Opening the show was The Motels...
When the band came out, I wasn't sure what to expect since I only knew The Motels through their hits Only The Lonely" and "Suddenly Last Summer". When their set was over, I honestly wanted to hear more! Martha Davis vocals still sound great, and they were a real breath of fresh air. Their performance was just the right act to set the mood of the show. Meeting them backstage after their performance really gave me much more respect for them. They were very nice and down to earth. Martha mentioned to me that they'd be releasing an album later this year, so be on the lookout!
Next up was Naked Eyes...
If you know anything about 80's music, then you'll remember the big synth driven hit "Always Something There To Remind Me". That song is one of the many from the 80's that are guaranteed to be stuck in your head upon hearing. I was always curious how this would sound live. Well I got my chance on this night and it was real cool to hear it. Basically it sounded just as you would expect it, with a slightly more acoustic guitar sound thrown in by lead singer Pete Byrne. Once this song came on, everyone got really into it and was singing along. It was a great moment that drew the crowd in. Also a side note: Pete was a really cool guy to meet with after the performance. I was glad that I got the chance to chat with him for a bit after his set. Now on to digging up some more songs in the Naked Eyes catalog to listen to.
Next up to perform was... Taylor Dayne
Now this is an artist that I am very familiar with. Who hasn't heard the opening notes to "Tell It To My Heart" and then immediately got transported back to a middle/high school dance?? I know that this song in particular was a HUGE part of my middle school years because it was played EVERYWHERE and the video was constantly on rotation on MTV! So this was one act I was looking forward to see. Before Taylor went on stage, I had the privilege of meeting with her for a bit. She was very friendly and is the kind of artist who is great with her fans. So it's no surprise she still has a loyal fanbase after all these years.
As soon as she went on stage she immediately energized the audience and had (mostly) everyone on their feet singing along and dancing. Her set was a compilation of her biggest hits. The obvious highlights were "Don't Rush Me", "With Every Beat Of My Heart" and then her finale "Tell It To My Heart"! The crowd really got into it as she belted out her biggest hit. After all these years, her voice is still powerful and can really captivate an arena. She really gave her fans what they wanted with her memorable performance that night.
After Taylor was.... Starship!
Another staple from the 80's, Starship was best know for their hits "We Built This City" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" (the theme song from Mannequin). The band is still touring these days, however the only original member is Mickey Thomas. After all these years, Mickey still sounded great. Yes, his voice is not the same it was 30 years ago, but it was still vintage Mickey. But don't let that stop you from seeing them! Singer Stephanie Calvert had some big shoes to fill, but she did an awesome job filling in as the female vocalist. Mickey and Stephanie sang their hearts out to the crowd with the obvious hits like "Sara". But it was "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" and "We Built This City" that got the crowd into it. Sometimes certain bands have the tendency to mail in a performance, Not Starship. They seemed grateful for their fans and did what they could to give everyone a good experience. And what more could you ask from an act that's been around since the 80's? Overall, I'm really glad I finally got to see them in person.
Last but not least was.... BILLY OCEAN!
This was the performance I was looking forward to the most. Billy has been once of my favorite artists since the 80's, and I still play his music on a regular basis. His supporting band got the crowd pumped when introducing him, and once he came on stage, the energy surged in the theatre. For a guy who is 67 years old, he does not slow down one bit! He was singing and dancing all around the stage and moving with more stamina than some guys half his age! The crowd fed off of his energy and was enthusiastically singing and dancing along with him.
Billy's was, by far, one of the best live performances I've ever seen. And I've been to quite a few. With a smile that lights up a room, and a true passion for his music, there wasn't one part of his performance that disappointed. If you weren't singing along in the crowd, Billy made sure he did his best to get everyone to join in. He was a professional in every sense of the word. Some of the songs he sang were "Loverboy", "The Colour Of Love", "Suddenly, and of course "Caribbean Queen", "When The Going Gets Tough", and "Get Outta My Dreams (Get Into My Car)". There was even a cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" which is on his latest album! Every second of his performance was pure fun. This is a guy that knows how to work a crowd. Next time Billy comes to the NYC area, I'll be sure to see him again!
On a side note, I met Billy after the show,. Not only is he one of the nicest celebrities I ever met, but he is one of the nicest people that I've met in my life. He seemed very genuine and a true class act that cares for his fans.
Thanks Billy for giving us a performance to remember!