It was the era that fashion apparently forgot, although there were many at the Thebarton Theatre on Thursday night that donned the lycra, fluoro, and big hair to celebrate what was more like an 80’s High School reunion than a concert. (Check out our photo gallery)
We may be older, wiser, wider, and those ‘Choose Life’ T-shirts would now read ‘Choose Mid-Life’, but for those of us fortunate enough to be there the first time around, we witnessed a fantastic generation of music. A lot can be said about the era, yes the fashion was questionable in hindsight (as will the man bun and hipster beards be in years to come J), but the songs and music were infectious and made you happy.
Totally 80’s draws together a fair representation of those retro days, with a stellar line-up including (in order of appearance) Men Without Hats, Real Life, Wa Wa Nee, Stacey Q, Katrina (ex Katrina & The Waves), Limahl, Paul Lekakis, Terri Nunn & Berlin, and the lovely Martika in a nostalgic trip back into the affectionately dubbed ‘daggy 80’s.’ The atmosphere was electric and much akin to a John Hughes film, as the soundtrack to our lives played out before us both onstage and in the background music between sets. Host Maynard F# Crabbes introduced each like an American Bandstand host and added to the vibe in his Gold Lame’ suit.
I won’t insult our readers by listing the songs played by each artist, some of which were by definition ‘one hit wonders’ -a term not necessarily adverse in the saturated 80s music industry mind you, but the expected hits and more where there, and done with such commitment that they were every bit as good as the first time they were heard.
Although the performances were all individually fabulous, there were a couple of moments that stood out. The first was when the incredibly stunning Terri Nunn (Berlin) dedicated Like Flames to her son who is a Medic serving in the US Army, and when Martika paid tribute to the late artist Prince during the song he wrote for her, Love, Thy Will Be Done. It was respectful, poignant, and minimally appropriate.
Another thing of note is how well these stars have aged- they all look amazing!
Totally 80’s is a brilliant up close and personal showcase of yesteryears talent that gave those of us who experienced it the first time a welcome reminder of our youth, and gave those new to the genre a crash course in retro-fashion. For all that gel and hairspray, I don’t think we turned out too bad at all!
Review by Dazz Hassan