You won’t need a time-traveling DeLorean to find your way back to the 1980s when synth-pop pioneer Howard Jones takes the Red Butte Garden stage on June 28, 2022. The show promises to be an epic 1980s dance party.
Jones is an early master of the electro-synthesized sound that became synonymous with the Second British Invasion of the US in the 1980s thanks in part to the rise of MTV in America. Jones had a dizzying 15 top 40 hits between 1983 and 1992 with mega-hits like “No One Is to Blame” (1986), “What Is Love” (1983), “Like to Get to Know You Well” (1984), “Things Can Only Get Better” (1985) and a host of other synth and drum machine laden diddies that are sure to get you up and dancing.
Jones is touring in support of a new record Dialogue set to drop in July. The sneak-peak single “Who You Really Want to Be” is new material without sacrificing the classic synthesized sound. Advanced technology gives a crisp freshness to Jones’s electronic music while retaining the rhythm that could still be featured in a reissued Miami Vice episode. Familiar yet fresh. The new music will undoubtedly compliment the classic hits Jones is sure to add to the setlist.
Joining Jones on the tour is Midge Ure, the lead vocalist of Ultravox, a new wave band who scored 17 Top 40 hits in the UK from 1980-1986. Having lived in England for a good part of the 1980s, Midge Ure and Ultravox were frequent performers on Top of The Pops, a weekly British TV show that featured the UK chart-toppers of the day. Ultravox never really broke into the U.S. charts, but fans of British New Wave of the era know them very well.
Fun fact for trivia fans: Howard Jones and Ultravox both performed at Live Aid on July 13, 1985, and Ure even co-organized the event. Live Aid, for those too young to remember, was a mammoth televised benefit concert held at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. It featured a who’s who of artists of the day. Excerpts of the performances, including a legendary Queen performance, can still be found on most streaming services.
Big hair, large glasses, shoulder pads, and voodoo economics are best kept deeply buried in the past, but the music of the 80s lives on as legions of fans discover or rediscover the new wave dance pop that defined Generation X.
- Who: Howard Jones
- What: 1980’s Synth-Pop (Rooster-on-acid hairdo not required)
- Where: Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
- When: June 28, 2022
- Tickets: redbuttegarden.org