80s Mania @ Canberra Southern Cross Club (Woden), Thursday November 2

It was a night of nostalgia, with five artists from the 80s strutting their stuff. The audience was right into it, with several ladies wearing Madonna-esque tops and skirts. The advantage of these line-ups is that you get a short burst of each artist, with time enough for their well-loved songs. The downside is that the quality of the vocals is variable.

Cutting Crew kicked off, and Nick Van Eede showed he has still got it, delivering killer hits like ‘(I Just) Died in Your Arms’. At the command from the band of “Everybody up!” the crowd rose as one, getting the dancing started early. Next out of the blocks, the highly anticipated Paul Young segment was disappointing. The man still has stage presence, full of vitality and twirling the mic stand, with a setlist that was 100% hits, including finisher ‘Come Back and Stay’. However, his vocals sounded flat and lacked real force.

Wang Chung got things moving again with the boppy ‘Let’s Go!’ and maintained the dance vibe throughout their set. Go West front man Peter Cox could still roll out powerful lyrics, even if a few notes were a bit flat. ‘We Close Our Eyes’ was a hit with punters and the band leapt into the current century with a cover of ‘Sex on Fire’.

Headliner Taylor Dayne showed she has lost nothing over the years, with a stunning performance. Her diva quality voice impressed with its husky, soulful tone and the power to belt out big, soaring notes. There was a passionate ‘Nothing Compares 2U’ cover, dedicated to deceased rock artists, and she wrapped up the night with her hit ‘Tell It to My Heart’.

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