August 5th, 2008 Posted by: Dust Devil
I joined quite a few people in their thirties, forties and fifties at the Regeneration Tour concert this past Friday, August 1, at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. I left a happy man, thrilled that for a few hours I felt like I was 16 again.
The Missing Persons started off the evening with a decent set of six songs. Dale Bozzio’s voice has not held up overly well over the years and to try and re-create that pitch she became well-known for was a mighty task. Destination Unknown led off the set, much to the delight of the crowd. The last two songs performed were Words, which was performed fairly well and led into my favorite tune of theirs, Walking in L.A. The band delivered its best overall performance on the quirky Mental Hopscotch, one of their earliest tunes. Dale Bozzio’s vocals were great on this song and the energy from the band really shone through. A decent start to the evening.
A Flock of Seagulls came on next. Mike Score is the only original member left and the guitar player that evening really made me wish Paul Reynolds was still around. Be that as it may, this was a great, great set, short and very sweet. The band only played four tunes, but all four were big crowd pleasers. Telecommunication, their first single, led off the set and led into the fabulous Space Age Love Song. Always my favorite Flock of Seagulls tune, this song still sounds as fresh today as it was twenty-six years ago. Naturally the set ended with the classic “one-hit-wonder” I Ran. The crowd went absolutely nuts. It was great seeing everyone dancing and hearing everyone sing along to the chorus of that tune. It is too bad Mike Score hates playing the song as much as he does.
ABC came on next and were simply wonderful. One of the classier bands to come out of the eighties new wave scene, ABC has actually released new material and some of that music was played on this evening. However, they too realized this was a retro crowd at a retro show, so they did not disappoint at all. Classic versions of Poison Arrow, Be Near Me and How To Be A Millionaire were performed. A highly energetic When Smokey Sings really got the crowd pumped up and the beautiful Look of Love ended a great set. Martin Fry looks and sounds as good as ever, wearing one of his signature suits and still possessing a wide vocal range, allowing him to hit the high notes that are key on many of their songs.
Belinda Carlisle was next and for what it’s worth, I felt this was the best set of the night. Belinda looks as amazing as ever and after all these years still possesses a great voice. Gone is the high-pitched vocal delivery evident on all the classic Go-Go’s songs, Belinda now possesses a smooth, mature vocal delivery. A set comprised of seven songs featured five solo classics, including her first solo venture Mad About You and her Number One hit Heaven is a Place on Earth. Much to the crowd’s delight she pulled out two Go-Go’s classics, Vacation and Our Lips Are Sealed. Wonderful, wonderful tunes, but made me miss that great band all the more seeing her perform the songs without the other four ladies. What a great set!
The Human League capped off a great evening, but in this writer’s opinion a bad way to end things. Obviously this is subjective on my part because I was never a big fan, but the Human League simply did not make a lasting impression on me during their heyday. Philip Oakley is the only original member left, but Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley, the two female singers on their biggest hits, are still with the group. They led off with Mirror Man, a decent song that I remember. The next three tunes I did not recognize and for me were simply mindless excursions of repetitive keyboard noise. Human, their second U.S. Number One single, was played next. I do like this ballad and the song sounded great on this evening. However, halfway through the next tune I had enough of the repetition and had to leave, so I never did see if they played (Keep Feeling) Fascination or Don’t You Want Me. I would have to assume they did.
There were two other factors that kept this from being a perfect evening. I find it hard to believe the Dodge Theatre only had Duran Duran and Hall & Oates to play in between sets. Worse, the only Duran Duran music played was from Rio, so I heard tracks from that album three times in one night! Last, the “music critic” sitting behind me did his best to kill the show for me and the ladies I sat next to, but oh well, aren’t we all critics in the long run? I had a great time and even leaving the concert early did not dampen my spirits one bit. A fabulous evening folks, kudos to the Regeneration Tour!
What a great show! Holy crap!
I just walked in the door, sat at the comp and logged in to post this blog. I need food and a Vicodin (my knees hurt - I'm old) but I'm writing.
Holy crap! Hold on...must get pill...one moment please...
OK. Where was I?
Oh yeah - holy crap!
What an *amazing* show. Seriously. Regeneration Tour - Human League, Belinda Carlisle, ABC and Naked Eyes. Originally, Dead or Alive was on the bill; however at the end of June, Pete Burns pulled out due to illness. Boo! Flock of Seagulls was set to pinch-hit. Found out tonight we were 'Flock blocked' and left with only the four bands. Dead or what?! Flock of who?! Didn't need 'em!
Richard Blade (whom I love) introduced ABC. I was up on my feet immediately. Martin Fry looked quite dashing in black shirt, pants + a rhinestone-studded blazer and he sounded spectacular! He sang the well-known songs plus one new song (which wasn't so bad), the audience standing for the entire set. Except for the guy next to me. He sat there. And applauded. No worries - I danced and sang enough for both of us. I had hoped to hear "All of My Heart" even though it's a slow song; however, I was stoked when he sang "Tears Are Not Enough" and "When Smokey Sings" - fabulous songs!