concert memoirs pt. 18 – game theory, the woodentops, peter murphy & chameleons uk

Game Theory w/The Jayhawks

10/19/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Nothing. I’ve got nothing here.

The Woodentops w/Trip Shakespeare & New Marines
11/5/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $6.00

I don’t recall anything of the open acts, but I did like Trip Shakespeare a lot. I’m pretty sure I saw their first ever show in the 7th Street Entry, but I’ll write about that at another time.

The Woodentops put on a good show with their fast, jumpy style of acoustic alternative/pop music. Very high energy. The crowd was jumping and some fellow kept yelling, “Frenetic! Frenetic!”

I kept thinking, “Ok, pal, nice word. Very descriptive. Now shut-up!”

A highlight moment was when the lead singer hopped down to the floor and sang and danced his way through the audience.

“Frenetic!”

“Man! Seriously, shut-up!”

Peter Murphy
2/24/87 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $5.00

Five bucks to see Peter Murphy, not bad.

At the time, I was more of a fan of his solo material than of Tones on Tail or Love & Rockets (the bands the other former members of Bauhaus were in). Don’t get me wrong though because I liked them all. It’s just that Peter Murphy’s stuff seemed more lush and musical (whatever that means) while TOT and L&R was more striped down and dark.

The show itself has few memories. I don’t recall if he played any Bauhaus songs, although I’d say probably not. I might have more memories of the show if he had.

What stands out are images of him dancing about, doing his Gothic thing. And it seems as though he was lit by a very bright white light from underneath.

Chameleons UK w/The Mighty Lemon Drops
3/11/87 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Both John and I liked The Mighty Lemon Drops, but, if you know their stuff, you gotta admit they sound an awful lot like Echo & the Bunnymen. (Also a good band that has a strong Doors influence. We like Echo & the Bunnymen even with their similarity to that extremely overrated band.)

Anyway, as I said the Lemon Drops sounded very much like Echo and John felt compelled to point that out. Once or twice between songs, John would call out, “Rescue!” Which, if you don’t know, is a song by Echo off their great album, Crocodiles.

I don’t think the band appreciated it, but John and I thought it was funny. It wasn’t that we weren’t enjoying their set, we were. It was just that it was funny. At least John didn’t yell, “Freebird!”

Speaking of birds (brilliant segue, Jim!), when The Chameleons were onstage, Birdy (lead vocal/bass) took to berating a couple of the more uncouth members of the audience. I can picture a couple dudes holding up their beers and whooping or something. (I never understood the holding up of the beer. Was it a salute? Was it an offer to the band? Was it to show what lousy taste in beer they have?)

I can’t remember exactly what Birdy said, but it was along the lines of… “Look at the moronic frat boys drinking Bud and looking for a fight.”

So, the band played great. They were promoting my favorite of their albums, Strange Times. They have other good albums but Strange Times holds together beautifully from beginning to end. I especially remember the lead guitarist stepping up front while playing the excellent lead in to the fantastic song, Swamp Thing.

Good show.

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