Tag Archives: San Francisco

2015 ➤ So no pressure then, as Spandau’s world tour kicks off

◼ “WHAT A GREAT WAY TO START A WORLD TOUR!” a beaming Steve Norman told the audience in San Francisco last night. “Thank you so much.” Spandau Ballet kicked off their 41-date Soul Boys of the Western World Tour at the 2,300-seat Warfield, built as a plush crimson vaudeville theatre in the 1920s, the same venue they played on their last US visit 31 years ago. And judging from the singalong audible on YouTube videos posted by fans, the night sounded a success.

Two more dates complete the California leg of the tour this weekend, much to the disappointment of fans in other parts of the US and Canada whose bookings were cancelled at short notice last week and rescheduled into April and May. Many had planned to fly in from other states and even other countries to attend. One Canadian diehard who had bookings for five concerts told us: “If I had known all this, I would have gone to London to catch the UK start in March.”

Spandau Ballet , Soulboys of the Western World, US Tour,The band assure Shapers of the 80s that this decision had been taken by their American promoter. Last night sax player Steve Norman said: “I do understand that some people were put out, to say the least. Please give my apologies. It is a real shame.”

As for returning to the Warfield, Steve said: “It was an awesome night, felt like a second coming for all present. The energy in the room was electric. I guess expectations were high seeing as we hadn’t performed in the US for so long. But American fans are loyal and they made sure it was one of the most enjoyable Spandau shows of all time. I’m so looking forward to the LA gig tognight.”

Fans beyond California have a small compensation: Yahoo’s live online stream tomorrow night from the Wiltern Theatre concert in Los Angeles at 8.45pm (PT), and viewable thereafter on a seemingly indefinite loop 24/7.

First night at the Warfield: Click any pic to launch slideshow

➢ The first review is in from Jim Harrington
of Bay Area News Group:

The synthesizer and saxophone soared. Saccharine ballads and slick pop anthems were in ample supply. Folks dressed up like Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice. There was an old-school MTV sheen to the entire production. Most important of all, the lead singer’s hair was perfect. Man, I love the 80s.

And it felt like I got a second helping of the decade at The Warfield, courtesy of 80s hitmakers Spandau Ballet. . . The show was mostly about celebrating the past. Yet, the group also gave us reason to believe that Spandau Ballet might have a promising future … / Continued online

➢ Steven Gdula in awe at the Warfield
for Dinosaur magazine:

The first seven songs included three new compositions, plus past hits Highly Strung, Only When You Leave and Round and Round. The performances were winning. At times blistering, even. So much so that my old indifference to latter-day Spandau Ballet compositions was replaced with more than just respect. I was in awe. Tony Hadley’s voice fits him better than ever at this point in his life, and his comfort level shows. His phrasings were sophisticated, sometimes lingering behind the beat, sometimes anticipating it, sounding every bit like the soul or jazz crooners he’s emulated. And when he allowed his voice to soar, no roof could have sealed it in. Steve Norman’s sax rides were likewise unstoppable, often to the point of competing with Hadley’s voice in the mix. The Kemp brothers — Martin on bass and Gary on guitar — were tight and musically stylish without being flashy, and John Keeble’s muscular drumming kept driving it all forward. . . / Continued online

➢ New dates for Spandau Ballet’s North America live tour – starting 23–25 Jan in California but with other US and Canada concert dates rescheduled for April–May. Click through for complete list of world tour dates 2015.

Spandau Ballet , Soulboys of the Western World, US Tour, NYC, SiriusXM,

At SiriusXM radio on Wednesday: Spandau Ballet studio session for coast-to-coast satellite broadcast. Photograph by Richard Blade

Spandau Ballet , Soulboys of the Western World, US Tour, Steve Norman, John Keeble, Tony Hadley, ,

Keeble, Hadley and Norman, 2015: grabbing a proper pint at the Belmont on La Cienega in Los Angeles. (Tweeted by Steve Norman)


➢ Lina Lecaro is seduced for the LA Weekly:
The band’s first proper Los Angeles show in three decades did not go unnoticed. It sold out the Wiltern Theatre, and a second night was added. Saturday, the first of the weekend shows, the “boys” of Ballet had something to prove to LA and they did, bestowing their mostly thirty-and-fortysomething fan base with a set that was near perfection sound-wise and as visually appealing as anything they did back in their 80s heyday. And yes, by visually appealing we mean they still look good. Real good. . . / Continued online


2011 ➤ Hadley’s US debut wows New York and fills the room with love

Tony Hadley band, US debut, Irving Plaza ,NYC, video,John Keeble,Richie Barrett

Chant No 1 by special request: Tony Hadley onstage last night in New York with Richie Barrett on guitar (verbalalchemy video)

❚ LAST NIGHT AT IRVING PLAZA IN NYC Tony Hadley rattled through a 17-strong set list on which seven were Spandau Ballet hits, and this reviewer, The G, was impressed with the rockiness of the other numbers he covered …

Tony Hadley band, US debut, Irving Plaza ,NYC, video,John Keeble,Richie Barrett

John Keeble: laying down the tempo last night in NYC (verbalalchemy)

I had a blast seeing Tony Hadley’s first ever solo show in the United States! The former lead singer of Spandau Ballet has just launched his first solo tour of America and it kicked off at New York’s Irving Plaza on August 13, 2011.

Tony Hadley looks and sounds great. He hits all the high notes and sounds as great as he did in the 1980s when Spandau Ballet ruled the airwaves. Over the course of his show, he played quite a few covers of some of his favorite songs, performed some beloved Spandau Ballet songs and also performed a new song called My Imagination. As Tony promised in a recent interview with According2g, the song is a rocker.

In between, the crowd was shouting “We love you Tony” and there was a lot of love in the room…

➢ Continue reading Tony Hadley’s first US solo show – a review by New York music and arts blogger, The G at according2g.com

➢ VIEW ♫ HD video of Chant No 1 live by Tony Hadley last night in NYC (by verbalalchemy)

❏ At Tony’s Facebook page Hoory Kajajian-Yeganeh writes: “Great show @ Irving Plaza last night. What a voice! What a fabulous performance! Thank you :) ”
❏ Terry Hunter writes: “He was BRILLIANT. No one like Tony…anywhere, EVER.”
❏ Tony Thomas writes: “Tony knocked it out of the park that night. Great show.”


➢ US-preview on Tony and tour dates here at Shapersofthe80s

➢ “We want to show people what we’re made of” — Tony interviewed by the North County Times ahead of his band’s San Diego gig on Aug 18

➢ Spandau Ballet, the Blitz kids and the birth of the New Romantics


❏ At Tony’s Facebook page Heather Ann Cummings writes: “Hi Tony, Saw your WONDERFUL concert at North Halsted Market Days, Chicago, Sunday afternoon. The best! Your group was so good too. Thank you for taking the time to sign your photo and interview that appeared in this week’s Windy City Times. Your song choice was amazing and Through the Baricades had me with tears in my eyes. I’ve also adopted your song Live, Let Live and Love as my mantra and am passing it on.”
❏ Heidi Herman writes: “Tony, you were scorching in Chicago today. Your voice is so beautiful and powerful and the same time — amazing! I still can’t believe I saw you perform after all these years of being one of your most adoring fans. My friend and I were impressed with your charm, wit, and sincerity. You are classy gentleman and so very humble for someone so talented and well-known. Thank you, Tony.”


❏ At Tony’s Facebook page Glenisha Jones writes:“Iam floating on a cloud after seeing Tony Hadley perform for the first time! It was amazing, fun, brilliant & it will be in my heart forever :) Tony hasn’t changed. He is still handsome & his voice is even more beautiful. Thank you Tony for coming to LA.”

Tony Hadley, US tour,setlist, House of Blues Los Angeles,

Setlist for Tony Hadley at House of Blues Los Angeles, Aug 16 (posted at Facebook by Rissa Dodson)

❏ Kedric Hubbert writes: “Saw u last nite in Los Angeles. U were amazing. I got my 2 fave songs To cut a long story short & Lifeline. My friend marc were in the front singing all the words. Come back soon & bring john (again) & maybe even steve, martin & gary along for the ride… brilliant show. Thank u!”
❏ Jill Bonnell writes: “Fabulous show last night at House of Blues Sunset Strip”
❏ Richard Peacock writes: “Thank you again for coming back to the States to spend a night with your true fans. I can’t believe I had the honor of seeing one of my teen idols live on stage… for me it was exactly like seeing Elvis live and in person. Only in a very English way. We love ya Tony.”
❏ Cleo Dla writes: “You definitely rocked tonite at the HOB show in LA. Loved the set but wished you could have played another hour. You still sound incredible after all these years. I hope you return soon. Have a kick ass rest of the tour” =)


➢ Breakfast TV interview and acoustic version of True
at KUSI San Diego, August 18

❏ Sean Duggan writes at Facebook: “Great show tonight. Small crowd, but that just made it all the better.”
❏ Liz Witkowski writes: “Tony, John and the band, thank you, gentlemen, for a fantastic concert. What a beautiful gift.”

❏ Phonecam-video above by patiently88: “That’s right Tony, I’m publishing your concert via YouTube, as he pointed out near the end of the song.”

➢ Upcoming interview with Tony, August 21 with J J Buchanan on FM 88.5 KSBR in Southern California — The Eighties Experience radio show starts at 8pm PST (GMT -8 hours).

AUG 20, Absolutely 80s Music Festival, Las Vegas

Fremont Experience, Las Vegas, Tony Hadley, US tour, pop music,

Tony Hadley in Las Vegas: wowing them at the Fremont Experience on his US tour, Aug 20. Picture from T’s Facebook album

❏ Wendy Chouinard writes at Facebook: “Thank you for such a great show in downtown Las Vegas, Tony. Remember to use a humidifier when you come back into town.”
❏ Michael Vigil writes:“Tony, thanks for your fantastic, heart-felt performance in Las Vegas last night. You were amazing. Good to see John Keeble as well. You guys didn’t disappoint despite the Las Vegas heat. A memorable hot August night. Thanks so much.”

Tony Hadley , John Keeble, Las Vegas, US tour,patiently88, video

JK signing after the Vegas show: video grab by patiently88 who also shot the Suspicious Mind vid in Ramona

❏ Nils Arvidsson writes: “Thank you for a fantastic show in Vegas last night. Tony, you are the man. You kept your suit on in spite of the temp being right around 100 degrees. You sir, are one debonair guy! Next time you come to Vegas I hope it’s a bit cooler for you. Cheers.”
❏ Anna Prado-Frias writes: “Amazing show in Vegas. Thank you so much for the chat w/my husband and I. Also for the picture. Can’t wait for the next performance and CD. Best of luck on your future shows.”
❏ Tim Mancuso writes: “Great show — caught Tony Hadley in Las Vegas — WOW, what a talented singer and performer. 1st time back to the States since 1986 with Spandau Ballet — was blessed to hear him and see the show. Thanks for giving it all you had Tony, was most excellent.”
❏ Lisette Garcia-Kohler writes: “Yes, Las Vegas really loved you. What an amazing night! One I will never forget since so many memories were relived with your songs. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”


❏ Shivaun O’Neill writes: “Awesome show at Red Devil Lounge tonight; thank you for playing in San Francisco.”
❏ Phyllis Mesquita writes: “Great show at Red Devil last night, hope you return.”
❏ Stu Sperling writes: “Saw the concert last night at Red Devil Lounge. They put on a great show. Tony has an amazing voice. Side note, my wife and I were walking around Union Square this afternoon and spotted drummer John Keeble. We walked over to tell him how great the show was. He could not have been nicer. Hope they come back to the states soon.”
❏ Nellie Jones writes: “Thank you for being so kind to your fans and letting us take pictures with you. You have barely aged — you wouldn’t be another Dorian Gray would you? Hope to see you back at the Red Devil Lounge soon. Feel free to bring the other band members as well.”

➢ NEXT STOPS — Sep 2, Rewind Scarborough UK… Sep 4, Cantazaro, Italy… Oct 26–Nov 4, various dates in Australia… Nov 12, Abu Dhabi