Event Reviews

Simple Minds & The B-52s @ Kings Park & Botanic Gardens, 02/02/17 (Live Review)

Written by Melanie Griffiths

Read: 247 time(s)

A Day On The Green continued its bumper season at Kings Park with the formidable showcase of three of the more significant 80s acts. The Countdown era band the Models, the outrageous The B-52’s, and the band who helped defined teenage angst for an entire generation Simple Minds.
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Having such a strong lineup meant that the crowd was large and arrived early to grab a good patch of grass on which to picnic on. The Models opened and soon into their set it was almost a unexpected surprise being reminded of the many well known hits we’ve heard on the radio. Their only No.1 hit Out Of Mind Out Of Sight, with classic 80s tropes of boppy synthesisers and punchy horn stabs was a highlight as was other familiar hit Barbados. With that said hearing a bare version of I Hear Motion highlighted how much time has actually passed for the originally nuwave band.
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The B52s

The B52s

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Traversing down memory lane, The B-52’s came out looking pretty much the same as they always have. The group’s penchant for fashion resembling an explosion out the back of Good Sammy’s has contributed to the alternative, kooky, nuwave sound they forged back in the late 70s in college town Athens, Georgia.
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After an initially subdued reception, frontman Fred Schneider gave an order to get those butts off the seat and dance, which really put the set into full swing. Lava, Private Idaho and Mesopotamia showed off the irrepressible vocal talents of Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, still as distinct and unique as their outlandish beehives.
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Much of the set came from their most commercially successful album 1989’s Cosmic Thing. With its Nile Rodgers production values and high pop sheen songs like Channel Z, Roam and Cosmic Thing were high energy dance songs, where it just felt inherently wrong not to be doing the monkey or mashed potato. However with perennial wedding reception song Loveshack, and the beloved alt-rock Rock Lobster closing the set, The B-52’s proved that they may have had more energy than the audience.
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Simple Minds

Simple Minds

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Simple Minds demonstrated what a lot of mid 1980 bands became; from humble art school beginnings the band grew into a massive sound, embracing pop with all its huge drum tracks, horns, and hooky synths.
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30 years down the track and the Scottish band still play to their strengths. The band members whilst at times moved a little slower, knew how to give their fans a rousing set. With everyone front of stage on their feet, Jim Kerr lead the way supported by an epic but ultimately overblown light show.
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At times the production and theatrics of their show overshadowed the nuances of the vocal mix causing it to be buried in a wash of lights and synths as was the case for Someone Somewhere In Summertime. Thankfully the production did ease off to allow for understated songs like See The Lights, and their first Aussie hit 1982’s Love Song to be appreciated with a cleaner mix.
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Simple Minds

Simple Minds

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The loudest cheers were left for Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize proving that the Day On The Green crowds can still be a handful for security as they got up out of their seats, probably in preparation for the behemoth anthem of the 80s that was only minutes away. From the first snare attack and as Kerr launched into the ‘hey, hey, hey’ chant of Don’t You Forget About Me, thousands of fans had reached peak Gen-X elation, it was an expansive rendition with a beat too long middle break but who cares, it’s a song bigger than the band. Coming back for an encore, Simple Minds left with the appropriate Alive and Kicking. Proving that so many years down the track age means nothing when the music is that good.

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Follow SIMPLE MINDS
Website          Facebook          Twitter

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Follow The B52s
Website          Facebook          Twitter

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See Karen’s gallery HERE

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See Karen’s other galleries HERE and her reviews HERE

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AMNPLIFY – DB

Melanie Griffiths

February 6th, 2017

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Melanie Griffiths

Significant music milestones; discovering a cassette of The Beatles and playing it continuously in my mum\'s car when I was 8, sitting criss-cross applesauce next to a record player listening and staring in wonder at Kate Bush\'s The Kick Inside at 13, and being front and centre at a De La Soul gig at 18 and realising that hip hop was my first love. Sometimes I pretend that I\'m Stevie Nicks\' candle handler hanging out with the SoCal crew from 1974-1979. Other times I like to fantasise about being one of the hype men on the ATCQ reunion tour. I sing like a superstar in the car, I know the entire dance to Wuthering Heights and I\'m great at quiz nights. Reviewing for Amnplify is my opportunity to bring together my 2 passions writing and music, rather than spamming the comments section on YouTube with how many feels I have about the new Taylor Swift video.

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