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Howard Jones. Concert Review.

Robert Massimi.

What was a terrific evening on all accounts, “All Hail The Silence”, “Men Without Hats” and “Howard Jones ” were all sensational last night at The playstation Theater in New York City’s Time Square.

“All Hail The Silence ” was first up, a techno two person band that were both in sync and very good. The two musicans, one playing all instruments from his keyboard and the bands singer kept the audience upbeat which is exactly what an opening act is supposed to do.

“Men Without Hats”, a punk rock, progressive band was the second act. They too were tight as well as very entertaining. Playing for about an hour, “men” performed all their past songs and did it with gusto under a superior light show.

All three acts are from England. The three recreated a bygone era of New Wave with a Punk rock mix. In the early 80’s, both Disco and Rock and Roll were replaced by New Wave and Punk Rock. New York City was the epicenter for both. Clubs like Danceateria and the Mudd Club created and developed some of the greatest New Wave bands ever to play. CBGB’s and Harrah’s developed many great Punk bands of that era.

Out of the New Wave genre came one of the very best; John Howard Jones. Born in 1955, this English singer, musician and writer was a cut above most in the New Wave era. Jones’s songs were different, elegant and stylish. Jones had ten top 40 hit singles in the UK between 1983 and 1986. Six of which would reach the top ten. In 1984, Jones’s album, Human’s Lib, went to number one.

Around the world, Jones would have 15 top 40 hit singles between 1983 and 1992. Jones is associated with the 1980’s second British Invasion of the US. Jones is described by many as one of the defining figures of the 1980’s synth-pop.

Last night Jones performed his tried and true songs as well as some new, very good ones. Songs like “Hide &Seek”, “Equality “, “No One To Blame” and “Things Can Only Get Better” were standouts last night. Some of the new songs from his just released album were also fantastic. “At The Speed Of Light”, brought the house down and had people dancing in the aisles.

What was both really great about seeing Howard Jones was that it brought back that familiar sound in what was a terrific decade of music. Max’s Kansas City, Danceteria and the Mudd Club are gone, the people who lived in that era of New Wave music are grateful that people like Howard Jones are still performing, and even more grateful to have lived through this wonderful era of music.

robert massimi
I have been writing on theater since 1982. I currently am Chief Drama Critic for Metropolitan Magazine. I have produced 12 shows on and off Broadway. Former member of board Metropolitan Playhouse.

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