Photos and Review by HARRIET KAPLAN
Berlin, one of the greatest pop and synth bands and icons of new wave period from the 1980s, delivered an effervescent and high-energy show at the Montclair Canyon Club. Opener PIERA was the perfect sonic appetizer with gorgeous and captivating synth sounds and engaging performance.
The fun and memorable Berlin set was filled with one hit song after another including “The Metro,” “You Take My Breath Away,” “No More Words,” “Sex (I’m A)” and more.
In their 40-plus year career, Berlin has released nine studio albums including Information, Pleasure Victim, Love Live, Count Three & Pray, Voyeur, 4Play, Animal, Transcendence and Strings Attached.
A montage of highlights of the band’s 40-plus year career filled the screen with the celluloid goddess herself singer Terri Nunn. The expressly cool vocalist, who wore a midnight black strapless sequin dress with fringe at bottom, self-assuredly sang and confidently held court onstage with her current supporting band that “rocked the house,” so to speak, with a muscular and driving sound that powered the quirky arrangements giving them an additional edge and spark.
The gregarious artist fed off the energy of the excited and animated crowd. The audience was dancing and smiling, taking photos or videoing the live performance. At one point, Nunn got even closer to and more personal with the throng.
The petite blonde with striking good looks was carried around the Canyon Club on the shoulders of a security guard while holding her arms out to shake the hands of her fans and waved to them. Berlin ended the show with a rousing cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” It was a fun and satisfying set by this legacy band. Berlin continues to perform to crowds of varying ages that first saw them in their popular heyday, to the decades in between until now.
Opener PIERA gave hypnotic and seductive sounds, and was a hit with the house. Piera Klein’s provocative, breathy and alluring vocal stylings have been favorably compared to Berlin’s Nunn. Both have a striking and distinctive allure and possess a robust stage presence.
Micah Plissner, also a songwriter and producer, makes up the other half of PIERA. Plissner played Roland keyboards and synthesizers. He provided a “cosmic” soundscape that was majestic and expansive that took the listener to another place.
Their self-titled debut album debuted at #1 on the Electronic chart. It was co-written and produced by the duo. Plissner said the album was inspired by psychedelic garage bands like Love, The Sonics, Sky Saxon and The 13th Floor Elevators. Yet it morphed into something more along the lines of modern rock, into a kaiderscope of alternative, dark synth, avant-garde, rock, art house and EDM.
The duo performed all of their songs off the new album, including the current single “Cosmic Reaction” and “Unraveling” released in the Spring. Lyrically, the songs are both personal and universal in scope. Spirituality permeates and infuses the material to give a greater meaning and substantive context. PIERA are aiming to bring something new to the music scene, staking out their own path.