On The Beat
JUNOS ’80s NIGHT: The second of four Juno Awards tributes to the decades nights at the Horseshoe took on the ’80s recently. A capacity crowd turned the club into a sweltering sauna, and some hot action took place on stage as well. The night was started and finished by, respectively, up and coming rockers MODERN SUPERSTITIONS and SAN SEBASTIAN, each playing spirited versions of some Canadian classics of the ’80s. In between, original stars from that decade offered up their hits, in generally impressive fashion. The night was certainly musically eclectic, ranging from rap (MAESTRO FRESH-WES), to new-wave and synth-pop (BLUE PETER, THE SPOONS), commercial pop-rock (PLATINUM BLONDE), and hard rock (ANDY CURRAN of CONEY HATCH and RIK EMMETT of TRIUMPH).
Emmett (backed by Curran and a band including BLUE RODEO drummer GLENN MILCHEM) drew plenty of cheers with a strong version of Triumph anthem “Magic Power.” Even louder was the response to the recently reunited Platinum Blonde. Some in the crowd were disappointed they didn’t dress up in their ’80s New Romantic garb, but hits like “Not In Love” and “Standing In The Dark” remain really catchy. PB will soon tour Canada again.
Also back and sounding better than ever were BLUE PETER, OTB’s favourite group of the night. The lovely and talented EMM GRYNER joined them for a killer version of “Don’t walk Past,” a real highlight. Preceding them on stage were the also impressive CHALK CIRCLE, so the double bill of these bands at The Mod Club on Jan. 21 should be something special.
Maestro Fresh-Wes delivered a high-energy set of hits like “Drop The Needle” and “Let Your Backbone Slide,” and electro-pop favourites THE SPOONS fared well with a four-song set that included a song from an imminent new album. Host for the night was former VJ CHRISTOPHER WARD, and he was joing by singer LINDI ORTEGA for a cover of ALANNAH MYLES’ international smash, “Black Velvet” (a tune co-written by Ward). The evening was something of a MuchMusic reunion, with ERICA EHM and KIM CLARKE-CHAMPNISS in attendance and fellow VJ MICHAEL WILLIAMS spinning the between-set tunes (though he goofed in including some ’70s tracks). A fun night, and anticipation is already building for the ’90s tribute, in early February.