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Totally Gnarly: 1980s Night

At The Arizona State Fair

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Tom Keifer of Cinderella. Images by Kris Moran.

Images From The Show

The Treat For Arizonans Who Still Love The Music Of The 1980s — Hair, Synthesizers And All — Was That The Bands Were Able To Deliver Some Respectable Performances More Than 30 Years Later


By Joe Lopez
Special for Modern Times Magazine

Nov. 7, 2014 — When I heard about the 1980s event at the Arizona State Fair, I knew I was in for a good time.

The thought of three distinct genres of that era playing on the same bill was perplexing. Berlin with its synth pop, Tom Keifer of Cinderella upholding the ‘Hair Metal’ crowd and John Waite, an album-oriented-rock, world-class vocalist with the credentials of the Baby’s, Bad English and a great solo career.

Waite was first up and hit the stage with a upbeat Baby’s opener, “Back On My Feet Again.” His voice is in impeccable condition. Although the State Fair crowd was sparse, those there witnessed “Best Of What I Got” and “Missing You.” An acapella verse of “When I See You Smile,” was a rare treat. Lastly, was a storming Zep classic “Whole Lotta Love.”

Then he was gone.

Tom Keifer was next and wasted no time getting into form with the classic Cinderella single, “Shake Me.” Although I have never been a big Cinderella fan, I must admit he never sounded better. The acoustic set with “Don’t Know What You Got,” especially. Keifer, like Waites, closed with a cover song. This time it was the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.” The choice was unique, unexpected and well done.

Last but not least was a band I have loved forever: Berlin. Yes, it is a bit strange with my ‘heavy metal’ heart, but Terri Nunn is no ordinary pop starlet. The beautiful and ageless Nunn kicked their set off in style with “No More Words.” And let me tell you, her voice is still on target.

“The Metro” was a peak performance as well. Memories of the popular MTV video came to mind. The climax of course, was the the Top Gun hit, “Take My Breath Away.” Terri went full contact with the audience and held many fans as if to sing the song along with them. A great connect with the fans assembled. Then, as if things were gonna slow down the synth beginning of “Sex (I’m A...).”

This show was an ultimate Berlin definement.

The only thing that dragged the performance down when it was all said and done was what has plagued all three of the acts: ending with a cover song.

The encore was, “Somebody To Love,” by Jefferson Airplane.

Cover songs to end the performances notwithstanding, this was a fantastic show.

But I’m still scratching my head about each closing the sets with a cover.
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