Berlin, Terri Nunn are highlights after Week 1 of Regeneration Tour
Regeneration Tour 2009 has been on the road a week, and we have our first review from last night's stop in Chicago. Sorry I couldn't make it, but here's the full report from Chicago correspondent "Bassnote:"
The Regeneration Tour hit Chicago on Friday night without the big Stuck in the '80s gathering that had been planned. But that didn't stop it from being a fantastic show. All four bands (Cutting Crew, Wang Chung, Berlin and ABC) had stand out moments on stage, but one band out shined the others.
Cutting Crew was first. They were good, but didn't get the crowd on their feet until the last song of the set, a rousing version of "(I Just) Died In Your Arms."
Wang Chung started their six song set with a one-two punch of "Don't Let Go" and "Wait." The crowd danced and sang along to "Let's Go," and Jack Hues was happy to share the mic with them. A semi-acoustic "To Live And Die in L.A." kept us wanting more. They finished with another great one two punch of "Dance Hall Days" and "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." The latter song is much better live, and Jack Hues had fun teasing the crowd with the line, "Can you tell me what Wang Chung means?" I personally wish they could have done more.
The highlight of the night came when Berlin hit the stage. It was lead singer Terri Nunn's 50th birthday, and she turned the set into a party. They had everyone on their feet from the first synth chords of "Masquerade." They quickly followed with a killer take on "No More Words." Nunn, in a sheer black dress, was absolutely radiant, and her voice was flawless. She came out into the crowd during a new song, "Ordinary Girl," and at one point was standing right next to me as she belted out a chorus.
Next she invited about 30 crowd members on stage to pogo with her as the band played "Dancing In Berlin." The band also did a hopped-up cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love," and Nunn dedicated "Take My Breath Away" to Michael Jackson. Berlin closed the set with a steamy version of "Sex (I'm A...)," in which Nunn and the guitarist looked like they wanted to rip each others clothes off. I am now more of a fan than I was before the show
The energy had been so high during Berlin's set, that when ABC came on it was kind of a let down. Martin Fry was brilliant, and the band sounded great, but they just couldn't match Berlin's intensity. They provided the hits like "Poison Arrow" and "All Of My Heart," but did a lot of unfamiliar numbers that put the crowd in their chairs. They closed in strong fashion with "When Smokey Sings," "Be Near Me," and "The Look Of Love," and had the crowd wanting more, but were out of time.
All in all, it was a wonderful show, and I'd definitely see it again. Note: Berlin is not playing on all the dates, so if you have a chance to see one of the shows with them on the bill, run, don't walk to get tickets.