Entertainment, Lifestyle

Retro Futura tour at Lynn Auditorium is a blast from the past

Retro Futura tour

Tony Lewis performing to enthusiastic fans Sunday night at the Lynn Auditorium.

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Retro Futura tour

Modern English performs on Sunday night at Lynn City Hall Auditorium. They were part of a multiband concert that included Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Tony Lewis.

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Retro Futura tour

ony Lewis signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans in the lobby of Lynn City Hall Auditorium after his performance.

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Retro Futura tour

Tony Lewis with fans in the lobby of Lynn City Hall Auditorium after his performance on Sunday night. Allison Murphy and Michael Fox of Tauton have been fans for 30 years and “have waited since 1986 for this opportunity”.

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Retro Futura tour

Danny and Stephanie Solis of Houston, Texas, came to the concert featuring Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English and other bands on Sunday night. They were taking in the sights of the area.

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Retro Futura tour

Tim Jordan, left, of North Hampton, N.H. and Fred Jones, of Methuen, attending the concert on Sunday night by Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English and several other bands.

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Retro Futura tour

From left, Amanda Marino, Tewksbury, Tracy O’Sullivan, Burlington, Mass., Kathy Sciarratta, Medford, and Lauren Sciarratta, Burlington, Mass., friends who decided to come to the concert of Belinda Carlisle and other bands on Sunday night.

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Retro Futura tour

Craig and Mary Fountain, Lynn, attended the concert on Sunday night featuring Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English and others at Lynn City Hall Auditorium.

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Retro Futura tour

Lynn Rowell of Rockland, Mass., and Scott White, of Weymouth, attending the concert featuring Belinda Carlisle and other bands at Lynn City Hall Auditorium on Sunday night.

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Retro Futura tour

Karen and Chris Garland of Haverhill, Mass., were some of the fans attending the concert featuring Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English and several other bands.

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LYNN — Sunday evening, music lovers journeyed back in time to the days when hair was huge and worries were few. Retro Futura, a package tour featuring five acts that dominated the charts and MTV back when the Music Television channel actually showed videos, invaded Lynn Auditorium and for a shade over three hours had folks singing and dancing in the aisles.

Sharing co-headline status on this year’s tour is British band ABC, featuring sartorially splendid frontman Martin Fry, and Belinda Carlisle, the lead singer of The Go-Go’s who went on to great solo success. The bill is fleshed out by British New Wavers Limahl (Kajagoogoo), Tony Lewis (The Outfield) and Modern English.

The 2017 Retro Futura outing at the Auditorium featured a stronger lineup (Howard Jones, The English Beat, Men Without Hats, Katrina and the Waves, Paul Young, and Modern English), but Sunday’s attendees seemed perfectly happy with this crew spearheading this trip down memory lane.

Fry, ably assisted by a four-piece band that included a saxophonist, went on last and delivered the evening’s best set. Dapper in black and a tailored silk jacket, he was on fire from the start, opening with “When Smokey Sings,” ABC’s highest-charting song (number five in 1987), fueled by its soulful vocal, driving rhythm and Roxy-style sax.

Hits “Poison Arrow,” “Be Near Me” and “The Look of Love,” other ABC high points, sounded great. Album cuts “The Night You Murdered Love” and “King Without a Crown” got a serious groove going, and “How to be a Millionaire” was funkified Robert Palmer-style thanks to hellacious bass and drums.

Carlisle, likely the main draw in this lineup, delivered her usual fan-pleasing performance. Backed by four musicians, including the bassist and keyboardist who shared the stage with Fry, she played one hit after another. A trio of Go-Go’s faves (“Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “We Got the Beat”) performed one after the other was fabulous, as was a terrific set-closing “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” “Circle in the Sand” and “Mad About You” were loud singalongs.

It was obvious that ’80s cutie pie Limahl, even without his hair gussied up with an obscene amount of ozone-layer-destroying Aqua Net, was a favorite of the party-hearty ladies in attendance. The hit “Too Shy” set off a dancing frenzy and had women boldly moving a little closer to the stage.

Lewis, voice of rockers The Outfield, blazed through a fine five-song set that included the classic “Your Love” and “Say it Isn’t So” and “All the Love in the World.” He and Limahl shared the same backing musicians.

Six-piece Modern English, with four original members including frontman Robbie Grey, were a bit more punk than pop. They closed with “that song,” the blissful “I Melt with You,” thrilling the crowd. “Hands Across the Sea” and the newish “Moonbeam” were also terrific.

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