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Howard Jones concert - the funcrunch files


Feb. 10th, 2007 09:48 am Howard Jones concert

On Wed Jan 31, boyziggy and I went to see Howard Jones at the Red Devil Lounge. I walk by this Polk Street club every day on the way to work, and previously saw Human League after seeing an ad for them in the window there; I got tix to this the same way. Very enjoyable, as I expected since I'd listened to Howard's first two albums (Human's Lib and Dream into Action) dozens of times.

An "all-acoustic set" was advertised, but Howard actually played a digital piano, a Yamaha CP which I've been actually considering buying myself (though probably a lower-end model than what he used). A guitarist accompanied him. Due to the atrocious sightlines at the venue, I could not see the guitar at all, and boyziggy could only see about half each of Howard and the guitar. The sound wasn't too great either as evidenced by the producer frequently visiting the sound booth to have a chat with the guy there.

Howard performed a good mix of old and new. His voice wasn't quite as good on the high notes as it was in the 80s, but his keyboard skills were still tack sharp. He was personable and related some amusing incidents, including the fact that "Like to Get to Know You Well" was mistranslated into Japanese as "Like to Force Myself Upon You". Howard encouraged the audience to sing along, even stopping to praise us at how well we did during "Life in One Day". He played a really neat jazzy arrangement of "Don't Always Look at the Rain", incorporating the standard "So What" into the instrumental section. He also played upon how the Spice Girls "borrowed" one of his riffs, and how he himself was accused of imitating Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" in his own "New Song". He also thanked San Francisco for the inspiration for one of his biggest hits, "No One is to Blame"; a line about "You can look at the menu but you just can't eat" was taken from a conversation about the beauty of the women here. :-)

All in all a wonderful concert. Though this club is not particularly comfortable, and this time we had to wait a whole hour in line to get decent seats (the other balcony table seats were almost entirely blocked by badly-placed chandeliers), I'll probably come back anyway. Colin Hay from Men at Work is performing in May so I'll likely buy some tix to that, as I seem to be on an 80's groove.

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