People are wearing leg warmers, pointy-toed shoes and asymmetrical stripes? And Howard Jones is playing? You're either watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High or the '80s are back.
As with most retro revivals, the newfound popularity of the neon-and-pastel decade can be credited in large part to a resurgence in '80s-style music. The synthesizer babbling omnipresent in electroclash and the bizarre renaissance of the saxophone solo prove we're not ready to forget the music, and Mr. Jones' upcoming concert will prove that there was a lot more to it than silly hair and patterned blazers.
Brit new wave/synth pop icon Jones and his one-man synth band won't be relegated to VH1's Where Are They Now? because he never left. Though his career peaked in the '80s, he remained an underground hero during most of the '90s, and his current tour is going strong.
A classically trained pianist, Jones rose to the top of the UK charts in 1984 with his debut record Human's Lib and saw success in the United States and around the world, especially with the singles "New Song," "I'd Like To Get To Know You Well," "What is Love?" and the class of 1986's favorite yearbook quote, "Things Can Only Get Better."
But the '80s weren't the only important years for Howard Jones. In the 20 years since his debut, his musical career may have dipped beneath the radar, but it never faltered. In addition to touring with the Eurythmics, performing on the same stage as Prince, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney and other legends, he opened a short-lived vegetarian restaurant in New York, started the record label dtox, contributed to myriad benefit albums, played keyboard with Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, released an album of solo piano pieces, and played a successful acoustic tour. Take that, '80s haters. Lovers: come on down and get to know him well, round two.
-- Bettina Swigger
32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon St.
Sunday, June 13, 8 p.m.
$15 ; 955-5664 or www.32bleu.com