Missing Persons, Bow Wow Wow, Groove Kitty, Saint Rocke, March 20, 2015
It was a Friday night at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, and the theme of the evening was Flashback 80’s. And what better way to celebrate the infamous decade then rocking it out with none other than Missing Persons and Bow Wow Wow. These two bands were played all over the radio airwaves of the world famous KROQ and had music videos in heavy rotation on MTV. You could feel the anticipation in the air, as the soon to be sold out house waited to hear the glorious new wave favorites of the past.
The early arrivers were in for a real treat when San Diego based cover band Groove Kitty took to the stage, warming the crowd up with songs such as Separate Ways (Journey) and Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds). One definitive highlight was their rock solid rendition of Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns N Roses), featuring the wildly entertaining guitar work of Matt Rice and the sweetly passionate vocals of Beth VInas. At the end of their set, Groove Kitty presented a rollicking rendition of The Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show – a sparkling grand finale that left an indelible impression. You may have heard these songs a zillion times before, but Groove Kitty definitely knows how to present these overly familiar tunes with imagination and flair. Definitely the cats meow and then some!
Members come and go, and it’s difficult to keep everyone in place as the decades roll relentlessly on. It’s the music that shall remain forever timeless, and Bow Wow Wow certainly has a whole collection of songs that remain staples of the decadent 80’s decade and beyond. For the lineup that performed at Saint Rocke, the only original member still with the band is bassist Leigh Gorman. The magic remains in full force however, dazzling the audience instantly when opening song Aphrodisiac blissfully spun through the room.
Gorman and drummer Shaun Winchester brought to life the playful rhythm section Bow Wow Wow has been so famous for over the years. The dual guitar work was wondrously vibrant, courtesy of Matthew Fuller and Zachary Throne. And though it surely must be a daunting task to replace such a beloved vocalist, Chloe Demetria possesses the stage presence and sensual voice to really make the sparkling gems such as Baby Oh No and Do You Want To Hold Me soar into the stratosphere. Even the fans expecting to see Anabella Lwin found themselves enjoying the 2015 incarnation of Bow Wow Wow.
At the 11:00 hour, Missing Persons made their way to the Saint Rocke stage, the venue was packed with happy fans ready to dance it up to the many tunes this iconic 80’s band is so well known for. Dale Bozzio proudly announced that she had just turned 60, and the radiant sexagenarian still has an unforgettable voice, bringing the classics to an ultra-vivid life. Opening with the deliciously infectious Mental Hopscotch, the dance party commenced and the feeling was absolutely rapturous. Prescott Niles of The Knack is playing for Missing Persons, revealed by the announcer at Saint Rocke. The hits just kept on coming – Words, Windows, I Like Boys – all delivered with a sense of pure joy by Dale Bozzio and band.
One of the rare and wonderful surprises to be found in the set was Simon-Simon from Dale Bozzio’s solo album that was released on Paisley Park Records – whose label owner was none other than Prince! Even Missing Persons performed a cover, which was their highly successful take on The Doors classic Hello, I Love You. The closing numbers of the set would be the inspiring one/two punch of Destination Unknown and Walking In LA – where Dale made a wonderfully strong connection with the crowd – touching hands and professing a love for all who made their way out to Hermosa Beach to rediscover the long lasting legacy that is Missing Persons. Thanks to Saint Rocke for a night of truly legendary bands!
(Review and Photos by Ken Morton)