Tony Lewis from The Outfield at Retro Futura Tour, Pacific Amphitheater, July 26, 2018
The heat was on in Orange County, California on a late July evening with a dynamic blast from the past called Retro Futura, featuring headlining sets from ABC and Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go’s. Exhilarating opening sets from Modern English, Tony Lewis from The Outfield, Limahl of Kajagoogoo, and Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow enraptured Retro Futura attendees as well. Taking place under the stars at the spacious Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, Retro Futura brought back a whole lot of memories, proving these selections from the 80’s remain as timeless and revered as ever.
Out of the past yet very much in a present state of mind was the one and only Tony Lewis from The Outfield, whose five song show definitely made the early arrivals at The Pacific Amphitheater stand up and take notice. Since the passing of his Outfield co-conspirator John Spinks, Tony Lewis spent some time in a self-imposed hiatus from the music business. Within this challenging time in his life arrived a sparkling solo endeavor entitled Out Of The Darkness, co-written by Lewis’ wife Carol and in honor of his late band mate. Tony Lewis was certainly the comeback story of Retro Futura, and his short yet vibrant participation left an indelible impression. Consisting of four Outfield songs and one selection from the recently unveiled Out Of The Darkness, Tony Lewis trademark vocals and dynamic bass playing is as superbly spirited as ever.
Opening his section of Retro Futura with Say It Isn’t So, the first track from The Outfield’s critically acclaimed debut album Play Deep, Tony Lewis delivered the tune with a grand amount of enthusiasm and flair. All The Love In The World was up next, an absolutely captivating song whose wistful chorus thoroughly enveloped the Pacific Amphitheater. Since You’ve Been Gone from The Outfield’s Bangin’ magnum opus weaved its magic in a vast and stylish way throughout the open air venue. Next up, it was time for a sampling from Out Of The Darkness, and Tony Lewis performed the first single from the album Into The Light with a massive amount of passion and conviction. Into The Light (as well as the entire Out Of The Darkness manifesto) stands exceedingly well with The Outfield’s back catalog, and certainly marks a triumphant new chapter for the charismatic Tony Lewis.
The end of the Tony Lewis/Outfield experience arrived way too soon, when their mega-hit single Your Love was unveiled. One of the most iconic songs of the 1980’s and beyond, Your Love inspired a dazzling singalong at the Pacific Amphitheater that was surely heard way over at the adjoining fairgrounds. Here is hoping we hear a lot more from Tony Lewis in future days, performing the classic Outfield tunes as well as the luminous Out Of The Darkness tapestries.
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)