80’s Mania is an understatement! This was an 80’s dance and sweat fest, sprinkled with everything and anything that you can imagine. Multiple 80’s outfits decorating the packed out crowd, joyous singing, dancing, a few Saturday night drinks thrown in and lots of laughs. With a sensational line up featuring Cutting Crew, Paul Young, Wang Chung, Go West and Taylor Dayne, we knew we were in for a crazy celebration of many 80’s classics and favourites. The Enmore Theatre in Sydney was steaming, and everyone brought more than their best, phenomenal entertainment mixed in with hyped up excited 80’s fans, it was the perfect combination.
The venue was already close to full once Cutting Crew took the stage. The audience was deliriously happy even before the first note was played. Knowing which songs they may finally be getting to hear live for the first time, it’s understandable. Most of us grew up during those flamboyant and musically wild times and we have nothing but joyful memories of many aspects of the era. So the anticipation was extreme to say the least.
I hadn’t seen Cutting Crew before so it was a real treat for me to hear them live. It was a short but a very, very sweet set indeed including songs ‘One For The Mockingbird’, ‘Any Colour’, ‘I’ve Been in Love Before’ and of course 80’s gem ‘(I Just) Died in Your Arms’… those familiar first notes, I could have cried. One of the best 80’s songs ever, atmospheric and spine tingling, so 80’s but so damn sexy and the fans just went nuts. Is it any wonder every 80’s gig and festival around the world is always packed? Great music is eternal.
From Cutting Crew to the sauve and snazzy Paul Young. He is such a great performer and those moves are still in effect all these years later. Spinning the microphone around and making many knees go weak with such great tracks like ‘Wherever I Lay My hat (That’s My Home)’ and ‘I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down’. The gooey love song ‘Every Time You Go Away’ had Paul serenading the lovely ladies at the front of the stage. Their devotion didn’t go unnoticed…. it must be a thrill for Paul to be appreciated so much all these years later. I watched many ‘ahh’s’ and teenage-like facial expressions throughout the crowd. Finishing up with one of my faves ‘Come Back And Stay’ was just magic. It’s impossible to not let those 80’s dance moves fly and sing to your heart’s content. We can all pretend that we are young again!
Another initiation for me was with the fun and distinctive Wang Chung. It was just more 80’s brilliance with ‘Let’s Go’ and ‘Rent Free’ to kick us up into a higher dancing zone. Again, like every artist during the evening, they were masters at working the crowd. I was eagerly awaiting the Wang Chung effect of all songs, but especially, ‘Dance Hall Days’ and ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight’ . Such staples for 80’s fans. And yes I have made many a ‘Wang Chung’ joke over the years, appropriating the term like many others e.g. ‘Is it time to Wang Chung?’ One phrase amongst many. But it’s all love, we adore our Wang Chung, and we hope to be Wanging and Chunging for many more years to come. Everybody did Wang Chung tonight…
The sweat fest continued and didn’t stop in intensity. I noticed fans ducking out for some fresh air, recharging, and dancing back into the throng. That little respite was invaluable as they weren’t going to miss much if they could help it! And Go West was just what they needed to work off that new found extra energy. Wow, its been a few years since I’ve seen these guys but it’s like time stopped. A cracking set of ‘Don’t Look Down’ moving into a great cover of ‘Black And Gold’. Then the lovely ‘Faithful’, with 80’s treasures ‘Call Me’ and ‘We Close Our Eyes’ tearing it up. The Enmore erupted. Choice dance moves everywhere you looked, 80’s Heaven had come to life.
This next cover stopped me in my tracks, as I think I prefer this version.. (sorry..) ‘Sex On Fire’ should be changed toPeter is on fire. (My notes actually say ‘Hottie is on fire’ I’m going to be honest here…) Hot, hot, hot! Whatever you’re doing Peter, keep going, as this crowd noticed. I can guarantee you there were many fans sizzling under their collars and various outfits. I too had to fan myself with my notepad at one stage. Finishing up with 90’s fave ‘King Of Wishful Thinking’ was an ideal way to move us back into nostalgia. Such powerful and versatile vocals. A depth that sounds richer than the recorded versions of some songs. Scorching, and preparing us for the final onslaught of the evening.
A keg of dynamite, the saucy Taylor Dayne is a sight and sound to behold. Another first time for me, seeing this fabulous woman live, and she just gives everything. Foxy with vocal power unrivalled and I’ve seen many amazing female singers in concert. What a force. As soon as ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love’ ripped though the speakers it was like ‘whoa.. OMFG…’ looks of awe and delight across the crowd. ‘Prove Your Love’ and ‘Don’t Rush Me’ moved us through until ‘I’ll Be Your Shelter’ continued in letting more steam rise. A smoking performance, and then it was another preferred cover for me, Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares To You’. Dayne really does this song justice. Whilst many have tried, I find this version much more enjoyable. Then it was the gorgeous ‘Love Will Lead You Back’. Fierce turns into ferocious once ‘Tell It To My Heart’ begins.. Yes, I think we all felt our hearts explode. Passionate but very 80’s, this song could be listed under ‘definition of 80’s’ with all the rest of the evening’s songs. Those notes reached easily during the crescendo, the venue shook as everyone fitted in as much ‘last song dancing’ as they could. This was a primo way to spend a Saturday night.
Exiting the theatre, it was nothing but exhilaration from all the fans. You could feel the euphoria. What an outstanding 80’s showcase, a wonderful backing band to complement every individual artist while we all got to sing and dance our butts off. Much thanks to all organisers involved and I think I can speak for everyone when I say ‘More 80’s shows please!’
© MARINA KNEZEVIC 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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You can still catch 80’s Mania at the following venues:
|Wednesday, 15 November 2017||Adelaide Entertainment Centre||SA||BUY TICKETS|
|Friday, 17 November 2017||Astor Theatre||WA||BUY TICKETS|