UK new wave outfit China Crisis dropped by City Winery recently for their first DC show in more than 30 years, and the band and a small crowd shared a simply marvelous time together.
UK sophistipop duo China Crisis has made fantastic music, much of which I personally relate to the English New Romantics and their passionate style of forward-looking lyrics with rousing synthpop.
While they’ve been consistently active since their days on the charts, the band’s visits to the United States have been rare until recently. And now, China Crisis performs at City Winery on Thursday, Dec. 6.
The audience got the message and the message was clear in Philadelphia on Monday, June 15: Men Without Hats are still great.
Vocalist Ivan Doroschuk was in fighting trim at the World Cafe Live as he paraded through his band’s greatest hits as well as selections off a 2012 album, Love in the Age of War, recorded with his relatively new bandmates.
Knowing that the crowd would enjoy a good thing when it heard it, Ivan opened this show with a stripped down, ballad version of “Safety Dance,” which brought surprising poignancy to the old favorite.
We at ParklifeDC like to do our bit to cover the waterfront as far as bands performing in our fair city.
But sometimes, we just have to get out of town to see some old favorites, you know?
And so it is that on Monday, June 15, we are at the World Café Live in Philadelphia, Pa., for the amazing Men Without Hats, featuring iconic frontman Ivan Doroschuk in what is certain to be an entertaining performance.
About five years ago, Ian recruited a new backing band, and they released a terrific new album in 2012, Love in the Age of War, produced by Dave Ogilvie, who also has famously produced for the likes of Nine Inch Nails and engineered for Carly Rae Jepsen on “Call Me Maybe.”
How satisfying then that Men Without Hats fall squarely between the two – poppy, upbeat and wholly synthy.
I saw the new-look Men Without Hats at the State Theatre on Nov. 29, 2012, and “the new lineup sounded amazing with James Love on guitar and duo synthesizers played by Lou Dawson and Rachel Ashmore — a killer duo with impressive synth skills,” I reported on We Love DC at the time.
I added: But part of the appeal of Men Without Hats is that the songs only fans could name are really terrific songs — songs like “I Like,” “Living in China,” and “Where Do The Boys Go?” The first two appeared along with “The Safety Dance” on the Men Without Hats debut album, Rhythm of Youth in 1982 and still sound sharp today.
Philadelphia, Men Without Hats are worth your time tonight. Because, as the saying goes, we can dance if we want to, and we can leave your friends behind. Everyone wants to “Safety Dance,” and Men Without Hats are certain to fulfill that desire.
Watch the very famous video for “Safety Dance”:
Men Without Hats appear with New Romantic Brits China Crisis. Tickets are available online and at the door.