Last night, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark kicked off its 2011 “History of Modern” reunion tour at Grand Central in Miami. It was the kind of show that, 25 years earlier, would have packed a stadium. Instead, we were treated to an intimate and joyous club show that ranks, hands-down, as the best

concert I’ve attended at Grand Central.

Opening act Washington kicked things off at 9 with a series of catchy and exuberant tracks from its EP and full-length album. Hailing from Australia, this was the indie-pop band’s first-ever performance in the States, but you couldn’t tell from the performance: These are polished musicians waiting for their own headlining slot, which isn’t far off. I predict Washington is going to be an important buzz band the more Americans are exposed to them.

I must take a moment to criticize the audience early on, which accorded Washington the deference of a background pianist in a bar. It was difficult, at times, to hear the lovely vocals of Megan Washington over the endless jabbering of the people around me – and this was right in front of the stage. Obviously, these people weren’t there for the opening band; few audience members ever are. But concert etiquette requires that, if you’re going to talk, do so in the back or outside. A modicum of respect for the performers pouring their hearts out onstage doesn’t seem like an insurmountable request.

Anyway, it was all good by the time O.M.D. took the stage. Whether they were introduced to O.M.D. during the band’s commercial radio heyday or discovered them amid the nostalgia-fueled ‘80s revivalism of the ‘00s, this was a mixed audience of younger people, Gen-Xers and aging punks, all of whom sounding as if they’d been waiting decades to sing “When You Leave” at the top of their lungs. The energy in the room was palpable and electric,

and O.M.D clearly fed off it, posturing like the pop stars they were – excuse me,are. This band has lost none of its elegance, charm, humor and infectiousness.

Vocalist and bass player Andy McCluskey, the frontman on most O.M.D. tracks, proved to be a gracious and self-deprecating bandleader. He often called attention to the band’s collective age, with quips to the effect of: “OK, the slow songs are over with, so everyone over 40 can go home now; wait, that includes us!” and “For you older folks, this a new song … it’s from 1991.” His best line came after a particularly spasmodic bit of lurching that he called dancing: “Apparently, I still have no dignity. But I’ve made it to 52, and I don’t give a shit anymore.”

Playing just two tracks from its new album, O.M.D. performed a bona fide Greatest Hits set full of aching ballads and dance-hall classics alike. “Souvenir,” “Enola Gay,” “Tesla Girls,” “Electricity,” “So In Love,” “Talking Loud and Clear,” “Walking on the Milky Way” – they were all there and more. There was an overwhelming sense last night that this was a special crowd and a special show. It helped that it was the first performance of the tour, so there was no road weariness, but it certainly seemed like the band loved playing these songs and couldn’t believe the level of excitement emanating from us. “If the rest of the shows go like this, it’ll be a good tour,” McCluskey said toward the end of the set. He sounded genuine.