Sunday, February 1, 2015

Spandau Ballet concert wrap up: Los Angeles

photo by Scarlet Page
Last week, Spandau Ballet played their first concerts on the West Coast of America in 30 years, starting with San Francisco, then onto a pair of sold out nights at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.

I was fortunate enough to attend the second LA show, which was filmed for Yahoo Screen Live (check for repeat airings).

Although I caught the brief three-song Jimmy Kimmel Live! television appearance last November, this was my Spandau concert debut, not having seen the influential London group during the 1980s heyday. I was definitely not disappointed. The sound was excellent.

The Wiltern gig featured 22 songs (see setlist below) and clocked in just under two-hours long. Tony Hadley's voice was robust throughout. The other guys fared well on backing vocals too (doing such falsetto-driven songs as "Lifeline" and "Communication" in a row is no easy task).

All five original members still had an obvious camaraderie onstage together. In addition to the major UK hits like "True," "To Cut a Long Story Short," "Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)," "Only When You Leave" and "Gold," I also enjoyed hearing some of the earlier, lesser known material. Three new songs from the 2014 retrospective "The Story" all sounded marvelous and fit in well with the rest of the material. An extended "I'll Fly for You," featuring one of many Steve Norman sax solos, was among the standouts.

During the show, guitarist/songwriter Gary Kemp said Los Angeles was one of his favorite cities in the world and that he lived here for three years. Meanwhile, after finishing the magnificent encore ballad "Through the Barricades," Hadley admitted it was his all-time favorite Spandau song.

Be on the lookout for a U.S. screening for the Spandau Ballet documentary "Soul Boys of the Western World" soon.  

Remaining 2015 North American Tour dates:

4/25 House of Blues, Chicago, IL
4/27 Massey Hall, Toronto, ONT
4/28 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
4/30 House Of Blues, Boston, MA
5/1 Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ
5/2 Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
5/3 Theatre at Westbury, Westbury, NY

Jan. 25, 2015 Los Angeles 

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