80s Mania @ Entertainment Centre Theatre, Adelaide 15/11/2017
On a night when fashion turns a blind eye, hair dressers are calling in for the emergency hair spray, and spandex is being worn for the first time in decades, it must be 80’s Mania Night. What the crowd lacked in hair volume they made up for in enthusiasm as Nick Van Eede and Gareth Moulton of Cutting Crew grace the stage and start their now famous banter and jokes with the crowd. Favourites One for the Mockingbird and I’ve Been in Love Before warmed up the fans, as well as Nick’s continual self mocking about the band and the era that made them famous. He continued to tell a story about a woman, whom he had grand feelings for during the era in question, who ended up with another man for money. His intentions became clear as Til The Money Runs Out started playing. Nick finally joked with the audience during one of the interludes that he didn’t know what to play next, which built up the excitement until the familiar introduction to Died In Your Arms Tonight was welcomed to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Paul Young was one of the few who has more hair now than he did in the 80’s, and if possible, more sex appeal. He begins with the Marvin Gaye original Wherever I lay My Hat during which he uses the musical interludes to familiarise himself (quite intimately) with his touring band. His trademark mic-stand-spin was on full show as he galavanted himself across the stage during I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, and the well known Everytime You Go Away much to the audience’s approval. Paul addresses the crowd, and compliments our country on the marriage equality vote, and dedicated Come Back And Stay to the 62% of yes voters.
The stage goes dark, and the ethereal sounds of the Let’s Go chorus resounds through from the stage which serves as a reminder Wang Chung had officially arrived. Representing the British music scene, Boys and Girls from Blur was covered by the new look Wang Chung (with Gareth Moulton filling in for Jack Hues as guitarist/vocalist). Not to be outdone by Mr Young, Mr Feldman wandered around the stage during the solo of Dance Hall Days to feel the nipples of every single musician, including Gareth, and knocked his lead out, damn bassists. The anticipation grew as they had one song left, and the crowd that was seated jumped to their feet and ran to the dance floor and Everybody Have Fun Tonight was received extremely well by the Adelaide public.
The English duo- Peter Cox and rhythm guitarist Richard Drummie, of Go West were in fine company as they greeted the energised crowd, hungry for more nostalgic hits. Opening with Don’t Look Down Girl, they performed an electro-synth track, that was heavy with keyboard riffs and 80’s dance moves. Moving into a cover of Sam Sparrow’s Black and Gold, before addressing the audience with thick London accents, the pair showed that they were more than at home on the stage, and stating that it had been two years since they were last seen Down Under. Go West’s fan base was clearly out in force, as they cheered and sang along to the familiar Faithful, Call Me and We Close Our Eyes, while those unfamiliar grooved along with an 80’s rendition of Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon. Arguably Go West’s most famous track, King of Wishful Thinking, as heard in the Pretty Woman (1990) soundtrack concluded their Adelaide set on a high.
Taylor Dayne (aka Leslie Wunderman) was the only American gracing Adelaide’s stage in a sea of British pop stars. Sporting the same powerhouse vocals that made Prove your love and Don’t rush me top-ten hit singles; she swaggered on stage in glittery black two-piece, sky-high heels and swapped out the perm for her signature long waves. Opening her set with a cover of Barry White’s Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, and showcasing her impressive register by maintaining high notes that even the most daring karaoke goer shies away from a few drinks in, Taylor Dayne proved that she’s still got it. Dedicating a sombre rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares To You to the incredible artists lost in 2016, Dayne gently reduced the energy in the room before rounding it out with the tracks everyone was waiting for, her number one hit singles Tell It To My Heart and Love Will Lead you Back.
While the decade may be over, 80’s Mania Night at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre proved that it is an era that is far from being forgotten. Between the shoulder pads on stage, and those in the crowd that had been dusted off from the back of closets mere hours before, the evening was a bodacious mix of laughter and nostalgia, that you couldn’t help but be swept along in.
After all, everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight.
Review by Robyn Jade and Nick Scalzi