Last night Windsor played host to a magnificent celebration of 1980s music at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, featuring performances by Honeymoon Suite, Men Without Hats, and Spoons, each bringing their own iconic sounds and hits that defined a generation.
Honeymoon Suite, the evening’s headliner and late replacement for A Flock of Seagulls, delivered a compelling performance that spanned their illustrious career, igniting the stage with hits like “New Girl Now” and “Feel It Again”. The band’s lineup, featuring Johnnie Dee (lead vocals), Derry Grehan (guitars), Dave Betts (drums), Gary Lalonde (bass), and Peter Nunn (keyboards), showcased their musicianship through spirited renditions and solo segments that highlighted the instrumental prowess within the group, giving the band a bit of an edge of the evening’s other performers. “Burning In Love” and “Wave Babies” reminded fans of the band’s role in the soundtrack of the ’80s, despite a reception from the audience that was enthusiastic yet more reserved in their vocal contributions.
Men Without Hats energized the crowd with their timeless new wave anthems, leading with the universally beloved short single version of “Safety Dance,” a song that encapsulates the free-spirited nature of the decade. The band, led by the ever-charismatic Ivan Doroschuk and featuring Colin Doroschuk, Sho Murray, and the recent addition of Sahara Sloan, chose to perform this track twice—once at the beginning and again at the end in its extended Club Mix version, amplifying the night’s nostalgia. Their set, rich with classics, also likely included fan favorites like “Antartica,” a touching homage of “Where Do The Boys Go” for former member Allan McCarthy who passed away in 1995, and the undeniable charm of “Pop Goes the World,” further cementing their status as purveyors of 80s pop. The last time this critic saw the band perform was pivotal moment in their career at a free show on the grandstand at Ontario Place in 1983. This event, which played a vital role in catapulting the band to stardom almost overnight, remains a cherished memory from 41 years ago.
For the first time since the early 80s, Spoons brought their distinctive sound back to Windsor, delivering a short set that highlighted their most cherished tracks like “Romantic Traffic” and “Nova Heart.” This performance featured Gordon Deppe’s precise vocals and Sandy Horne’s impressive bass work, alongside Chris McNeill on drums and Scott MacDonald on keyboards. Their live show could easily be celebrated for its vibrancy and authenticity, rekindling fans’ love for Spoons’ unique synth-pop melodies, making tonight a nostalgic journey back to the early days of MuchMusic and CFNY.
Despite the evening’s electrifying performances, it was not without a noticeable technical flaw. Men Without Hats encountered persistent sound issues, leading to an unexpected pause in their performance halfway through as they navigated these challenges. This hiccup, unusual for the typically flawless execution of Caesars’ experienced crew, persisted, affecting not only the remaining moments of Men Without Hats’ set but also intruding upon Honeymoon Suite’s performance as well. Yet, even amidst these technical interruptions, the spirit of the event remained undiminished, marking the concert as a memorable night to cherish.
This 80s concert at The Colosseum was a vivid reminder of the enduring legacy of 80s music, with Honeymoon Suite, Men Without Hats, and Spoons each playing a pivotal role in reviving the decade’s spirit for one memorable night. Through their hits and energetic performances, they not only celebrated the past but also highlighted the timeless nature of their music, leaving fans both nostalgic and exhilarated.
All photos by Dan Savoie
Men Without Hats: