REGENERATION TOUR: HUMAN LEAGUE, BELINDA CARLISLE, ABC, NAKED EYES, the Depot, Monday
Moving the Regeneration Tour, which included '80s artists Naked Eyes, ABC, Belinda Carlisle and Human League, to the Depot from the USANA Amphitheatre caused the audience to adjust to a nightclub setting, but the bands didn't appear to have any problems.
From the moment Naked Eyes original member Pete Byrne stepped onto the stage and strummed out an acoustic intro to the band's trademark hit "Always Something There to Remind Me," which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the audience was ready to party.
Byrne went through a hits set list that included "Voices in My Head" and "When the Lights Go Out." He also dedicated "(I Just Can't) Get Over Losing You," to his late bandmate Rob Fisher. In fact, Byrne co-wrote the song with Fisher before the latter passed away in 1999.
The set ended with "Promises Promises."
One of the highlights of the evening was ABC. Lead singer Martin Fry played like he was at an arena. He got the energy up and he interacted with the audience and everyone, including the band, had a great time.
A hit parade including "Very First Time," "Poison Arrow," "How to Be a Millionaire" and "Tears Are Not Enough" got the standing-room-only audience singing along.
Fry connected with the audience and pranced around the stage, shooting smiles into the crowds and serenading his fans with his still-strong voice.
A new song, "Ride," from the new CD "Traffic," featured that ABC '80s-pop feel. After the other hits "Be Near Me" and "When Smokey Sings," Fry and the band wrapped it up with "Look of Love."
Former Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle had a lot of energy, although at the beginning of her set she sang a little flat.
However, by the time she got to the Go-Go's hit "Vacation," she was on the money.
The audience ate up "Mad About You" and laughed when Carlisle introduced her version of "Circles in the Sand."
"When I heard this song in the elevator and supermarkets, I knew that I made it," she said about "Circles in the Sand." "It's sad, but true."
The Human League with original members Phil Oakey, Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall was an experience in pre-darkwave pop.
The singers and the band, dressed in black, stepped to their sterile-white instruments and pulsed out a little techno-new-wave beats into the club.
Keyboards, laptop computers and electronic drums shook the stage and video screens as Oakey, dressed in a long black trenchcoat, let his gothlike baritone do the singing with "Mirror Man."
Throughout the night, Oakey and the women changed costumes from casual suits to formal evening wear and pumped out "Love Action (I Believe in Love)," "Seconds," which was an ode to the late president John F. Kennedy, and the ballad "Human."
Of course it was the band's major hits "Fascination" and "Don't You Want Me Baby" that brought the house down.
While old and young fans loved the show from the first note, those who came to laugh at the New Wave artists' image, found it hard not to dance and sing along to the songs that hit the charts some 20-plus years ago.