Like Totally 80’s Festival, Santa Ana, CA., May 21, 2016
It was back to the future in a grand and epic way when the Like Totally 80’s Festival made its way into the Streets of Santa Ana, bringing back a number of classic bands, headlined by Missing Persons and Martha Davis and The Motels. What a glorious day it was outside, with mild weather that really set the entire day in motion.
Opening the show was iconic KROQ/Sirius FM DJ Richard Blade, who filled the Santa Ana streets with favorites such as Get The Balance Right by Depeche Mode, Late Bar by Duran Duran, and Suburbia by Pet Shop Boys.
And it was so great to see our friends at Coldcock Whiskey introducing their fine product at the Like Totally 80’s Festival. We’ve encountered Coldcock at Mayhem Festival and they are about to spread the word on their Whiskey at the Blaze N Glory Festival with Nas and Atmosphere on June 4th in San Bernardino. Coldcock also does a ton of band sponsorships, and really supports our local and national music scene!
Annabella Lwin and Bow Wow Wow
First up on the Like Totally 80’s Festival was a super high energy set from Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow. Opening with the playful Baby Oh No, Ms. Lwin and her band were in top form, even in spite of sound problems early on. In addition to all of the Bow Wow Wow standards, Ms. Lwin snuck in a new song entitled Garden Of Pleasure which was very well received by the early arrivals. And of course the singalong arrived when the band broke into a sweetly flirtatious rendition of I Want Candy. Ms. Lwin was dancing all over the stage singing her heart out, kicking off the Like Totally 80’s Festival with style and flair!
Annabella Lwin and Bow Wow Wow on Facebook
Clive Farrington and When In Rome UK
Clive Farrington of When In Rome UK was up next, delivering an ultra-smooth performance that really set the imagination in flight. One of the most underrated bands of the 80’s, When In Rome is best known for their romantic dance classic The Promise. In 2004, The Promise would make an appearance in the cult film Napoleon Dynamite, breathing vast new life into the song and a renewed interest in the band.
In addition to experiencing the sweeping reverberations of The Promise in a live setting, the Santa Ana crowd was treated to such warm entreaties as Heaven Knows, Wide Wide Sea and a selection called Breathing from Clive Farrington’s recently issued solo album Independence. Be sure to check out Clive Farrington’s new book “Confessions Of A One Hit Wonder – The Promise And The Aftermath” to find out more about the history of this blast from the past band still soaring high in the new millennium!
When In Rome UK on Facebook
In the States, Naked Eyes hit the big time with their infectious cover of the Burt Bacharach / Hal David standard Always Something There To Remind Me – and then quickly followed it all up with a dance hall original entitled Promises Promises. Front man Pete Byrne still has a smooth and silky voice that sets the material in flight. In addition to the chart topping tunes, Byrne and Naked Eyes also presented crowd favorites such as When The Lights Go Out, Fortune and Fame, and the hypnotic Voices In My Head.
A new song was unveiled entitled I Can’t Get Over Losing You which was warmly received by the Like Totally 80’s revelers. There is such a good deal of magic and intrigue within a Naked Eyes set, and the timeless songs hold up tremendously well in this day and age. With the introduction of new material in the set, here’s hoping we see and hear a lot more from the amazing Naked Eyes in the future days ahead.
Naked Eyes on Facebook
In the midst of the smooth and the suave, the hard rocking Dramarama marched on the stage and proceeded to rip right into the heart of the matter with a raging set. John Easdale and company are the true epitome of cool in any decade, and their show was an all-out highlight at the Like Totally 80’s Festival in Santa Ana.
Opening with the wickedly wonderful refrains of Some Crazy Dame, Dramarama grabbed the 80’s by the throat and proceeded to deliver a rip-roaring selection of tunes. I’ve Got Spies was another sensation ditty that was exciting to hear within a live setting. And a set of maracas were brought forth as the rambunctious I Haven’t Got A Clue was unleashed. Of course everyone wanted to hear the hits, and Dramarama certainly did not disappoint, unleashing a fiery one-two punch of Last Cigarette and Anything Anything!
Dramarama on Facebook
A Flock Of Seagulls
A Flock Of Seagulls was known for their big hair and hyper-futuristic songs, and were one of the defining bands who were all over classic MTV and the KROQ radio airwaves in the early 1980’s. Kicking off their set with the anthem-like Modern Love Is Automatic, A Flock Of Seagulls instantly sent waves of excitement into the crowd. The sun was just beginning to set, but the day was long but over, as A Flock Of Seagulls was primed and ready to bring on the night with their own trademark brand of 80’s new wave alternative.
One of the most gripping selections of their set was the atmospheric Man Made Machine, a relentlessly bleak tune that reverberated throughout the streets of Santa Ana as the darkness of night was beginning to take shape. The uplifting hits were also in full force, with Nightmares, The More You Live The More You Love, and Space Age Love Song bringing back ultra-vivid memories of another time within the realm of the 21st Century. Closing out their set with a rocking rendition if I Ran, A Flock Of Seagulls proved that their music is still as vibrant today as it was when first released. On a concluding note, original member Mike Score has surrounded himself with an exciting lineup of musicians who really transport the songs in a triumphant way!
A Flock Of Seagulls on Facebook
Martha Davis and The Motels
The event was beginning to run late and a rumors of a curfew were beginning to emerge. There would be an exciting costume contest, followed by a way too brief appearance of Martha Davis and The Motels. A Motels set of any length is always a captivating experience, and their performance at the Like Totally 80’s Festival was dazzling!
Martha Davis is one of the greatest singers from the 80’s, bringing an epic amount of emotion into The Motels repertoire of tunes. Ms. Davis is still capable of ripping your heart out with her rendering of selections such as Suddenly Last Summer and Only The Lonely. A brand new song was also performed along with the announcement that an all-new The Motels album would be unveiled soon! A breathtaking live performance to be sure from a timeless band who will always provide the perfect rapturous soundtrack for all the lonely and breaking hearts of the 80’s and beyond.
Martha Davis and The Motels on Facebook
A last minute addition to Like Totally 80’s Festival was the one and only Missing Persons, whose headlining performance was an absolutely thrill to the senses. Kicking off their set with the wildly frenetic Mental Hopscotch, Dale Bozzio and her band sent waves of energy and excitement into the very appreciative crowd who were nowhere near ready to let this 80’s party come to an end.
The trademark Dale Bozzio vocals were on full display, breathless and sexy, weaving through such memorable songs as Words, Destination Unknown, It Ain’t None Of Your Business, and Bad Streets. Ending the live portion of the night with a vivacious rendering of Walking In L.A., Missing Persons provided what would be the perfect ending to a brilliant day of nostalgia and superbly infectious songs!
Here’s hoping we see a Like Totally 80’s Festival 2 next year! Congrats to all involved for bringing all of these wonderful bands together for this truly unforgettable day!
Missing Persons on Facebook
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Joe Schaeffer)
Like Totally 80’s Festival on Facebook