Last night’s Howard Jones and OMD show transformed me back to 1987. It was really the Last Summer on Earth Tour with BareNaked Ladies featuring Howard Jones and OMD, but I went solely for Howard Jones and OMD was an added bonus. I have seen BareNaked Ladies before and was not impressed. They are fine musicians – just not my cup of tea. It was a beautiful night at Pier 6 in Baltimore – perfect temperature, no humidity and a very fun, relaxed crowd. All three bands commented on how lovely Baltimore was as they were walking around the waterfront earlier that day.
I was in my seat by 6:30 knowing Howard Jones would most likely take the stage first, even though I think he’s more popular but apparently I am wrong and OMD is more popular. My seat was about 10 rows from the stage on the far right. The first thing I noticed, of course, were the electric drums with lime green symbols. If Larry’s back ever gets too bad I guess he could play the electric drums. (just kidding U2 friends, don’t freak out.)
Howard took the stage promptly at 6:57pm. He sounded amazing! Howard’s voice was on point sounding exactly like it did in the 80s, and he’s such the showman. You could feel how much fun Howard was having – even walking into the crow during “Like to Get to Know You Well” taking selfies with the audience while singing. Unfortunately, he did not come over to my side. By 7:40pm, Howard had played seven of the eight songs I have on my ipod, except my absolute favorite “No One is to Blame.” I thought for sure he would come back out onto the stage and play it as an encore, but when the crew came out to switch out the stage I knew I would not see Howard again. I was crushed. The music loving, concert going couple next to me, who are almost my parents age, told me BareNaked Ladies often bring out the other bands to play their songs. I looked up the set list from the previous night and sure enough the eighth song was “No One is To Blame” with Howard Jones singing and on keyboards. So I had to stay for seven BareNaked Ladies songs.
The set list for Howard Jones in Baltimore on June 26, 2016 was as follows:
Pearl in the Shell
Like to Get to Know You Well
Life in One Day
What is Love
Things Can Only Get Better
No One is to Blame with BareNaked Ladies during their set
Twenty minutes later OMD took the stage at 7:57pm and played until 8:45pm. That guy hasn’t aged at all and still does all the admittedly awkward dancing. It was great! His voice was also on point. He mentioned it had been 28 years since they had played in Maryland, or MarryLand as his beautiful British accent said it. I really only knew three out of the ten songs OMD played. I sort of recognized the opener “Enola Gay” and loved “Dreaming,” but surprised I didn’t recognize “Tesla Girls” from Weird Science, since I used to watch that movie ALL the time. When I heard the first few notes of “If You Leave,” I had to hold back my tears. Pretty in Pink is one of my top five favorite movies of all time, and I watch it practically every month. Hearing that song from that movie gave me goosebumps and just really made me emotional. It was beautiful! I didn’t expect I would have that reaction from “If You Leave,” but thought I would for “No One is To Blame.”
BareNaked Ladies took the stage at 9:15pm, about a half hour after OMD’s set. They played four acoustic songs then three songs including “Brian Wilson,” which I actually like. (They were not as annoying as I remember, but they are a little too goofy for me – too much talking about nonsense.) On their eighth song, they brought Howard Jones out on stage front and center and played “No One is to Blame.” I have waited 30 years to hear that song live, and it was well worth the wait. It was beautiful! I didn’t cry, but it was amazing. I may have cried had Howard played it during his set, but not with BareNaked Ladies backing him. Although they didn’t intrude on the song too much – just a little with the vocals on the chorus. It was fantastic, and I’m glad I stayed! I left immediately after and was home by 10:30. It was a fabulous night. I felt like I was back in high school in the 80s again. I will definitely see Howard Jones again the next time he’s in town!