Wednesday, July 16, 2014

'80s IN THE PARK 2014: Day I (Friday / Sept. 26th)

- Day I -
9.26.14 / Wickham Park / Melbourne, FL

An unabashed and unbridled
celebration, it's become THE
preeminent annual U.S.
'80s festival.

'80s IN THE PARK returns to Melbourne's Wickham Park.
Nobody knew quite what to expect when Florida-based promoters Richard and Kyle Hendry revealed their trailblazing concert vision in 2013. However,  the "little" two-day  event was a runaway success — attracting an estimated crowd of 15,000 enthusiastic fans. And in 2014, '80s IN THE PARK returns — bigger and better than ever. (September 26-28)

This three-part series will offer a day-by-day, behind-the-scenes, exclusive peek at what's quickly becoming a pop culture phenomenon. We'll also hear from  the chart-busting performers, the passionate fans and the promoters who are making this (now) annual festival the biggest '80s  event in the country.

Simply put, '80s IN THE PARK is a three-day celebration of everything '80s. Transporting fans of all ages back through time in a swirl of sight and sound — iconic movie / TV themes, legendary bands and more, the event will offer something for everyone. Timeless music of the decade will fill the air while the ever-faithful play such vintage arcade games as Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders — or maybe even help Mario in his fight for survival in the classic Nintendo game contest. Impeccable tribute bands, along with "'80s Ambassador" DJ K.W. will keep the party revving on all cylinders throughout the weekend. Dance with '80s look-alikes, shop for T-shirts, hats, handmade jewelry and memorabilia at one of over 40 vendors. Then, when the sun goes down, sit under the stars and enjoy a variety of foods from some of Brevard County's finest restaurants while taking in non-stop, high-energy concert performances from an array of "golden era" MTV artists, live on the '80s IN THE PARK main stage.

"We're so happy and honored 
to be able to bring the '80s
back again this year. We 
have doubled the amount 
of music, added an extra 
day and sourced music for
 more genres than last year 
— making us the biggest
 '80s festival in the U.S. for 
the second year in a row."
-Richard Hendry 
('80s IN THE PARK co-founder)

Three action-packed days — more than two dozen incredible live acts — performing each day from start to finish on the newly expanded '80s IN THE PARK main stage. And although it was no easy feat, those Hendry fellas just might have topped last year's all-star concert line-up. Here's what's on-tap for Friday...

"Once Bitten Twice Shy," "House of Broken Love," "Rock Me," "Save Your Love," "Call it Rock and Roll," "The Angel Song" — Great White's string of hit records during the '80s was impressive, endearing, and has proven timeless. In 2014, co-founding frontman Jack Russell carries on the band's grand rock and roll tradition along with MTV era bassist Tony (Montana) Cardenas on guitar — delighting their legions of dedicated fans with the iconic songs that helped to cement their platinum-selling reputation. (JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE WEBSITE)

Featuring the popular video singles, "Don't Change That Song" and "Bathroom Wall," the self-titled 1987 debut record from Faster Pussycat was simply the most glorious glob-o-glam since the New York Dolls got "trashed" back in '73. But when compared to the first-time platinum-selling success of such Hollywood contemporaries as Poison and Guns N' Roses, the initial chart performance of Faster Pussycat's debut was somewhat underwhelming. However, fueled by the Top 40 power ballad, "House of Pain," the band struck gold with its 1989 sophomore effort, Wake Me When It's Over. The follow-up, 1992's Whipped, offered yet another stellar, signature-sounding set. Led by founding frontman, Taime Downe, the 2014 Faster Pussycat line-up is currently in the midst of a marathon U.S. tour. (FASTER PUSSYCAT WEBSITE)

Best described (by me) as Cheap Trick-meets-Elvis Costello at a midnight showing of "Magical Mystery Tour," Enuff Z'nuff had much more going on musically than its original glammed-up image suggested. And when the Chicago-based quartet exploded onto the scene with its self-titled major label debut in 1989, the boys got noticed quickly by fans and critics alike. Eye-catching videos for the infectious singles, "New Thing" and "Fly High Michelle," seemingly owned the MTV airwaves through the summer of 1990. Forging headfirst into the next decade, the band's 1991 sophomore effort, Strength, was arguably the "strongest" rock record of the '90s. Subsequent Enuff Z'nuff releases, including 2000's 10 have continued to enhance the band's reputation for creating quality, get-to-the-hook, pop / rock songs. (ENUFF Z'NUFF WEBSITE)

With frontman Stevie Rachelle leading the charge, the Arizona-based band TUFF took the L.A. club scene by storm in the late '80s. Signed by Atlantic Records in 1990, TUFF soon released its debut album, What Comes Around Goes Around, in the spring of 1991. The video for the band's hit power ballad, "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye," quickly reached #3 on Dial MTV, runner-up only to Guns N' Roses and Metallica.

In 2001, TUFF released the compilation CD The History of TUFF, which included the track, "American Hair Band," a hilarious and hard-hitting parody of Kid Rock's tune "American Bad Ass." The song referenced several bands of the era while mocking grunge and alternative rock. TUFF released What Comes Around Goes Around Again in 2012, which featured four re-recorded songs from What Comes Around Goes Around plus new tracks. The band continues to be a popular concert attraction around the world. (TUFF WEBSITE)

This award-winning band has been annoying decent folks with its unique brand of irreverent hard rock since first launching from Florida's Space Coast in 1985. With an impeccable reputation for being a "must see" live act, Dead Serios has performed from coast-to-coast with the likes of Cinderella, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, Ace Frehley, Slaughter, Faith No More and Hootie and the Blowfish. Dead Serios has released numerous records on various independent labels, appeared on several movie soundtracks and has been featured in such magazines as Billboard, Metal Hammer and Thrasher. As pioneers of the rap / metal genre, the band's signature 1989 hit "Butterbean Queen" became the blueprint that many future platinum-selling acts would follow in future years.

"We're amped and ready for 
'80s IN THE PARK. Our band 
has never sounded better!"
-Joe Del Corvo
(Bassist / Dead Serios) 

To commemorate the band's upcoming 30th anniversary, GhoulTone Records will release a 12-track Dead Serios tribute record in early 2015. Entitled They're Not Joking, the record will feature various major label and indie-level artists. (Dead Serios on Facebook)


Recreating the "authentic sound"
and "absurd energy" of AC/DC,
Shoot To Thrill plays the iconic
hits that fans have known and
loved since the beginning — from
the Bon era to the Brian years.

Billed simply as a "Cult Tribute Band,"
Cult Revolution hails from Orlando, FL.

This Florida-based combo prides itself 
on delivering "ass kickin' rock and roll"
 — focusing on such bands as KISS
Van HalenPoison, Mötley Crüe
Queen, Black Sabbath,

These hard-hitting, in-your-face, 
sleazy rockers promise fans 
loud, throbbing bottom end with 
tasty rhythms and burning, 
screaming leads — PLUS big
hair, tight pants, smoke and lights.
Think Sunset Strip '80s style!

"I got to see some awesome 
bands that I didn't get a
chance to see back in the 
day. It was a great time!"
-Ty Oglesby (Melbourne, FL / 2013)

There ya go, kids — the first installment of my totally awesome three-part series. I hope that you've enjoyed the ride so far. Stand by, there's  MUCH more coming your way in the days to come (OFFICIAL '80s IN THE PARK WEBSITE)

-Christopher Long
(July 2014)


The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment