LOS ANGELES 2006 REVIEWS
http://today.reuters.com September 2006
Considering that fact that each act's commercial prime was a good two decades ago, it was bizarre to see them attract 14,000 fans in 2006. The crowd might have been about 3,000 shy of the venue's capacity, but it was nothing to scoff at.
Nostalgia tours can be a mixed bag. On one hand, they can provide fans and artists a chance to revisit the past and remember happier times or provide a trip back in time for those who were too young to catch the wave the first time around. Then again, as an artist, if you're spending too much time celebrating the past, perhaps you're at a creative dead end.
On Saturday, all three acts spent almost the entire evening looking back...
...Strangely, the Human League -- which was the most modern-sounding act of the three during the '80s -- sounded and looked the most dated with its Kraftwerk-meets-ABBA synth-pop and white stage setup, featuring strap-on keyboards and an electronic drum kit. Still, it was hard not to get caught up in the moment when the band delivered its 1982 chart topper "Don't You Want Me," even if Susan Ann Sulley's vocals sounded thin next to Phil Oakey's booming baritone.
Adding to the weirdness of the evening, the Human League delivered the most lyrically topical song of the evening, 1984's "The Lebanon," with the hauntingly current lyrics, "and who will have won when the soldiers are gone?" Yet Oakey failed to note the song's relevance, and it came off like just another frothy electro-dance number....
This pic is not actually from last night night’s show but it captures the atmosphere. They get to play the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday, for which I envy them even though the stage sound is notoriously nasty. Glad to see Phil is sporting the Dolby/Moby/Eno/Rudess haircut these days. The road to MIDI hell is paved with bad hairpieces!
www.remembertheeighties.com September 2006
As an old school new waver who
spent her youth pining for pretty British boys with asymmetrical haircuts,
the only thing better than seeing a great '80s band, is seeing three great
'80s bands. And why not? After all, the '80s was the decade of excess and
indulgence. In this spirit, the beautiful Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles was
kind enough to deliver-up an iconic trio of new wave pioneers for its 'Totally
'80s' evening. Featuring the soulful soundscapes of ABC, the velvety
dissonance of The Psychedelic Furs and The Human League's seductive (and
very modern sounding) electronica, the evening was a grand lovefest for the
class of '84.
Papermag Word Up! September 2006
TOTALLY 80S AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
Last Saturday the
Hollywood Bowl hosted a Totally '80s Night. Bands appearing were The Human
League, The Psychedelic Furs and ABC. But it was the audience I was looking
forward to seeing. Alas, last minute family obligations called us out of
town. So we gave our tickets to pals Gary and George and asked Gary to file
a report. Here 'tis:
I'm totally in recovery from my latest experience in the production of a low-budget feature film. I'm so physically and emotionally/mentally exhausted, that it's caused major narcolepsy. I thought I would be over it in a week, but apparently not. And then there's the "looking for the next gig" topic - I can barely stay awake, let alone make phone calls and feign excitement to work. Perhaps I need to check in with a therapist. Maybe I'm just exhausted from going 100 miles-an-hour nonstop and I need to sleep. Maybe seeing these bands contributed to my over-all mental freakout, as each band's music spawned many synapses (people, places, and thrift stores and "wow, 25 years later, and what's happened..."). Then again, it was like yesterday, and who cares? We're doing pretty fucking great...
League was definitely the
most musically interesting and engaging of all three bands. Their equipment
and instruments were completely white. Phil Oakey, in a dapper suit, was
full of energy, and kept running back and forth, from stage left to right,
to each performer, very positive commentary. His voice was really amazing,
hitting high notes, etc. The music felt simultaneously old and new. Weird.
Nice to see original back-up members Joanne Catherall & Susanne Sulley still
performing with the band. The DON'T YOU WANT ME SING ALONG was highly