I remember about ten years ago finally getting to see Deborah Harry and Blondie in concert. Harry was my first rock and roll crush. Sure there were other rock and roll female singers out there, but Debbie, to me was a women while the rest were girls. The show that night confirmed that to me. I attended the show with a gay couple who were eager to see who they called a true rock and roll diva. Harry had just done that VH1 Divas show and was fresh in everyone’s mind once again. Once the show was over my two cohorts were straight. Their voices even dropped an octave. No joke. Deborah Harry is a real woman.
Terri Nunn Wednesday gave Harry a run for her money as she and her band Berlin entertained an enthusiastic crowd at Chastain Park. Nunn is back in full force sporting a new CD/DVD and oozing as much if not more sexuality into her part of the Regeneration Tour. Every bit as striking and beautiful as when Berlin first came to our consciousness in the 1980s with songs like “The Metro” and the love ballad from “Top Gun”, “Take My Breath Away”.
A few empty seats were available front row center that night that stayed that way during the first two bands of the four band bill, but once Nunn hit the stage with her long flowing black gown and emoting sexuality to the nth degree, the seats filled as young boys and older men for that matter pushed towards the stage. Boys easily half her age were screaming “You’re so hot!” and “I love you!” I think their voices dropped an octave as well.
Nunn basically ran the band through a greatest hits set that included the aforementioned songs as well as “No More Words”. During the song “Dancing in Berlin” she brought folks on stage to dance with her. Before you knew it there were at least 30 folks dancing on stage as Nunn belted out the song. The show came to a complete stop with the finale “Sex I’m A…” Nunn had done her thing. She brought the crowd to a fever pitch.
Headliner Martin Fry and ABC boldly took Nunn’s challenge and delivered a decisive victory for the show. Everything that Terri Nunn was to the guys, Fry was to the women. Women bum rushed the stage reaching for the Brit dandy king of ‘80s Brit Pop, screaming his name at the top of their lungs as well as singing along word for word to each song. The guys, ironically were doing the same thing, except off-key. Martin Fry is kind of like the musical James Bond. All women love him and all guys want to be like him.
Nattily dressed in a black suit and tie Fry began the evening with “Show Me” the first cut off ABC’s debut and legendary “Lexicon of Love” album. Many others off the album as well as songs like “How to Be A Millionaire” and “When Smokey Sings” and “Be Near Me” rang triumphantly through the amphitheatre. While Fry performed the newest single “Ride” off his most recent album, “Traffic” Nunn came out and joined him on stage singing backing vocals. Together they looked like they were on a prom date with their formal attire, and rightly so. The Regeneration Tour is a reunion of a lot of great music from an era that is very near and dear to a lot of people still.
Towards the end of the set the entire Regeneration Tour staff joined ABC on stage to dance to the synth pop hits. This show was the last night of the tour for everyone. ABC finished the night with a rousing rendition of their first hit “Look of Love”. About two-thirds of the way through the song Fry’s vocal mic went out. The trouper that he was the show continued as it was obvious that this, unlike a lot of the big dollar tours out right now, wasn’t lip synced, as you could still hear Fry’s voice singing from the stage.
The night began eagerly enough with the Cutting Crew. The Brit/Canadian rock band at one point had the number one song in the world in 1986 with “I Just Died In Your Arms”. 23 years later and Nick Van Eede’s voice has not missed a lick. Still pristine and golden he put his new “Crew” through the paces. He started the show with a brand new song, promoting a new release by the band. He then concurred to pressure and played a greatest hits set that included “One For The Mocking Birds” and “Been In Love Before”. Cutting Crew’s set of hits set the tone for the evening for everyone.
Following Cutting Crew was Wang Chung. From 1984-87 Wang Chung lived on the charts beginning with “Dance Hall Days” through “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”. And everyone did have fun as the band played a blistering five-song set of radio hits from the aforementioned as well as “To Live And Die In LA” from the 1985 movie to “Let’s Go”. Pretty much a duo, Jack Hues (vocals) and Nick Feldman (bass) played the hits with veracity.
The night however belongs to the king and queen of this reunion, Martin Fry and Terri Nunn and to those that got to witness it. I want my MTV! If only Martha Quinn and J.J. Jackson could have been there to complete the reunion.
– Dave Weinthal