Thomas Dolby - keyboards, piano, vocals; Debra Barsha - keyboards, synthesizers, vocals; Lyndon Connah - synthesizers; Matthew Seligman - bass; Chucho Merchan - guitars, vocals; Justin Hildreth - drums, percussion, samples; Leslie Fairbain - backing vocals
Hearing this Thomas Dolby show more than two decades after it was recorded, it seems hard to imagine that music made with robot-like precision and machine measured meter would appeal to a live, spontaneous audience. Dolby proved that it can be done even if the whole band was playing along to a click track and pre-recorded sequenced parts. It was simply the nature of his music.
Opening with a long-winded plea from the voice of a "proper" British scientist, the audience is told to put away any preconceived notions and long-believed concepts. According to the scientist, the Kremlin and NASA have been conspiring together to keep the truth from the planet: The world is actually flat! With that, the band breaks into "White City" to an enthusiastic Boulder, Colorado audience. The musicianship here is precise, but there is virtually no spontaneity, due largely to the fact that everyone on stage was tied to a click track or some type of sequenced keyboard segment.
Although Dolby had a few big hits on both sides of the Atlantic, his success came from his brilliant marketing and the use of MTV videos. Born Thomas Morgan Robertson in England, he quickly got the nickname "Dolby" because of his work as an audio engineer. He created the persona of an overzealous mad scientist, who has mastered synthesizers and modern technology and its use in music. That was best used in the video for his single "She Blinded Me With Science." A smash hit on both sides of the pond, the song caused Dolby to be instantly immortalized as an MTV mover and shaker - primarily on the strength of its video.
In the end, his over-the-top comedy angle became a little tiresome and failed to spark critical raves or commercial success when his material struggled to sustain. This show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour while Dolby was promoting his second album, The Flat Earth. After his second hit, "Hyperactive" peaked at #17, Dolby would never again have the same commercial success as he had in 1982 and 1983. After this tour, he began to focus on film soundtracks, session work, and the creation of a company that produced electronic music for animated film projects. His last studio album was released in the early 1990s.