Concert review by JD Alvarez
30 years worth of manic Mondays and walking like an Egyptian, and we still can’t get enough of the Bangles. These ladies have come a long way since their days as the Supersonic Bangs. This incarnation of the Bangles features Susanna Hoffs (vocals / guitar), Debbi Peterson (vocals / guitar) and Vicki Peterson (drums).
Like most 80’s bands, their fans are just happy to see their favorite bands from yesteryear take the stage. Unbeknownst to most at the HOB, the Bangles reformed themselves in 1998; they are currently touring in support of their latest release Sweetheart of the Sun. This came as news to some of the people that attended their show. Unfortunately, success has not been as easy as it once was for this fabulous trio. Their music is not critically acclaimed as in their early days as L.A.’s darling all-girl band. In fact, some of their fans were surprised to hear they had a few albums out in recent years.
All that being said, a near capacity crowd showed up for their show at the House of Blues, Sunset Strip on November 9th, 2011. It was an interesting mix of ages and multicultural fans that attended. There were the 20 to 30′ somethings that have followed them as a result of their parents or other older friends that listened to them as kids. Concert goer Jerry Lee from Los Angeles said, “I loved their videos from when I use to watch them as a kid on Mtv, you know when Mtv actually played music videos.” There were several younger fans that gave me a variety of different reasons how they got exposed to the Bangles, but there was one common theme, they loved their music.
All things being equal, I also chatted with a few older fans as well. It’s true, there were no mosh-pits at this show, the leather jackets have given way to blazers. The Ray Bans had given way to prescription glasses, and Sid and Nancy now look like Dr. Drew and Martha Stewart. No matter what time does to us, it’s an amazing thing about music. It transports people back in time, like a time machine. The 40 to 60 year-olds that were in the crowd, for the moment, were 21 again once the girls took the stage. That is the power that bands like the Bangles have. Fan after fan shared with me their stories of positive memories from the 80’s – 90’s, and how the Bangles were part of that.
With that in mind, the Bangles took the stage. Their fans were in awe as to how great the girls looked. They literally looked like they came out of one of their videos. Needless to say, time has been very kind to them. Inasmuch as everyone was impressed on how great they looked, they sounded even better. Despite the lack of mosh-pit action, the girls quickly proved they could still bring it. They opened with Annalee and segwayed into Hazy Shade Of Winter. They played a good variety of newer and older songs. For me, I left being a journalist for a moment and became a fan again when Vicki Peterson came out from behind the drums to sing Going Down To Liverpool. It was such a great performance, I almost forgot I was there to cover the show. In the end, the crowd heard all the tunes they came to hear. They heard songs like Manic Monday, Ball n’ Chain, If She Knew What She Wants, Eternal Flame, In Your Room, Hero Takes A Fall. The girls came out to an encore and played Sweet and Tender Romance and there most popular song, Walk Like An Egyptian. All in all, a great night at the House of Blues. If you want to see a great band that is still in great form, catch them while you can!
For more information on the Bangles, go to their website at www.thebangles.com or their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.