By Rande Archer
Bathed in ultraviolet lamps and dazzling stage lights, a local favorite said their goodbyes to friends, fans, and former band members last Friday. At a venue that has always been their favorite, a warm and final farewell at the Spanish Moon was all too fitting for Prom Date, whose music invokes nostalgic and comforting emotions.
Stepping onstage, members of the band were dressed in eccentric, unconventional, but undeniably fun garb with the male members wearing knee high boots with female vocalist and tambourine-slinging Christine Peirce rocking an undeniably ‘80s dress with shoulder pads.
Being my first Prom Date show, it was sad to say this was also my last. For a first and last impression, it was definitely an impactful one.
Firing up with their song “Portraits,” the band set the stage for a good night with following their hit single “Good Morning, Boyfriend.” This made me a bit worried, as having listened to their songs I found “Good Morning, Boyfriend” to be my favorite and possibly their best, judging by the album version. However, the energy and sheer intensity that emanated from the stage made all of their songs an absolute joy to listen to live.
This for me was seen with their live presentation of their song “X My Heart.” Prior to hearing the band live, the song was my least favorite song off of their album Portraits. However hearing the song live sparked a new found love. Perhaps it was the lack of robotic vocals, but for me their performance was several times better than what was recorded, which speaks volumes of how well Prom Date plays live. Now when listening to the album I appreciate it more, and have removed it from my least favorite song list, which brings the total number of least favorite Prom Date songs to a solid zero.
Standing in the front row it was extremely energetic and exciting. The crowd was pumped, and despite the number of people was a comfortable experience. No one was rowdy or loud, and everyone was obviously enjoying the music and dancing or bobbing with the beat. Vocalist and keyboardist David Fuller contributes this in part to the homely mood that was felt at the Spanish Moon.
“Playing together one last time at Spanish Moon felt just like I hoped it would—like home,” said Fuller. “We were surrounded by friends old and new, and the love in the air was palpable. One of the main reasons I have always loved performing at the Moon is that the crowd there always has such an incredible energy. People in Baton Rouge love to have fun and dance, and they were in full form on Friday night. From the beginning of Teenager’s set, through Social Circle and Prom Date’s sets, people didn’t stop moving. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect send-off for Prom Date.”
In addition to songs written and performed by Prom Date, the band threw in some great covers of fun songs. Having spent time in Germany in the university town of Marburg, Fuller sung a fantastic cover of Nena’s classic ‘80s anti-war song “99 Luftballons.” Having lived in Germany myself and being fluent in the language, this was a sweet treat as it’s not every day you hear the proper pronunciation of German words, let alone a full German song. This coupled with Fuller’s energetic dancing and keyboard playing made for a great performance for the evening.
Another cover that was a blast to the past was a rendition of “Eye to Eye” (also known as “I2I”) by the fictional singer Powerline from A Goofy Movie who was originally sung by actor and singer Tevin Campbell for the movie. Prom Date’s cover was on point and a nostalgic blitz, with the crowd occasionally singing along to this ‘90s classic.
But all good things must come to an end and Prom Date started the beginning of the end of the night with a solemn cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Two Headed Boy, and finally ending this nostalgic roller coaster ride with a cover of The Cardigans’ Love Fool. The final bow from the band left me in denial, as this would be the last time this band would play together. However for a first Prom Date live show for me, it was one hell of a show.
Despite the break-up of Prom Date, Fuller attests that the band members will continue to pursue music ventures, but their future is not set. Pierce will be playing in her own band Rareluth, who has a show Friday, August 21 at Chelsea’s. According to Fuller, he will be returning to school for an engineering degree with the rest of the band exploring new musical avenues. Prom Date CDs and merchandise will still be sold, and the band will still respond to fans.
“Each person in Prom Date is passionate about so many things in our lives that a chance to try something new will surely be exciting and rewarding,” said Fuller. “No matter which path we take.”