Howard Jones at the Magic Bag

Posted: 4 July 2022 by Robbie

Things can only get better

Howard Jones
The Blue Hatted Dork and Howard Jones (where are my eyes?)

Finally, a concert! Yes, haven’t been doing anything interesting lately. Went to see Howard Jones and got the opportunity to tell him I’m a big fan of Everlasting Love and the video itself. Didn’t have all the time in the world to tell him that song’s video reminds me of a dream I had of Spinix chasing me around in an abandoned city while saying, “Where’s My Money, Bitch?” However, my time was limited. He did like my Detroit City FC shirt.

He started with Pearl In A Shell, a song I haven’t heard in years. Howard then did a few of his hits and then went to a song called The One to Love You, from his latest album Transform. It does have that Stranger Things vibe to it. Howard did mention that show quite a few times during the concert. Howard and his band did a couple of acoustic songs, including a cover of Too Shy by Kajagoogoo. Prior to playing the song, Howard mentioned that he couldn’t play the song due to legal reasons, but said he’ll play it as long as “nobody tells.” I just did, I think I’m going to get him in trouble.

Next, with opener Midge Ure, they did Do They Know It’s Christmas? Ure was one of the co-writers of that big song made in 1985. To finish it off, they did Everlasting Love and the encore was Things Can Only Get Better. Prior to that latter mention, Howard had told the audience that he had his troubles with Covid-19 lockdowns and it was hard for him to write positive lyrics. He told the audience, “Things Can Only Get Better.” Howard’s band consisted of Himself at Keytar and Keyboards, a guitarist, a Chapman Stick player (first time seeing that IRL), and two other keyboard players with one occasionally playing electric percussion (his name is Dan Burton). Can’t currently find a list of the other musicians’ names and I don’t remember them now. Not good with names!

The opener of this concert was Midge Ure. I didn’t know much of him beside him being in Ultravox. I did like the songs that he played plus his talks with the crowd in between the songs. He was pretty damn funny and I will look into Utlravox’s music down the road. I have heard the song Dear God in a movie of the same name. The band consisted of himself at vocals, guitar and keyboards, and Dan Burton.

This was the first time I have been to the Magic Bag. The stage at the Magic Bag is very similar to the Diesel Concert Lounge’s main stage. I was expecting it to be bigger but that wasn’t the case. They had a few seats but they were first-come, first-serve. I’d preferred to stand near the stage as you can tell by my photos. One of the things that drove my ADHD ass crazy is that after the meet & greet, I pretty much sat down with my bear and played games and scrolled through my phone from 6:45p-8p. If I could do it all over again and if the venue permitted, I would have walked out and hit the Irish Pub for a couple of drinks. Then head back in around 7:45pm. I suppose I can blame that one on me.

Midge performed from 8p-8:50p, then Howard hit the stage at 9:15p. Before heading into the Magic Bag, I went to Danny’s Irish Pub and talked to a fellow VIP ticket holder who was in his 60s. While I was there, Alice In Chains I Stay Away played on the Jukebox. He wondered about that song and I told him it was made in my era, in 1993-94. He began to talk about his era which was mainly the 70s. Howard Jones would be one of his few favorites in the 80s as he didn’t really enjoy that genre of music more in recent times. Perhaps it was Covid and the lockdowns that made him take a good second look into 80s music.

What followed on the Jukebox next was Grand Funk Railroad’s I’m Your Captian which is one of the best endings in a song. I can listen to the last five minutes of that song forever. We talked about long songs and how they could work in the 70s and 80s. I told him about Genesis Home By The Sea. I also visited the Lawrence Street Gallery prior to all this and saw a rather strange painting of sorts. That gave me the fucking heebie-jeebies!

I did talk to a few folks at this concert before and during the show. I and this man from Suburban Tornoto talked a little about Canadian Television, he didn’t remember Flashpoint, one of my favorite defunct shows. We also talked about Trailer Park Boys and he said something along the lines of that’s Nova Scotia and it’s far different than Ontario and also said he wasn’t a fan of the show. We also talked about Quebec and their defunct NHL team the Nordiques (now the 2022 Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalance.) He told the majority of Quebec speak french. I didn’t mention it to him but I do recall the person who directed Rush’s Limelight video at Le Studio got lost along the way there. And had a hard time getting directions due to the many residents around speaking French.

During the concert, I talked to a guy who was from Chicago visiting his cousin who was also present. The cousin in question moved here from the Chicago area due to work. It just so happens that he works in the auto industry himself. He chatted a little in between the break from Migre’s to Howard’s performances and talked about the highs and lows of the Auto Industry. I did mention Cairo, Illinois but they didn’t seem to know anything about that area.

Also, the area I was in was infamous for the stolen cop car incident on 5 July 2019, almost three years ago from this blog post. Holy fuckaroni! Here it is:

I’ll finish it with this, as Howard Jones says, “Things can only get better.”

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