Crazy 80’s

For my husband’s birthday, we went out to eat, to a show, and back in time.

We joined a rowdy AARP crowd of Crazy 80’s people at the Arcada in Saint Charles, IL for the Retro Futura tour featuring Annabella (of Bow Wow Wow), Katrina (ex of Katrina and the Waves), Men Without Hats, Modern English, The English Beat, and headliner Howard Jones.

Wow, to be young again. Best gift ever–for one night, anyway.

The show kicked off at 8 pm sharp with Annabella. She was fabulous. Fun, sassy, energetic. Go ahead and put “I want Candy” in the fluffy song file, but make room in your catalog for other Annabelle songs–she can sing!

Next up was Katrina. They used the same musicians so the transition was quick. When you get to be our age, you appreciate that efficiency, lol. Truth caveat: I hated “Walking on Sunshine” in the 80’s. She was probably my least anticipated performer. She blew me away. That woman can shred!

We had discussed the order in advance and were surprised that Modern English was up next. C’mon, “I Melt with You” is the 80’s anthem. Sandwiched between the songs we expected to hear, singer Robbie Grey introduced their new release, “Take Me to the Trees“.

The English Beat filled the stage with musicians and energy! Dave Wakeling and King Schascha (not Ranking Roger) rocked the house with a handful of their 80’s hits.

I was so happy to be in this moment of 1982, that I forgot about my gray hair, mortgage, and grandkid.

In a surprising (to me) place in the line-up, Men Without Hats hit the stage next. The song, “Safety Dance”, still makes me want to swing my arms into an S. But it was Ivan Doroschuk‘s cover of the Abba song, “SOS”, that really made me dance.

Wrapping up the show was the iconic Howard Jones. Ever the optimistic song-writer of the 80’s, his music is equally relevant and uplifting today. I loved everything about this set…the keytar! the percussionist/drummer Emily Dolan Davies, the snippets of original music videos that played on the big screen behind the stage, the banter…Do yourself a favor and cue him up on youtube or iTunes or whatever, get on with your day and just let his music play.

The show ended around midnight. FOUR HOURS.
The crowd applauded, the lights went up, the roadies took the stage for breakdown, and 2017 slammed into me with sore feet, achy back, and exhaustion.
I’m only too old for this…after it’s over.

We bought tickets the day before the show. Great seats, decent sound, fabulous line-up, and amazing crowd. I am so glad we went! These performers have been covering the same songs for over thirty years and yet they made them seem fresh and exciting. All of the artists were engaging and content to do what the crowd expected to hear. 1982 was a long time ago. For as much as I love these songs, I’ll be spending time today looking up their new releases. New since 1982, but also new like now! In 30 years, we’ll be rockin’ like it’s 2017.

If you’re a member of the Crazy 80’s, you would have LOVED this show.

Saw this on the Retro Futura website this morning:
**Due to a scheduling error the August 18 show in Merrillville, IN is being moved to The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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