The '80s aren't lost ... they're in Vegas
"Lost '80s" just seems like the wrong name for a great night of concerts, truth be told. At least it was Saturday night in Las Vegas, when eight bands from our beloved decade took to the stage (outdoor stage, mind you) to race through their greatest hits.
We had a HUGE gang of '80s friends on hand for the show, including Brad in LA, Tommy from LA, Lori from LA ... come to think of it, I think half our group was from LA. Some amazingly patient and beautiful wives. All we were missing was Deborah Foreman. Among the other notables: the great Tor Hansen, Billyshakes Formerly of Instanbul, four lovely ladies from Sparks, Nev., Mike Tate and a certain former co-host from Denver who probably doesn't remember the night at all.
Here are some highlights from the night:
ON FIRST: Gene Loves Jezebel drew the short straw, and certainly played like it. There wasn't a lot of enthusiasm on their part. Well, maybe "enthusiasm" is the wrong word. They were just a little too loose. They closed with their most notable hit Desire. Sorta odd that nobody introduced them on stage before they started. Things seemed a little disorganized.
THE MOTELS: Someone please explain why this exceptional group had to go on second. They had the best set of the night, with Only the Lonely, Take the L and Suddenly Last Summer. Martha Davis was in top form. I'd like to have seen this act as the headliner.
WHEN IN ROME: The voice octave has fallen a little, but the songs are just as good. I sort of felt like the night was complete when they reached The Promise. I'm pretty sure Brad in LA has video of me singing to the song like a drunken fool. But I make no apologies. And my singing voice is brilliant.
ESCAPE CLUB: To be honest, the sentiment here in the Vegas Lair is that Escape Club should have closed the show. I disagree, but Wild Wild West wasn't quite the horrible hit we remembered. I'd pay money to see them again. No question.
DRAMARAMA: "They were kinda rocking," the group here says. Agreed, even if you don't really remember any of their tunes. They easily put more effort and energy into their set than half the bands up there.
ANIMOTION: Wow. Not so great. Pretty sure nobody was actually playing an instrument, so it came across as bad karaoke. I expected a lot better from them. Still, I don't want to be negative. Everyone sang along. It was just a happy time and place to be.
REAL LIFE: Pretty good, though everyone was just waiting on Send Me An Angel. I'm tempted to collect more of their singles.
A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS: Well, I hate to close on a bad note, but maybe it's time for Mike Score to retool the band. Nobody here was really pleased with them. I admit I left halfway through the second song because it felt like my dream of '80s music was crumbling in front of me. So I'm told they closed with ... you guessed it ... I Ran. It didn't suck. In fact, nothing tonight sucked. Well, except for poor Chase. Advil, Chase. It works wonders.
SO THE VERDICT? Seriously, if this tour comes near you, it's worth seeing. Eight bands in one night might have been overkill, especially since our choices were standing the whole time or sitting in the sand. But there was a sense of occasion about the night. Mandalay Bay does a GREAT job with their Beach Concert Series. The entire setup looked like a mini Red Rocks, with three huge bonfires burning around the stage, which was towering over the water in the pool area. I liked the choice of bands. I liked the vibe of the fans. It just feels good to know that there's no lost love when it comes to the '80s.