Review: The House of Blues Fixx

The Fixx
House of Blues
September 1, 2022

You remember the Fixx.

It is not a question. Although perhaps never as hyped as their contemporaries, the band’s music was as much the soundtrack of the 1980s as anyone’s, with songs like “Saved By Zero”, “One Thing Leads To Another” and “Are We Ourselves?” get a decent share of MTV’s non-Madonna and Michael Jackson rotation.

Vocalist Cy Curnin, drummer Adam Woods and keyboardist Rupert Greenall formed the core of the band from the start, joined by venerable guitarist Jamie West-Oram in 1980 and bassist Dan K. Brown after a decade-long hiatus. .

Brown and Greenall are both wearing hats, if that helps.

Every five seconds is the Fixx’s first album in ten years and, befitting their status, formed the core of the band’s setlist last night in a comfortably full appearance at House of Blues. The opener, “A LIfe Survived,” suffered from sound problems, but the follow-up “Closer” provided an appropriate kick with its timely references to “dumb smart phones” and technological alienation.

“Driven Out” came next, making a first appearance in what was perhaps a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that it might be one of the newer songs audiences would recognize (from 1989 calm animals). Luckily, it’s still a certified banger.

Curnin, dressed in black jeans and a dark shirt, is one of those ageless rock dudes. Like a new-wave Robin Zander (though perhaps goofier), he led the crowd in songs and spearheaded some of the set’s most experimental cuts (“Beautiful Friction,” “Chase the Fire”). ) before getting to the most famous cuts.

Because let’s be honest, the Fixx’s experimental sound has always threatened to be hit or miss, especially with a Houston crowd more interested in bleating about the last time they saw them open for the Spin Doctors (or whoever). either, the guy in the Hawaiian shirt behind me).

Click to enlarge

The Fixx is here.

Photo by Pete Vonder Haar

As for blows, there were plenty to come. “How many do you need?” made an early appearance, with Curnin lamenting that, more than ever, “the middle of the road is a fucking lonely place.” This was soon followed by “Less Cities, More Moving People”, which yours truly was pleased to see was not the only fan.

Meanwhile, “Are We Ourselves” (one of only two tracks from the underrated Ghosts) honestly I felt like the first time West-Oram’s guitar was working properly because it sounded much more distinct from that point on, especially during the solo on “Deeper and Deeper”, which helped to distract from any personal shit Curnin was going through during the song.

Cheap rock star comparisons (Trick) aside, it seemed like Curnin really wanted to connect with his audience. He’s one of the most distinctive voices of the new wave, and he exercised it a lot by emphasizing the need for human connection in songs like “Are We Ourselves?”

And lest any of you forget the impact of the Fixx, the final triptych of the main set consisted of “One Thing Leads to Another”, “Stand or Fall” and “Red Skies”, including all are timeless in the pantheon of Reagan-era tuning. And that doesn’t even reach the encore, which included “Saved By Zero” and “Secret Separation.”

The Fixx reminds me of Sid Hudgens’ line about Pierce Patchett in LA ConfidentialIt’s not GenX nostalgia and it’s not the current pop star, but last night at the House of Blues they reminded us why their relevance shouldn’t be questioned.

Personal bias: The Fixx have always been low key, one of my favorite bands, 80s or otherwise.

The crowd: Lots of bald guys with glasses singing along to the shock music of Tears for Fears.

Heard in the crowd: “Oh yeah, I’m a bit of a Fixx fanatic,” said one guy who then listed two of their biggest hits, then smiled politely as his date (?) rattled off a dozen deep cuts of their 90s albums.

Random notebook dump: “How did I just notice that pantheistic HOB bullshit above the stage?”

SETLIST
One life survived
Closer
hunted
chase the fire
How many do you need?
take what you want
Fewer cities, more people on the move
Cold
Nice rubbing
Are we ourselves?
Deeper and deeper
Wake up
One thing leads to another
Stand or fall
red sky

BIS
Alone like a beacon
saved by zero
Secret separation

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