I am happy to say that I was a child of the 80's (with child being stressed here!). Most of my early 80’s musical experiences came in the form of flash back weekends on KROQ. But luckily I recently got to experience four of the most poplar 80’s bands at one of the most beautiful venues in California.
Berlin, The Fixx, The B-52s, and The Human League played a packed show at the Hollywood Bowl last Friday night – and it was epic. The well-preserved Terri Nunn of Berlin hosted the event and her infectious enthusiasm kept the crowd pumped – not that the crowd needed it.
Berlin started off the show with Nunn coming out in a dress that could kill and sounding like an angel. The band was solid, with Nunn’s voice booming as she made her way through the crowd in the orchestra section. Berlin played only 5 of their most popular hits then made a quick exit – on a revolving stage. Rad.
The Fixx quickly followed, and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure who they were. As my partner in crime (PIC) started singing their hit to me, the band took stage and started with that one – Red Sky At Night. As the set went on, I realized I knew every song by them, I just didn’t know it was The Fixx who sang all those hits. Learn something new every day.
The B52s were next (they dropped the ‘ in 2008 – fun fact). With an average band member age of 60, they had the energy of kids half their age - and they killed it. But they were real weird. They played a long set with a good 50% of it being songs I had never heard before. Space aged sounding stuff, real eclectic-like. But they pulled it off. I lost it when Cindy (the blond) took the lead and started into their early 80’s hit “Give Me Back My Man.” Again, I didn’t realize The (weird) B52s did this edgy new wave song – a fave of mine in junior high. Of course they did their big hits too - “Love Shack”, “Rock Lobster”, and “Private Idaho” among many. Kate (the red head) looked smoking at 63, and Fred played up the grumpy old man well. Loved it! They had the entire Hollywood Bowl up dancing and singing with them. Their weirdo energy was infectious.
The Human League was the closer – and they were snoozers. They came out on a bare stage (compared to the B52s), all modern new-aged, and started with new music. The entire package alienated me – literally. They only had two hit songs; the set was like wading through a mucky pond only to find two old pennies – just not worth it. But the girls’ wardrobe was interesting, so there was that. Eh. We bounced.
But even the entire league of humans could not ruin my dance down memory lane. I had newfound respect for The B52s and a new hope that 60 may be the new 40… Maybe 45.