Feb. 14 is usually a day designated for lovers. However, for those who love the music of the 1980s, Sirius XM presents a gift of live music. The satellite radio corporation presents The Motels, Bow Wow Wow and When In Rome as part of the Totally 80s Live concert series.
Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. For Citi cardmembers, tickets went on sale Tuesday, Oct. 22.
For fans of 1980s pop and alternative music, the concert represents an opportunity to hear all of the groups’ hits, as well as new music.
Each of the bands to be featured had its own way of defining the 1980s and each has a distinct sound. Like certain other bands from the era, The Motels, Bow Wow Wow and When In Rome, remind audiences of what sounds and styles were new in the 1980s, and how those bands and their respective sounds influenced the pop bands to come.
The Motels: sound and style
The band that would eventually become The Motels formed in California in the early 1970s. Later, that band broke up, re-formed, and renamed themselves The Motels. In 1982 and 1983, the group had two singles that peaked in the Top Ten: “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.”
The songs are moody, but not overly heavy-sounding. Lead singer Martha Davis’ voice is one of the most singular in pop music. The Motels released five albums between 1979 and 1985, and earned gold status. In 2018, the band released an album titled “The Last Few Beautiful Days.”
Bow Wow Wow: controversy and “I Want Candy”
The band was managed by Malcolm McLaren, of Sex Pistols fame. With a 13-year-old lead singer, Annabella Lwin, Bow Wow Wow headed for stardom in 1980. A series of ups and downs marked the band’s trajectory into the canon of Western popular music. At one point, Lwin posed nude for an album cover and sparked controversy and outrage. In another of the band’s developments, they experimented with having two singers, the other of which would become known to the world as Boy George. Bow Wow Wow is also credited with having the world’s first cassette single, “C 30 C 60 C 90 Go!” in 1980.
By June 1982, Bow Wow Wow had their first and biggest US hit with “I Want Candy.” The song reached No. 9 in the UK. The video for the song was popular in the US, even if the album did not fare as well. Still, the hyper, jangly beat, Lwin’s enthusiastic vocals all make “I Want Candy” memorable. For longtime fans, there were more hits than just “Candy.”
In the intervening decades, some bands have changed lineups, but as long as they can re-create beloved songs, fans at retro shows will have a good time.
The Motels, Bow Wow Wow and When In Rome are scheduled to play the Old National Centre in Indianapolis. The venue is located at 502 N. New Jersey St. Tickets are available at http://concerts1.livenation.com