The 80’s Weekend returned to Microsoft Theater for its sixth time July 27. I was at the very first 80’s Weekend in August last year which had a lineup of nearly ten bands including headliners The Human League and Eddie Money. Each time 80’s weekend returns, it gets bigger and better with lineups including Boy George, ABC, Belinda Carlisle, Tom Bailey and OMD.
Night two of 80’s Weekend #6 started with a short four-song set from synthpop legend Thomas Dolby who played his songs "Europa and the Pirate Twins," "One of Our Submarines," "Hyperactive" and "She Blinded Me with Science.” In between songs, Dolby told the story of how he wrote each one. Although his set was just 15 minutes, it was a great way to start off the evening.
Following Dolby was Soft Cell singer Marc Almond who performed “Tears Run Rings,” “The Idol,” “Tainted Love” and “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye.” Although its been 37 years since “Tainted Love” was released, it’s still one of the most popular songs of the 80’s. Almond’s set started to get the audience moving for the next three acts that were to follow.
The third act of the night was none other than Berlin which had a longer set than Dolby and Almond. Berlin played a total of seven songs which included their hits “No More Words,” “The Metro,” and “Take My Breath Away,” from Top Gun. Vocalist Terri Nunn got on her husband’s shoulders for “Take My Breath Away,” and was walked up and down the aisles before returning to the stage to close out with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” Two years ago, classic Berlin guitarist David Diamond and bassist John Crawford rejoined the band and were part of this show as well. I had seen Berlin several times before Diamond and Crawford rejoined, but there’s nothing like having the musicians who played on the hits in the band again. Rather than changing members Crawford and Diamond were added into Berlin’s existing lineup.
Adam Ant took the stage after Berlin for an explosive set of Adam and the Ants and solo hits. This was my first Adam Ant performance and I can’t wait for the next time he plays L.A. Adam Ant’s 14-song-set included “Ants Invasion,” “Kings of the Wild Frontier,” “Goody Two Shoes” and “Stand and Deliver.” Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Adam and the Ants' first album and this year is the 40th anniversary of the group’s first single. Adam Ant still runs around the stage and delivers a great performance.
Closing out the show was Blondie. Of Blondie’s original lineup, the show included vocalist Debbie Harry, guitarist Chris Stein, and drummer Clem Burke. Speaking of 40th anniversaries, this year is the 40th anniversary of Blondie's first big album Parallel Lines. After a 15-year hiatus, Blondie reformed in 1997 and has been together since then with a few lineup changes after several performances with the original band. You would never believe Harry is 73 with her looks, style, vocals, and overall performance. As a drummer, it is always a lot of fun seeing Burkes high paced playing and stick tricks. Blondie opened with the hit “One Way or Another,” and ended with “Dreaming.” This energetic set was a great way to close out this special show.
- One Way or Another
- Hanging on the Telephone
- Call Me
- The Tide is High
- Long Time
- Heart of Glass
- From Russia With Love