If anyone remembers ’80s synth-pop duo Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark—set to play the House of Blues on Oct. 8 ($40)—it’s likely for “If You Leave,” the sappiest pop ballad of a decade. It’s a black mark on the career of a band that was pretty good before it realized it had commercial prospects: The hypnotic twists and turns of “Souvenir” and the splashy pop of “Tesla Girls” have aged well, and thankfully, the band seems to realize that. Their 2010 comeback, History of Modern, is built upon the band’s experimental foundations, not its flimsy commercial wing … and a set list from a Sept. 16 show, posted to SetList.fm, shows Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark drawing heavily on that old, good material. Original fans will hear “Dazzle Ships,” “Electricity” and “Enola Gay,” while younger fans will get “Secret,” “(Forever) Live and Die” and yes, that awful “If You Leave.”
LITTLE BOY: If you haven’t given a thought to Smashing Pumpkins since 2001 or so, there are probably a few things you should know before you see the band poolside at the Cosmopolitan on Oct. 8 ($55-$80). Firstly, and this is important: Billy Corgan is the only remaining original member of the band. D’arcy, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin, even Melissa Auf der Maur … all gone, replaced by players younger than Corgan by more than a decade. Secondly, you can download their latest album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, free of charge from the band’s website—helpful if you want to hear what they sound like these days.
NOW ON SALE: Your long-lost pal Paul Simon plays the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Oct. 24 ($60-$145). I’ve seen Simon in concert several times, and while he has visibly aged over the years, his voice has not—and “The Boy in the Bubble” still lifts the heart.