Pop Goes the World at Kelly’s Pub

the lost boyzEach decade in music is captured in time by some of their stereotypes. The ‘60s are often associated with flowers in one’s hair, mop tops, and a certain invasion from across the pond. The ‘70s conjure up images of bell bottom jeans, platform shoes, and white polyester jumpsuits. Kelly’s Pub in Pointe-Claire rocked a different decade beginning last night for a two-night fundraiser. A decade where the divide between the downtown scene of big hair, loud guitars and heavy make-up application (and that’s just the men) and the uptown scene of skinny ties, dreamy and sometimes gloomy conceptual song writing, and integration of synthesizers into pop music was as large as the record album sales during that arguably glorious era. If you haven’t guessed it by now, the ‘80s were back in a big way for a good cause and provided by not just a good, but great band, to boot: The Lost Boyz, aptly named for the 1987 film which epitomized and immortalized the decade.

The crowd exploded in sheer delight at the tight playing displayed by this most awesome tribute band from Cornwall, which have been gaining momentum and popularity all across the country this past year. The dance floor filled up immediately, as the Boyz of winter went the New Wave route right out of the gate, delivering unforgettable classics by British acts like Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, and Billy Idol. Some Down Under grooves were well represented as well, as iconic songs by New Zealand’s Split Enz and Australian sensations Men at Work and Midnight Oil whipped the crowd into a virtual frenzy. Home-grown acts were not left in the cold despite a very cold night out of doors, as Kelly’s patrons and the master musicians kept the heat turned up with Canadian artists and bands that elicited national pride and sweet memories from the catalogue of yesteryear, such as Bryan Adams, Loverboy, and Honeymoon Suite. The Lost Boyz are such a versatile unit, they even strayed away from rock and new wave into the realm of funk and R&B, with Prince’s 1999 and Rick James’ timeless Superfreak.

The second set opened almost too appropriately with the song that launched the MTV generation – and channel, Video Killed the Radio Star. But that was also the beauty that from spacey futuristic fare such as the Buggles and Montreal heroes Men Without Hats, they could switch on a dime to American heartland / roots rock, with back-to-back hits of John Cougar Mellencamp hitting home the point.

The band knew how not only to come out for a great cause, but to touch different segments of the audience by covering, literally, all the stylistic bases. It is not hard to see why these musicians are rapidly building not only momentum, but a reputation for superb live shows. The ‘80s came back to life this weekend, and the nostalgia was nothing short of the stuff of which Sweet Dreams are made – a very popular number during the second set.

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