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Howard Jones at The PACE Center show preview 

click to enlarge Howard Jones, Saturday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, $69-$89, parkerarts.org.
  • Howard Jones, Saturday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, $69-$89, parkerarts.org.
There was, in retrospect, an awful lot of sincerity going around back in the mid-’80s New Wave days, a time when perfectly coiffed synth-pop acts blanketed the airwaves with the kind of aching vulnerability normally reserved for self-help support groups. Tears for Fears encouraged their fans to engage in primal scream therapy (“Shout, shout, let it all out”). The Thompson Twins embraced codependency (“Hold me now, warm my heart, stay with me, let loving start”). And last, but arguably not least, was Howard Jones: “And do you feel scared, I do, but I won’t stop to falter,” he sings on “Things Can Only Get Better,” a falsetto-laden signature song that will remain an income-producing albatross around his neck for the rest of eternity. From the beginning, Jones has earned frequent comparisons to Thomas Dolby, with whom he shared boyishly MTV-ready good looks and flawlessly crafted pop hooks. He’s also proven himself to be an exceptionally good keyboard player, whether engaging in a “synthesizer showdown” with Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock during a Grammy Awards telecast, or performing ELP songs alongside Greg Lake on one of those Ringo’s All Starr Band tours. Currently, he’s out on what’s being billed as a “Howard Jones Acoustic Trio” tour, which is kind of strange since Jones will be playing electric piano and his bassist will be wielding a Chapman Stick. But rest assured that, while Jones clearly isn’t the best-known of the aforementioned New Wave acts, he may well be the most talented. 

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