Review: TOTALLY 80's - Enmore Theatre 16 July 2016


Where to begin when discussing last night's awesome excessiveness of 80's music at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney? After waiting so many months for the concert tour to finally make its way around the country, I wasn't going to let 5 days of illness keep me locked away.  Instead, I dosed up on medication, blocked out whatever pain I still had and danced away for those 3 hours in my 80's inspired cut out bodysuit, knowing full well that today's after effects were going to be even more painful but oh so worth it. 

I wasn't the only one smiling like a village idiot at all the amazing songs being played for our pleasure.  The Enmore crowd was pumped and soaking it all in, singing to the backing 80's tapes during intermission and relishing every artist that made their way on stage.  It was a smorgasbord, and aren't we lucky that we not only had the chance to experience these artists live, but that we lived in one of the most brilliant decades of music, the 80's...

Having Maynard MC on stage was a treat and just added to the 80's flamboyance.  I loved his daggy gold, shiny suit as much as watching the Men Without Hats lead singer Ivan Doruschuk begin the evening's festivities. Like a jumping bean, he pranced around on stage while we all got our 80's vibe on with Pop Goes the World and the well known silly favourite, The Safety Dance. Yes it's that song, ' Everybody look at your haans' (hands ...) None of us know what it's all meant to mean, but who cares, it's the 80's! You're not meant to be worrying about anything else but fun. This is the time when you can strip away the 'proper layers' and just be whatever you want. Big hair, bad make up and odd clothing that made most people look like crap. But we loved it and last night we were all shameless, daggy 80's tragics. Old, young, male, female, whatever, everything goes.

From Canadian new wave, we pit stopped by Melbourne band Real Life and lead singer David Sterry didn't disappoint. What magic it was when Catch Me, I'm Falling and Send Me An Angel were being belted out, and wow your voice was just thrilling Mr Sterry.  I felt like I was in the audience on Countdown and at one point did look around and realise that it was actually 2016. Why can't we have these 80's concerts on a regular basis? I think the world would be a much happier place...

From Real Life magic we moved on to more home grown 80's classics, the band Wa Wa Nee and their saucy Stimulation.  Always a crowd pleaser and one of my personal favourites.  It has been a few years since I've seen Wa Wa Nee but Paul Gray still brings it.  Not only did he give us Wa Wa Nee gems like Stimulation and Sugar Free, he was also the musical director of the tour, leading a great Aussie house band.  Once again, how lucky are we?  By this stage we were all nice and limber just waiting for the next pop of 80's sunshine. 

And sunshine it was when Katrina (from the Waves) hit the stage. Starting with Do You Want Crying, we all waited impatiently knowing that it was sing-a-long time when Walking on Sunshine was finally being blasted throughout the room. This wasn't just waves, it was a tsunami of singing, shouting and jumping. The crowd went ballistic and Katrina smashed it.  Another 80's classic that imprinted on our lives, was it really 2016?  It didn't seem like it, not just by the enthusiasm of the crowd, but the energy and power from Katrina herself.  Not just an 80's icon, add rocker to that list. 

Then from Katrina's waves to the cool swagger of Limahl and his Kajagoogoo hit Too Shy. Limahl was so cool that he even flipped open his own selfie stick between songs and took pics with the audience. Gliding through a cover of Duran Duran's Save a Prayer, it was fantasy time with his finale, the Never Ending Story... the dreamy and floaty memory from our youth, when flying luckdragons  (that really looked like a white fluffy type of hybrid dog....) reigned supreme. Surely we must be in 80's Heaven.....?

Well not yet, we still haven't seen and heard the gorgeous Paul Lekakis.  And what a specimen he is.  Bouncing on stage in all his 80's glory.  It didn't matter if you liked girls or boys, you couldn't help but love Mr Lekakis.  And thank you very much Mr Lekakis for joining this extravaganza and bringing us your steamy hit Boom Boom Boom (Let's Go Back to My Room)... I don't think I'll be able to listen to that song the same ever again after seeing you in the flesh. Cannot believe it was nearly 30 years ago since your track shocked the airwaves. So tame compared to what we hear now, but waaaay better.  You can jump on the spot in your 80's gear in front of me any day...  Infectious (From me to you... Thank..... You......) 

How to top hot 80's men? It's time for the sultry pocket rocket Terri Nunn and her band Berlin. This set was a cracker. Full of 80's synth and rock, I was blown away again. Terri Nunn's voice was sensational and with tracks like No More Words, Masquerade, new song Animal and the classic Dancing in Berlin, we still hadn't yet heard their biggest hit. Terri Nunn brought the house down and then decided to make her way around the crowd on top of security shoulders' while serenading us with Take My Breath Away. It wasn't a Countdown crowd now, this was a full blown 80's sunset strip club crowd. Berlin were awesome. What a great way to build to the night's finale which was the one and only Martika.
  
Unfortunately we missed out on Stacey Q at the Enmore Theatre as she was unwell.  Such a shame we missed you Stacey and your 80's classics Two of Hearts and We Connect.  Hope you recover well and enjoy the rest of the tour. But aren't we fortunate that we had Martika to help us finish the night with a big bang of 80's pop.  Such energy and personality, Martika was a revelation to me.  Cracking through songs like More Than You Know and I Feel the Earth Move, it was time to reflect on the amazing Prince collaboration, Love.. Thy Will Be Done, which turned into a mini Prince tribute. So difficult to hear that song and not hear Prince's haunting background vocals. I honestly don't know how Martika held it together, but she did, and then she belted out Martika's Kitchen, rapping and strutting.  You seem infinite Martika, while also being so warm and gracious!  What a pleasure you were live, our evening then ending on a massive 80's note with the smash hit Toy Soldiers.  I feel like I have a different perspective on some of these songs now that I have heard them on stage and how spoilt were we, being indulged with these amazing artists and their immortal songs.  80's classics just live on.

So how can I sum up last night?  It was like savouring one of the best packets of 80's skittles you have ever had.  You know the rainbow flavours and what to expect, but you don't look at which one you picked out so once the flavour starts to melt in your mouth, you still go Ahhh, strawberry....  We all knew the songs but we still flushed with happiness and joy as soon as those first bars were being played.  There was still that surprise of the 'known'.  We could have been in anyone's lounge room or bedroom from the 80's, singing into a pretend microphone and wishing that we were there in their music clips.  It was like some of our favourite 80's playlists had come to life. Pure gratification and one of the best 80's compilation concerts I have seen. Much appreciation to the masterminds behind the scenes and please bring us more! 



by Marina Knezevic

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