Guest review: Go-Go's, Psychedelic Furs, Motels, Bow Wow Wow at Hollywood Bowl
A Totally '80s concert in the legendary Hollywood Bowl isn't something to be missed. Until you miss it. Which Stuck in the '80s did this last weekend when I picked Adam Ant in Orlando over the Go-Go's, Psychedelic Furs, Motels and Bow Wow Wow in Los Angeles. Thankfully, Stuck in the '80s Nation was there, so here's the official review from the great Marty Yu, who saw the show with Brad Williams and Drew Friedman.
You guys missed a pretty amazing show at the Hollywood Bowl. Brad, Drew and I met briefly beforehand at the spot where we met last year and like last year, Brad brought a huge and delicious feast. Drew brought his SIT'80s button.
Bow Wow Wow started the set and reminded the audience that they were not a one-hit wonder. They played everything from "Aphrodisiac" to "Do You Want to Hold Me' to "C30, C60, C90, Go!" before predictably finishing with their hit cover, "I Want Candy." Annabelle whatever-her-name-is might not have her adolescent bad-girl thing going anymore, but she was still a strong performer.
Then Martha Davis, the frontwoman of The Motels, took the stage dressed like Uncle Fester with Edward Scissorhands hair. Thankfully, she sounded amazing; just as strong a voice as thirty years ago. She was phenomenal and had a great backing band. And, of course, "Only the Lonely" killed.
The Psychedelic Furs jumped in with a lengthy set that skipped the first album entirely (I think?). Even so, they got to all their hits and played some deep cuts from Talk Talk Talk (Mr. Jones and something else). But of course, it was when the band started "Pretty in Pink" that the (female) crowd came alive. Richard Butler never ceased to entertain, especially as he added graphic hand gestures to accompany his lyrics. So any sexually suggestive lyric was made clearer by masturbatory miming. They did a couple later songs I didn't care for and there might have been a little too much saxophone, but they were as good as you said they were.
But it was when the Go-Go's took the stage that the Bowl went nuts. Mixing vintage video and "Vacation"-themed dancers with their live performance, the band totally nailed it. First off, they sounded amazing. Gina Schock kicked ass on the drums. Belinda Carlisle was both charming and rocking, as was Jane Wiedlin. The only one missing was Kathy Valentine (out with a broken wrist). Alas.
They played a good mix of songs including one of Belinda Carlisle's solo ditties but the most interesting songs were from the first album. Two low points: "Cool Jerk" and when I tried to flirt with the woman behind me and she said, "Wait, you're not gay?"
All in all, a super fun night. Better bands than last year, longer sets and a great crowd. The only things missing were two podcasting gentlemen from FLA.