Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, Northern Lights Theater, 1721 W. Canal St., Milwaukee. GGOOLLDD also performs. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is one of England’s longest-running, poppiest and most popular electronica bands. The two founding members, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys (along with drummer Malcolm Holmes and saxophonist Martin Cooper), helped define the electronic pop sound of the 1980s.
The group, widely recognized as OMD, released an influential debut single in 1979 (“Electricity”) and gained popularity throughout Europe with the anti-war song “Enola Gay” in 1980. The band achieved broader recognition with its 1981 album, “Architecture and Morality,” which spawned three international hits.
The group performed until 1996, when it disbanded for a decade. In the meantime, McCluskey produced several groups (including Atomic Kitty), and Humphreys worked with various bands and toured as a solo artist.
In January 2006, McCluskey announced plans to reform OMD with Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper. The original plan was to tour in support of the album “Architecture and Morality” and other pre-1983 material before recording a new album set for release in 2007.
In May 2007, the “Architecture and Morality” remastered CD was rereleased together with a DVD featuring the group’s Drury Lane concert from 1981. Through May and June, the band toured with the classic lineup— McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper. OMD began its set with a re-ordered but otherwise complete restaging of the “Architecture and Morality” album, and the second half of each concert featured a selection of its best-known hits.
OMD released its 13th studio album, “The Punishment of Luxury,” last year to favorable reviews.
The Subdudes, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, Stoughton Opera House, 381 E. Main St., Stoughton. Tickets: $35. Call 608-877-4400.
The Subdudes have been playing roots-rock music and alternating between New Orleans and Fort Collins, Colorado, for 30 years. Led by singer-songwriters Tommy Malone (lead vocals and lead guitar) and John Magnie (keyboards, vocals, accordion), the band has released 11 albums since its debut in 1989.
Along with Malone and Magnie, the group includes Steve Amedee (vocals, tambourine, percussion, electric mandolin and drums) and Tim Cook (vocals, percussion and bass).
The group’s music is a blend of folk influences, New Orleans rhythm and blues, Louisiana blues, country, Cajun/zydeco, swamp pop, funk, soul and gospel. The Subdudes are known for their tight harmony singing and the fact they keep the beat with a tambourine instead of a drum.
The group came together originally at the legendary New Orleans club, Tipitina’s.
Earth, Wind and Fire, 8 p.m. Friday, March 23, The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $55-$125. Call 414-286-3663; and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison. Tickets: $59.50-$127.50. Call 608-258-4141.
Earth, Wind and Fire was a huge success in the 1970s when the band emerged with its brand of funk, soul, rhythm and blues, jazz, disco and pop music.
Maurice White founded the band in Chicago in 1970. He died in 2016, but the band continues as an eight-piece powerhouse of sound.
The band released nine albums in the 1970s, beginning with its self-titled debut in ’71. Its commercial breakthrough came in ’75 with the release of the album “That’s the Way of the World.” Sig Shore, the producer of the film “Super Fly,” asked Earth, Wind and Fire to record the movie’s soundtrack with music about the dark side of the recording industry, which he called “That’s the Way of the World.”
The group released the album ahead of the film, and the band’s members felt it was it going to flop. The album was No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart and spent five consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Soul Albums chart. The album, which included the hit singles “Shining Star” and “That’s the Way of the World,” also made the band the first African-American act to top both the Billboard album and singles charts.
The band won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals with “Shining Star” in 1976. The group has won a total of nine Grammy Awards and has been nominated for nine others.
Earth, Wind and Fire has since gone on to release 21 albums, including “Holiday” in 2014. It was the final album to feature Maurice White before his death in February 2016.