10 can't-miss '80s concerts in Tampa Bay
The summer concert season may be winding down, but for fans of ’80s music, the time is just right to pull out that ratty old Van Halen concert jersey and your disintegrating pair of Sergio Valente jeans. (Big plastic comb for back pocket is not optional!)
DEPECHE MODE (Friday, Ford Amphitheatre): We’re curious how dark, mopey anthems -- and hits like Enjoy the Silence and Master and Servant -- will sound in an outdoor setting ... in early September ... in Florida! The devoted goth fans in attendance better wear sweat-proof mascara.
PET SHOP BOYS (Sept. 10, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center): Don’t scoff! Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have record sales of 100 million and a slew of No. 1 hits back in Britain including It’s A Sin and Always On My Mind. (Yes, the Willie Nelson ballad. )
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and the E STREET BAND (Sept. 12, Ford Amphitheatre): We’re not sure Bruce belongs to any one decade, but he honors our Glory Days so we dig him too.
LIVING COLOUR (Sept. 16, Bourbon Street): No, not the show on Fox. The New York metal act barely squeak into the ’80s with 1989’s Cult of Personality.
THE BANGLES (Sept. 24, Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando): When you think Walk Like an Egyptian and the Bangles, think breasts! Yes, it’s okay, because proceeds from ticket sales go to breast cancer research.
METALLICA (Oct. 3, St. Pete Times Forum): Beavis and Butthead’s fave thrash metal band and for good reason. Remember your earplugs and Advil.
U2 (Oct. 9, Raymond James Stadium): Maybe the lads from Dublin haven’t made a truly classic album since they wore mullets. But there won’t be a dry eye in the house if Bono marches out on stage with that big white flag during Sunday Bloody Sunday.
PSYCHEDELIC FURS (Sept. 28, Ritz Ybor): Furs fanatics love the way lead singer Richard Butler warbles his way through classics like Love My Way, Heaven and Pretty in Pink. But with the added bonus of fellow UK act Happy Mondays as the opening act, this is a can’t-miss show in a cozy venue.REO SPEEDWAGON/STYX/NIGHT RANGER (Oct. 30, Ford Amphitheatre): Better bring a half-dozen Bic lighters for this show because the night sky is going to light up often with power ballads like Keep On Loving You, Come Sail Away and Sister Christian. And sit still for the joint REO/Styx finale of Can’t Stop Rockin’!
STEVE MILLER BAND (Nov. 18, Ruth Eckerd Hall): His biggest hits might have been in the ’70s but — Abracadabra! — his career magically revived itself in the ’80s.
Wondering what shows I'm going to? Me too. Pet Shop Boys for sure. Definitely not Depeche Mode (alas I have other plans that night.) But I'm planning on seeing Psychedelic Furs and maybe that REO show as well. I just can't quit Kevin Cronin!