By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Venue: The Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, Florida–August 25, 2018–The Fixx–The Beach Tour
Many in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, including myself, were thrilled to see that The Fixx was going to headline at the Capitol Theatre. The New Wave band was a standing fixture on MTV in the 1980s and always had an edgy, hip kind of feel with their smart lyrics that especially touched on the political upheaval at the time. The 80s were the Thatcher/Reagan years and the band had plenty of lyrical fodder, which seems like “good times” compared to today’s state.
The songs are even more relevant today, and take on a deeper meaning, as the nuclear age and global political situation is in a constant state of flux.
The August 24th show at the Capitol Theatre was completely sold out! There was a bustle of activity in the lobby as the 50-something age crowd mulled around with drinks in hand. The evening was set to be a good one since there was no opener and pure headliner. In fact, the band played through the entire Reach the Beach album during the first set, prior to a short intermission, and then continued with cuts from Shattered Room, Phantoms, Walkabout, Calm Animals and Beautiful Friction. It was pure euphoria for die-hard The Fixx fans!
What is utterly refreshing about The Fixx concert is the band consists of original members from the 80s hey day and is not a “cover band” like a lot of the bands making their way through the circuit. This was the real deal!
The Fixx came out on stage for the first half dressed mostly in white attire (except for lead singer Cy Curnin). The stage set-up was unusual because Adam Woods and his drum kit were on the left side with guitarist Jamie West-Oram in front of him rather than in center stage. Rupert Greenall played on an elevated platform at the right side of the stage and bassist Dan K. Brown, dressed in nautical attire, stood in the center. Cy Curnin’s voice is still top notch and he sounded great live. Actually, the whole band performed flawlessly through the music that made them famous.
Curnin spoke prior to introducing each song with a rhetorical question or statement. He asked, “Did you ever reach the beach? I guess you did. We’re right on it! We took a long time!” before jumping into “Reach the Beach”. He asked, “Remember 35 years ago when people agreed to disagree?” and the began to play the song “Opinions”, which featured videos with political figures.
Curnin noted, “You need your private space sometimes—just you and the universe” before the band played a crowd favorite, “Saved By Zero”. Actually, during most of the concert people stood up to dance, gave standing ovations, and there were a lot of cheering between songs. I only observed a few cell phones being held in the air to tape or photograph the band. People were actually singing along and paying attention.
Other favorites from the first set were “One Thing Leads to Another” which featured a video with one-word slogans, referring to Facebook, “Buy Now”, “Loan Interest”, and “Lies”, to name a few examples.
After a brief intermission, the band returned wearing mostly black clothing. For the first song of the set “Stand or Fall”, the whole audience stood and sang along.
Curnin discussed, “We’re the generation that went from pen and paper to selfies. We picked up strange habits. Evolution…where do we go from here?” and jumped into my personal favorite, “Our We Ourselves?’
The evening had similar moments with songs like “Chase the Fire” and “Red Skies”. Overall, it was a fantastic evening of New Wave music with its distinct synth and jangly guitar sounds. One couldn’t help but time travel to the 80s and wish we were back there today!