Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Go-Go's: November 22, 1990

The Go-Go's have been one of my very favorite groups since I was a kid. I still have the original copies of all their albums from back in the day along with the picture sleeve 45 of "Head Over Heels," which probably holds the distinction of being the most well-worn record in my collection (that goes for both sides!). I was too young to see them during their original three-album run, but thankfully they've reunited several times for tours and even recorded a new album in 2001. 

The first reunion tour was in 1990, so this show at the beautiful, historic Fox Theater in Detroit was the first chance I'd had to see them, although I'd seen Belinda Carlisle solo in 1988. Note that this show was on a Thursday night in late November. You know what happens on Thursdays in late November? That's right; my sister and I went to see the Go-Go's on Thanksgiving. So much for holiday traditions!

If I'm remembering correctly, Too Much Joy was the opener at this show, and I'd see the Juliana Hatfield Three open for the Go-Go's a few years later. I distinctly remember two things from this show: Belinda Carlisle commenting on how gorgeous the theater was (it is beautiful, even if it's a little over-the-top!) and her tossing handfuls of candy into the crowd. Some guy near us made a remark like, "It looks like she's had too much candy!" Har har har. Carlisle, and lots of other female performers, have endured these kinds of smart ass remarks for years but this struck me as particularly awful because a) the guy had paid to be at the show and so was allegedly a fan, and b) she was not even remotely overweight at the time. So, this show is a bittersweet memory in a way, because it was so great to see my longtime heroines rocking out in the flesh, but the same ridiculous sexism and double standards were still apparent a decade after they blazed a trail for female acts.

Another note about this show: This is the only instance where I noted the set list when I wasn't reviewing the show. The set included (not in the order performed):

Our Lips Are Sealed
Lust to Love
This Town
We Got the Beat
How Much More
Skidmarks on My Heart
Get Up and Go
Beatnick Beach
Cool Jerk
Head Over Heels
Turn to You
I'm the Only One

Friday, March 11, 2011

Corey Hart: February 5, 1986

My primary memory of this concert is being sick as a dog. I had a fever of 103 (yes, just like the Foreigner song!) but there was no way I would miss Corey Hart. I sucked it up, slightly delirious, not exactly sure why my parents let me go, but going all the same, with my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law. I believe this was the first show I saw on the University of Michigan campus -- the first of many, as it turned out. Hill Auditorium, famously designed to have perfect  acoustics, remains a wonderful place to see concerts.

Corey Hart, as you might remember, was a Canadian artist best known for the hits "Sunglasses at Night" and "Never Surrender." He continued to record throughout the '90s but today works primarily as a songwriter (for his wife, singer Julie Masse, among others). When I saw him, he was promoting his second album, Boy in the Box, the title track of which, I kid you not, includes the lyric, "Pull up your socks / You're the boy in the box." He performed it, and other tracks from BITB and First Offense, in the overly emotive style any fan of his albums would expect, throwing in the occasional melodramatic gesture for good measure. I'll admit I ate it up. I was 13 and he was foxy -- what can I say? I'm not sure how long I wore my Boy in the Box T-shirt before I started to feel like a dork.