Concert Review: Songs, Stories and Some Soul on the Howard Jones Solo Tour

One way to upgrade your catalog of songs is simply to strip them down to just vocals and your first love. Howard Jones, singer and songwriter of so many 80s hits that sometimes also sound so 80s, launched a thoroughly original idea into his Solo – The Songs And The Stories tour that features just him and the instrument he first started on – the piano. That’s it. No band, no guitars, drums or the ever present synths in all those popular favorites. Granted it wasn’t an actual piano, a keyboard selected to piano which worked just fine as Jones … Continue reading Concert Review: Songs, Stories and Some Soul on the Howard Jones Solo Tour

Concert Review: The English Beat Just Can’t Stop the Rhythms in Portland

The English Beat thoroughly entertained a joyous sold-out crowd for nearly two hours on Saturday at the Aladdin Theater in Portland as heads bobbed up and down through 20 songs of old favorites, their popular covers and a couple of new tracks. Dave Wakeling’s transcendent vocals for this ska/rock infused band among a handful of other incorporated genres needs no introduction for anyone who explored potential musical tastes during the 1980s. He is the sole remaining founder of the The English Beat, yes hailing overseas from Birmingham, England, which has seen numerous line-up changes over the years, a really long … Continue reading Concert Review: The English Beat Just Can’t Stop the Rhythms in Portland

Concert Review: Gin Blossoms Find 25 Miserable Years Works Quite Well

Gin Blossoms brought their 25 Miserable Years tour and executed a classic, present-day performance in a 20 song, hour 40 minute set on Thursday to a well-attended and wonderful Craterian Theater in Medford, OR. It’s just the start of the band’s 25th Anniversary Tour for their 1992 smash platinum album New Miserable Experience with the opening date on Wednesday in Redding, CA followed by a string of stops throughout the United States stretching into 2018. Excuse the gushing – It was the best Gin Blossoms performance I’ve ever heard. No opening act as the Tempe-based quintet wasted little time, stepping … Continue reading Concert Review: Gin Blossoms Find 25 Miserable Years Works Quite Well

Concert Review: Portland Catches Up With Depeche Mode

The bigger question is where have you been? Synth-pop masters Depeche Mode returned to Portland for the first time in 17 years on Monday playing to a packed Moda Center as part of their worldwide Global Spirit Tour supporting their 14th studio album Spirit released in March. The 22-song, two hour-plus set brought a welcome exercise in efficiency as band founders David Gahan, Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher along with two touring musicians wasted little time, did not keep the audience waiting and powered through some old songs, rarities and a solid selection off the latest album. Indeed, it was … Continue reading Concert Review: Portland Catches Up With Depeche Mode