Pleased as I was to see Dale Bozzio and Missing Persons (despite the conflicted and unforgettable night it proved to be), I strongly doubted I'd ever get a chance to see them again. I could not have been more surprised to see that they were back on tour just months later, this time in celebration of their 30th anniversary, with original guitarist Warren Cuccurullo in tow.
Though I'd only recently come to appreciate Cuccurullo's considerable talent (and his rightful place as THE Duran Duran guitarist), I had been wanting to see him play live in any setting. Knowing that he would be back playing with Missing Persons made the show a must see (D, no surprise, was absolutely in agreement). And yet the strong memories of the last show lingered, and I wondered if the band would pull it together.
No worries, no worries at all. Within two songs of the band's set I'd completely forgotten about either of the crappy opening bands. From our vantage point (the host venue, the Red Devil Lounge, has powerfully shitty sightlines) we had a clear view of Cuccurullo, and it was a delight to see how his trademark, glassy synth guitar sound was made. His interplay with Bozzio built on their decades of history, and the band felt complete (though happily they retained drummer Jake Hayden and bassist Doug Lunn, the sterling rhythm section from the previous gig). D had stated that Missing Persons were first and foremost, new wave electronica notwithstanding, a guitar band, and Cuccurullo's presence pulled everything together beautifully.
Mental Hopscotch tore through powerfully, Destination Unknown was delivered with confidence (with Jake, the drummer, executing those fills during the chorus one-handed - awesome), and a powerful "Color In Your Life" featured from their late era. Gone were Dale's long between-song rants - tonight you could recognize her as the vixen of the early eighties.
And good god, the encores - a robust cover of Gary Numan's "Me! I Disconnect From You", transposed remade into a version only MP could have conceived. And the show wrapped with a short instrumental vamp on "Come Undone," Cuccurullo's great contribution to the Duran Duran corpus.
There's less to say about this show than the previous, as my emotions are less conflicted. We left the show swept away by what we saw (rather than doubting what we'd seen) and certain of a number of things: that Warren Cuccurullo remained one of the finest, most unsung guitarists of the last few decades; that there remains life in the Missing Persons corpus; and that the band presently on the road can really, really fucking cook.