The OC Fair is over, but larger-than-life events are still happening in Costa Mesa at the Pacific Amphitheatre.
This summer has brought some of the biggest names in the music industry to Pac Amp, and last week was an ‘80s fan haven. Gracing the stage were punk icons X, and English new wave royalty in the form of The Psychedelic Furs.
It was another beautiful night in the OC, but this one had an electric feel. Men and women of all age groups were canvasing the amphitheater, waiting for these legends to take the stage. The crowd was diverse with punk rockers and fans wearing their ‘80s Day-Glo, quirky hair, and leather jackets galore.
Up first was Los Angles punk rock behemoths X. Led by front-woman Exene Cervenka, the band sounded as sharp as ever courtesy of the vocal stylings and dynamic bass of John Doe, Billy Zoom on lead guitar, and DJ Bonebrake on drums.
With Peter Gunn as their walkup music, the crowd cheered as the quartet took the stage and opened with “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not.” The crowd took immediate notice of how fresh the band looked and sounded.
In a recent interview, Joe Doe told us that he felt rejuvenated playing for fans again and it definitely showed. The entire band had great energy, and the magic between Cervenka and Doe was on full display for “Free,” and other classics like “The Hungry Wolf,” “White Girl,” “Los Angeles,” and “Nausea.”
X also played songs off the new album, featuring the title track, “Alphabetland.” Then the crowd went nuts when they called it a night and kicked off to the Doors cover, “Soul Kitchen.”
As for most shows this summer concert series, the Pac Amp crew did a fabulous job in getting the stage ready for the next taste of greatness, The Psychedelic Furs.
With the sun having set and the atmosphere tempered, the silhouettes of the band emerged and the crowd went ballistic. The bandmates took the stage; lead singer Richard Butler, bassist Tim Butler, Mars Williams on sax, Amanda Kramer on keys, Rich Good on guitar, and Zack Alford on the skins. Immediately, the Furs captured the hearts and souls of the crowd as they opened with “Love My Way.”
The crowd screamed for the band and their favorite songs to be played and the Furs did not disappoint. They played a blend of new and classic tunes; “Mr. Jones,” “You’ll Be Mine,” and “This’ll Never Be Like Love.”
As great as those songs sounded, the crowd got what they came for as the songs made everyone feel 16 again! The Furs electrified the crowd with “Pretty in Pink,” and it felt as if the ground was literally shaking with the roar of the crowd as Butler went into the uber hit, “Heaven.”
As expected, the Furs did not keep the crowd waiting too long as they came out for their encore. The drumbeat and guitar riffs immediately made it clear; the crowd was getting “Heartbreak Beat.” Then, as soon as the crowd collected their breath, the Furs closed with “India.”
It was a surreal night for great music in the OC. There are several more exciting shows coming to Pacific Amphitheatre, so check out their site and see living history up-close and personal.