1972

Watch audience favorite “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”

Watch the crowd pleaser, “Don’t Bring Me Down”

Related: ELO co-founder Bev Bevan talks about what brought him, Lynne, and Roy Wood together

Watch the main set’s closing number, “Mr. Blue Sky”

Of note: Still missing was the group’s 70-year-old keyboardist, Richard Tandy, who was an unexpected no-show at ELO’s long overdue 2017 Rock Hall induction.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA, August 2, 2018, Setlist

Standin’ in the Rain
Evil Woman
All Over the World
Do Ya
When I Was a Boy
Livin’ Thing
Handle With Care
Can’t Get it Out of My Head
10538 Overture
Shine a Little Love
Wild West Hero
Sweet Talkin’ Woman
Telephone Line
Don’t Bring Me Down
Turn to Stone
Mr. Blue Sky

Roll Over Beethoven

When Jeff Lynne’s ELO tours again, tickets will be available here and here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

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  1. jeff
    #1 jeff 4 August, 2018, 07:53

    would love it if they would come to buffalo 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Chris
    #2 Chris 4 August, 2018, 12:26

    No “Calling America”? 🙁

    Reply this comment

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