I’m amazed at how artistic my son has become, coordinating colors when using his building blocks. Dominic can sit for at least an hour when he’s really concentrating on creating something, then will tear it all down again to build anew. At one point, he was building tower and said, “Mama, look it’s so tall!” He loves to listen to the music on my iPhone, so I played a song called “Empire State Human” by The Human League because of the lyrics “I want to be tall, tall, tall,” like his awesome tower. Who knew that he would take my iPhone just to keep playing the song each time he wanted to build something new? I’m glad my son loves my 80’s music.
Last week, I added yet another 80’s group to my list of must see bands: The Human League. As posted last week, I saw them last Thursday at The Dreamcatcher lounge inside Viejas Casino. I love the fact that groups that I missed back in the 80’s are touring again, making it possible to “catch up”. I wondered why it was that I didn’t see groups like these back then. I realized that it’s because I really didn’t have the cash flow that I have now as an adult, so when I had to choose between Depeche Mode and another group touring at the same time, I saved my money for Depeche Mode.
I went with my best friend Janice, who has accompanied me to many of my latest 80’s ventures (on occasion we go with my sister and cousin Regi). What was great about this show is that it only cost a mere $18 to see a fantastic double bill with Men Without Hats, and that we were incredibly close. We were so close that I was able to get a great shot of the set list prior to The Human League coming on, however, it didn’t allow me to get any good shots of Men Without Hats. I think it may also have been the lighting because I was able to get great shots of The Human League during their set.
The current band consists of lead singer Philip Oakey, singers Susan Sulley and Joanna Catherall, in addition to their touring band. I loved all of the costume changes and the fact that the girls switched sides of the stage. And if you thought the keytar was a thing of the past, The Human League has resurrected the keyboardists answer to the guitar hero. They played many songs I recognized right off the bat: The Lebanon, Love Action, Fascination, and Mirror Man. After seeing these songs live, I added a couple of songs to my favorites list from their discography: Tell Me When and Heart Like A Wheel.
They also sang a song from their new album, Credo called Egomaniac, which reminded me of Depeche Mode because of the grittiness of the synths. My personal favorite was Human, which Philip Oakey stated was a song that was only popular in the US. It was incredibly beautiful live, and their vocals were still spot on. I recorded video of Human where the visual was fantastic but the audio was distorted by the reverb of the speakers, which made me realize that I should have brought my Flip Camera. Don’t You Want Me was the obvious fan favorite. I heard the whole room sing every word, and Susan let the audience have a solo during the line “I still love you!”.
Although my own video footage left much to be desired, Janice was able to get great footage of the encore and final song, Together in Electric Dreams (I hope to include a video by the time this posts, but I will definitely add it later). This song was originally from the movie Electric Dreams and was a huge single for Philip Oakey outside of The Human League. It was produced one of his idols and pioneers of the synth era, Giorgio Moroder. I’ve always liked that song, and after seeing it live, it has raced up to the top of the list of my favorite Human League songs. All in all, another excellent musical trip back into the 80’s!
I’m very excited because I will be getting in my New Wave fix tonight by attending a concert at The Dreamcatcher Lounge in Viejas Casino. My best friend Janice and I will be watching The Human League with Men Without Hats, both of whom I have not had the privilege of seeing back in the 80’s. The Human League actually have a new album out called Credo, so I’m glad to know that they are not only touring, but still recording as well.
If you are unfamiliar with the names of these groups, below are lists of hits for each of them. Once you see the songs, I’m sure your memory banks will flood with sounds of their catchy tunes. I’ll post pictures and a review next week!
The Human League:
Don’t You Want Me
(Keep Feeling) Fascination
Men Without Hats:
The Safety Dance
Pop Goes The World
(The Human League photo courtesy of Viejasentertainment.com; Men Without Hats photo courtesy of Menwithouthats.com)