Human League was the only group to use a stage set, with seven video screens
behind the band and a sleek white set on the floor. It was very modern,
albeit in a Jetsons kind of way. The group now is down backing singers
Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley and front man Philip Oakey, who
sported a shaved head, sunglasses and a dark suit covered by a trench coat.
He looked ready to go clubbing or for a business meeting in Geneva.
The group seemed to have some trouble maintaining the energy level
established by the previous two acts, as opener Mirror Man isnít exactly the
kind of song that triggers lots of recognition (it reached No. 30 in the
States). But Oakey was impressively dramatic as he paced back and forth on
stage, and the audience gradually warmed to him. He told the crowd that he
was nervous about performing in Phoenix for the first time, which further
endeared him. By the time the group closed with the one-two punch of the MTV
fave Together in Electric Dreams (an Oakey soundtrack song) and the bandís
still spooky Donít You Want Me, the audience was on its side.
capped off a great evening, but in this writerís 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 Donít
You Want Me. I would have to assume they did...