Review: Spandau Ballet’s First New York Show in 30 Years

Posted by The G on May 4, 2015 under G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Photos and words by G.

From left to right:  Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, Gary Kemp and Tony Hadley - Spandau Ballet!

From left to right: Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, Gary Kemp and Tony Hadley – Spandau Ballet!

This much is true – to say I loved every second of Spandau Ballet’s first full concert in New York in 30 years is an understatement.  The British quintet played a sold out show at New York’s legendary Beacon Theatre on May 2, 2015 and everything about the night was legendary.

Tony Hadley and Steve Norman

Tony Hadley and Steve Norman

Aside from being a fan of Spandau Ballet since I was young, lead singer Tony Hadley was the first rock star I ever did a phone interview with (which you can read here and here), which is something I will probably never entirely get over, and at the time he was doing a solo tour where he exclusively added “Chant No. 1″ to his setlist for readers of According2g.com!  I also want to throw out there that if you can hear Tony Hadley’s cover of “Life on Mars” by David Bowie, he sings the hell out of that chours and you should really try to track it down because it’s amazing.  But I digress… Seeing that show made me fall in love with Spandau Ballet all over again and I kept hope alive that they would one day tour the USA again.  On May 2, all New York fans got their wish and Spandau Ballet reunited for their first show in 30 years!

Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet

If you know nothing of the group, the Spandau Ballet story has been depicted in the excellent documentary “Soul Boys of the Western World,” and in it, you’ll hear about their global success with massive hits such as “True” and “Gold,” as well as their 20 year hiatus, which saw an acrimonious break up over song royalties.  They have since patched up their differences and they showed the audience exactly why they became superstars over 30 years ago.

Martin and Gary Kemp

Martin and Gary Kemp

I am not sure what magic elixir the Soul Boys have tasted from, but they look and sound better than ever.  Their 2 hour set was a mutual love fest, as the audience lost their minds when the hits were played and Spandau Ballet seemed so relaxed and humbled by the response of the crowd.

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley’s voice showed no signs of aging and as the night went on, you realize how many of their songs have extremely high notes, and Tony nailed every single one of them flawlessly, and if I may suggest it, I think Tony Hadley’s voice sounds better now than it did on the records!  Songs from every stage of their career were played, from the new track “Soul Boy” to their reunion song “Once More” as well as some of their earliest songs such as “Reformation,” “Mandolin” and “The Freeze.”

Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet

Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet

The “secret weapon” of the band is Steve Norman who not only played those amazing sax solos you remember from so many Spandau hits, but he also sang back up, played guitar and percussion!

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

In between playing global smashes like “Communication,” “Highly Strung,” “Only When You Leave,” “To Cut A Long Story Short,” “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On),” “Instinction,” “Lifeline,” “True” and “Gold” (which was played both acoustically and with the full band – and made the audience go absolutely bonkers both times), Tony Hadley played a bit of percussion.

Gary Kemp

Gary Kemp

Gary Kemp promised the crowd that it will not be another 30 years before we get to see Spandau Ballet perform again and I speak for all Spandau fans by saying “YES!!!!!!!”  When the show was over, the audience didn’t want to see the band go, and the crowd rushed the stage and the band shook hands with members of the audience for several minutes before retreating back stage.  Despite having seen Eric Clapton the night before in concert, this was the most fun I’ve had at a show in quite some time.

Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet

Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet

Thanks again to the Soul Boys for an amazing night and again, on behalf of all Spandau Ballet fans, we look forward to many more new albums and tours!  PS.  Original drummer John Keeble is in the band, but I had a bad vantage point to get a decent photo (despite being in the 5th row), so apologies that he is not pictured.

The setlist was: Soul Boy / Highly Strung / Only When You Leave / How Many Lies? / Round and Round / This Is the Love / Steal / Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) / Reformation / Mandolin / Confused / The Freeze / To Cut a Long Story Short / Raw / Glow / Empty Spaces / Gold (acoustic) / Once More / I’ll Fly For You / Instinction / Communication / Lifeline / True.

Encore: Through The Barricades / Gold.

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Congratulations to Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Posted by The G on February 13, 2012 under GNN | Be the First to Comment

Photo by G.

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Congratulations to Tony Hadley (lead singer of Spandau Ballet) and his wife Alison.  The couple have welcomed their second daughter into the world last week.  Full details are not available, but this much is true!   Wishing them the best!

Video: “Somebody Told Me” (The Killers Cover) live by Tony Hadley

Posted by The G on August 23, 2011 under G Videos | Be the First to Comment

HD Video by G.

The people have spoken and it is my pleasure to show you Tony Hadley, former lead singer of Spandau Ballet singing a cover of The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me,” live in New York on Tony’s first ever solo tour of the United States!

Enjoy!

An Encounter with Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Posted by The G on August 20, 2011 under Encounters with G | Read the First Comment

Photo by G.

Tony Hadley and Geoffrey Dicker

Tony Hadley and Geoffrey Dicker

I can honestly say, I’ve had one of the greatest Tony Hadley experiences you could ever ask for.  I was fortunate enough to interview the former front man for 80s music gods Spandau Ballet as well as seeing his first solo show ever in the United States!  When I spoke with Tony in person, he told me that the band had just finished rehearsing “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)” because he’d been interviewed earlier in the week and it was requested.  I got to tell him, and I’ll never be sick of saying this –  that was the interview we did together.  He was SO cool!  And he played the song for the adoring crowd later in the evening!  He’s definitely a man of his word, which makes me so happy.  All I can say is a million thank yous to Tony Hadley for the great music – past, present and future as well as for giving me memories that will never be forgotten!

Video: “Chant No. 1″ live by Tony Hadley (of Spandau Ballet)

Posted by The G on August 17, 2011 under G Videos | 8 Comments to Read

HD Video by G.

On behalf of all my readers, I would like to thank Tony Hadley again for playing the classic Spandau Ballet song “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)” during his first ever solo show in New York on August 13, 2011.  I interviewed the 1980s icon and asked if there was a possibility that he would play this great song.  He said yes and kept his word!  He even mentioned the interview right before he played a rock version of the track!  WOW!  That is so cool, according2g.  Tony – you’ve made a lot of our dreams come true and we thank you!

And now, enjoy “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)” live by Tony Hadley from New York’s Irving Plaza on August 13, 2011.

P.S.  For another reward to my beloved readers for reading this site daily, I will upload another video from this great show – and you’ll get to pick!

Your choices are “Gold,” “True,” “To Cut A Long Story Short” or “Somebody Told Me (Killers Cover).”  Let us know in the comments section what you’d like to see and I’ll post it next week.  xo

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