Thursday, August 21, 2008

Regeneration Tour 2008 - A Boston Review

I had an email from Chris on Monday, mentioning that he had a couple free tickets to the Regeneration 2008 Tour that came to Boston at the Bank of America Pavilion last night. He thought of me since I'm a "music fan."

Plus, he had "VIP passes," which we thought would get us into some free booze and food section (it got us into the section, but the beers were also $10 there. Sigh.)

Now being 33, I'm one of the elder statesmen among most of my friends. Not to say that 29 and 30 year olds don't like music from the early 80's, but it's just not usually in the wheelhouse of what people that age "should" like.

I heard somewhere that people's musical tastes are often formulated around the age of 18. I take that with a grain of salt, but often use that to calculate how old many people might be who like music from a particular year.

Last night's show featured Naked Eyes, A Flock of Seagulls, ABC, Belinda Carlisle, and The Human League - most of whom had major hits from 1981-1984, which some exceptions into the late 80's and early 90's.

I estimated that most of the patrons last night were going to be around 42 years old, in the 39-45 range.

I was right.

And there's nothing like seeing a crowd of 42 year olds erupt to "We Got the Beat."

I spent much of the night on commentary to Chris...

"This is one of their three major hits"
"Did you know she posed for Playboy in 2001?"
"This song reached the Top 10 in '83"
"The lead singer overcame Hodgkin's Disease"
"This was her final Top 40 hit in the US"
"Do you know which Smokey they are referring to?"

We didn't hear much of Naked Eyes, since we were in the VIP / non-free-beer section and inexplicably unable to hear the show from there.

The songs by A Flock of Seagulls sounded remarkably identical. Every single one of them. When they broke into a song, I said "Oh, this is one of their hits - Space Age Love Song." It wasn't. But the next one was, and I swear the bassist and drummer maintained the exact same beats from the song prior.

ABC was next, and they were the highlight of the night to be perfectly honest. They still sounded great, looked like they were having fun, and worked the crowd well. They closed with "The Look of Love," but sang their other hits - "When Smokey Sings," "How to Be a Millionaire," "Poison Arrow," and some new song.

Belinda Carlisle looked bored, and seemed rather bitter. She yelled at the lighting guy a few times ("CUT THAT STROBE! You could turn the lights on the rest of my band, there are other people up here").

Belinda ripped through everything you needed to hear - all the solo hits and three Go-Go's songs. She introduced "Circle in the Sand" as "here's a song you hear in supermarkets and elevators everywhere." She sounded legitimately irritated by that (uh, Belinda...#1 - I'm sure that song made you a lot of cash, #2 - Why did you record such crap scholck after you went solo?)

I thought her catalog would stand the test of time best of all, but she too sounded dated. "Heaven is a Place on Earth" sounds like the only solo hit that could be remade today. The rest of her solo stuff, sadly, is throwaway. Clearly, even she feels that way.

We left before The Human League (the headliners?!), but my gut tells me that "Don't You Want Me" and "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" and "Human" were on the bill.

Overall - a fun night. Thinking about some of the songs that were hits in the mid-to-late 80's, though, made me feel very old. Wow - over 20 years ago for "Mad About You?" I have that cassette at home in my old bedroom. That was over TWO DECADES ago.

But the scariest thing is that it was a hit in 1986, one year before I entered high school, and just 5 years before I entered college. I still feel like that first day of college was just yesterday. Clearly, it wasn't (unless "yesterday" means "17 years ago").

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You missed a great set by The Human League. Of course, they had more than 3 songs, but many Americans only know those. They're more successful elsewhere. As for Flock's songs sounding the same, you may not remember the New Wave sound and how it often had particular pace for the rhythm section. Once you hear the music, you'll understand why it seems to be "samey." But that can be said for country, rap, reggae, and more for those not familiar. I did not feel "old" and I didn't feel like I was hearing anything "dated." Music is timeless. But primarily for those who never stop listening. We're similar in age, but I never stopped listening. Glad you had a good time. That's much of the point of going.