Lost 80’s Live @ Humphreys by the Bay – 08/31/2018
As concert goers streamed to their seats at Humphreys By The Bay on Friday August 31 with the sun setting over the water, Boys Don’t Cry started off the 80s flashback night with their 1986 one-hit wonder, “I Want To Be a Cowboy.” The crowd cheered and toasted him with their plastic beer cups high in the air. Fun way to set the mood for the rest of the night.
Gene Loves Jezebel was second to take the stage. One fan came up to the stage to hand lead singer Michael Aston a bouquet of flowers. He graciously accepted the flowers and blew the fan a kiss before going back to the mic to sing, “Desire.”
Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin came roaring on stage despite a few technical difficulties. The Malcom McLaren protégé danced enthusiastically across the stage throughout her set. Her vocal performance was solid, too. She can still hit those high notes on “Do You Want to Hold Me?” and their biggest hit, “I Want Candy.”
Dramarama put on a high-energy, rock-n-roll set. No synthesizers for this act. No siree! Lead singer John Easdale was joined on stage by 2 guitarists and a bassist. Loosely quoting The Blues Brothers, he said, “We play both kinds of music. Rock and Roll.” Their three-song set included the high energy singles “Last Cigarette,” and “Anything, Anything.” These two songs got the crowd on their feet, even if audience members didn’t throw themselves in a moshing frenzy like they might have done 30 years ago.
Animotion’s Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams sang a sexy cover of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love,” before performing their big 1984 hit “Obsession.” The full band consists of Greg Smith, Jim Blair, Chris Wadhams, Tad Wadhams and Paul Trubachik.
While most bands performed three songs, When in Rome UK (Clive Ferrington and Andrew Mann) performed only one song, a 15 minute version of their 1988, Top 40 hit “The Promise.” Maybe because the evening was well on its way, or maybe because “The Promise,” is still frequently played on radio stations, but the crowd was belting out the lyrics to this song and singing at the top of their lungs.
Local favorites, Missing Persons, played a blistering set of their biggest chart-toppers – “Mental Hopscotch,” “Words,” and “Walking in LA.” Legendary Dale Bozzio and bandmates Karl D’Amico, Fred Bensi, Andy Sanesi, and Prescott Niles were a very tight ensemble – they scorched the stage. As an aside, I have to note that they were the nicest bunch of guys I met that night.
Grammy-winning Wang Chung had the most interactive performance of the night. Not only did they play three big crowd pleasers, “Let’s Go,” “Dance Hall Days,” and “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” they also took a selfie with the audience cheering in the background, and auctioned off a guitar, to the tune of $6500, to benefit St. Jude’s Hospital. Gareth Moulton, previously with The Cutting Crew, introduced “Dance Hall Days” by saying, “This next song is about nostalgia. I guess you all like nostalgia. Who wants to go back to the 80s?” When the crowd roared their approval, he said, “Are you crazy?”
Technical difficulties were common throughout the night. It is to be expected when ten different bands have to take to the same stage in a four-hour window. But Naked Eyes suffered the worst as Pete Byrne’s guitar and amps were not functioning at first. After two tries, the glitches were sorted out and he continued on to play, “Promises, Promises,” and “Always Something There To Remind,” which was only pulled off with most of the elements pre-recorded and played by a computer. It was during this time that it became increasingly more difficult to focus on the performers on stage instead of spying on all the front row dancers who were now well into their 5th or 6th beer. Very entertaining.
The final band of the night, A Flock of Seagulls played four songs “The More You Live, The More You Love,” “Telecommunication,” “Space Age Love Song,” and “I Ran.” By this point, the security guards had lost most of their hopes of containing the concert-goers to their seats. The audience was encouraged by the band to come up close and dance. And so, everyone did. Proving you can’t stifle the 80s rhythm when it overtakes you. Flashing back to the 80s equals good times.