LINCOLN, CA – The Regeneration Tour came to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday, featuring ‘80s favorites Howard Jones, Erasure’s Andy Bell, Berlin with Terri Nunn and Men Without Hats. Local fans were provided an added treat as Sacramento’s own Larisa Bryski opened the show and joined Terri Nunn onstage to perform a duet – more on that later.
World One Presents billed this as their first annual Rewind Festival, promising to bring a similar formatted show next year. Attendance was less than stellar with the “cheap seats” filling about half-way up the back and sides. Fan’s made up for it in enthusiasm as they continued to scream, dance and sing along to all their favorite ‘80s hits.
Sacramento’s own singer/songwriter,Larisa Bryski, opened the show with “Butterflies” and “Let it Rain,” off of her ‘Violet’ album. The show was scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., but Bryski was up onstage a little after 6. Many fans started scrambling to get into the venue as she was tearing through her set.
The SAMMIE award (Sacramento Music Awards) winning Bryksi won over some new fans as audience members were trying to figure out who this edgy and powerful singer was. Bryski took command of the stage from the start, as she was joined by band members Willy Seltzer (guitar/vocals), Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt (guitar), Andrew Houston (bass), and Darrell Hale (drums/vocals). Bryski and crew ended their set with her latest song “Everything.”
Men without Hats followed Bryski, opening their set with “This War” and “Antartica.” The only original band member, Ivan Doroschuk looked good and sounded great. He was joined by Lou Dawson (keys), James Love (guitar) and Rachel Ashmore (keys).
The last time I saw the 51-year-old Doroschuck he didn’t sound nearly as good. I attributed his previous performance to the equipment, which it appears to have been a major contributor, since Doroschuk’s vocals were awesome on Saturday.
In his usual style, Doroschuk swayed back and forth dancing around the stage with his arms in the air and just having a good time. He ended his set with “The Safety Dance,” as everyone in the outdoor amphitheater jumped to their feet.
Berlin with Terri Nunn was up next as they kicked off their set with “No More Words” and “Masquerade.” Nunn was joined by Chris Olivas (percussion/drums), Carlton Bost (guitar) and Dave Schulz (keys).
As the award winning singer started playing her “Top Gun” song “Take My Breath Away,” she waded out into the sea of waiting fans. The 52-year-old was handing out hugs as if there was no tomorrow and it was quite obvious that Nunn loved this part of the show. Several times Nunn, who’s a tad short, jumped up on a chair so fans could get a glimpse of the star. She posed for photos too, all while singing “Take My Breath Away.”
In 2008 Nunn met Bryski and liked her music so much she asked Bryski to write a song with her. Nunn invited Bryski up onstage to sing their new song together for the first time. The song “Stand Up” will be featured in Berlin’s new album “Animals.”
It was a disappointing moment for Bryski fans since her microphone wasn’t working. Mid-way through the song Bryski’s vocals could be heard along with Nunn’s. Fans reacted as soon as her voice could be heard, as the two belted out the lyrics. Bryski’s vocals sparkled and it would have been great to hear her throughout the entire song.
Erasure’s Andy Bell stormed the stage as he arrived in a leopard print outfit, glittering pants and extremely high heel shoes. Bell kicked his set off with “When I Start To (Break It All Down)” and “Electric Blue,” as many fans were on their feet cheering.
Bell, who’s had both hips replaced, put on a high energy show as he played through his numerous hits including “Breath of Life” and “Ship of Fools.”
Bell brought out his two dancers, who he refers to as his ‘Fantastic Fembots.” The Fembots had many fans scratching their heads wondering if they were male or female. Bell ended his set with “DHDQ” and “A Little Respect.”
Howard Jones showed up center stage with his bank of keyboards singing “Pearl in the Shell” and “Like to Get to Know You Well,” with his signature synth-pop sound. The crowd was on their feet throughout his other hits such as “What is Love” and “No One is to Blame.”
The 58-year-old worked the keys and at one point strapped on a guitar style keyboard as he rocked out with the audience.
The Regeneration Tour was a high energy show with a number of top artists from the ‘80s. I’d rather have seen Andy Bell close out the show, but either way it was a great performance by all the performers. I was disappointed to see Thunder Valley’s outdoor amphitheater only three-quarters full with such a strong show. Everyone in attendance had a great time and very few people left early.
Let’s hope World One Present’s can put together another stellar cast for next year.
After the show I thought heard someone ask Bryski, “Now that you’ve played onstage with Berlin and Terri Nunn, what are you going to do next?”
Her reply, “I’m going to Disneyland!”
Berlin Featuring Terri Nunn performed their first concert of 2012 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall on Friday. Nunn put on an electrifying performance that had the crowd singing and dancing throughout the show.
First up though was Larisa Bryski, a Sacramento area native. Bringing her signature mix of classic rock, drizzled with a dollop of pop, Bryski kicked it into high gear from the start with “Butterflies.”
Joining Bryski onstage was Willy Seltzer (guitar), Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt (guitar), Andrew Houston (bass), and Darrell Hale (drums).
Bryski did an awesome job getting the crowd jump started for Berlin. The band performed flawlessly with Tommy Armstrong-Leavitt stealing the show with his guitar work, as he effortlessly blasted out riff after riff.
After Bryski exhausted the crowd there was a quick intermission to make way for Berlin.
The new wave group Berlin took the stage with Nunn singing “Masquerade.” As Nunn made her way to the front of the stage, I realized she was much taller than I remember ““ if anyone has seen Nunn perform, you will realize this was a joke. For everyone else, let’s just say she’s small in stature, but makes up for it in personality and singing ability.
Nunn “‘s vocals were pristine and downright awesome, sounding much like she did years ago when she originally recorded Berlin’s chart topping “Take My Breath Away,” from the movie Top Gun.
Talk about a ball of energy. She continued back and forth between band members, including the drummer, the whole time belting out hits including “A Matter of Time” and “The Metro.”
The temperature in Pano Hall started to rise as things started to get steamy between Nunn and guitarist Carlton Bost, with Nunn sidling up to Bost and getting very in your face, or should I say in his face. It was quite a show and well worth the price of admission!
In addition to Bost there was Dave Schulz on keyboards and Chris Olivas on drums.
There was a touching moment when Nunn performed “Mom,” a song she wrote and dedicated to her mother. She wrote the song after her mother had passed away.
Afterwards Nunn kicked it back up a notch and had the audience on their feet as she made her way through the crowd. Being a tad short, Nunn had some assistance getting up on a chair in the middle of Pano Hall so everyone could see her. As she made her way back to the stage, she asked a strapping young security guard to lift her up on stage. Once Nunn was safely on the stage, the security guard was rewarded with a big hug from Nunn.
Nunn’s the real deal and is still going strong after all these years. She sounds and looks great and at 50 she’s still a little hotty.