Category Archives: CNE

022b. Let’s Dance: David Bowie with Rough Trade, September 3, 1983

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Ten years on from my hearing “Space Oddity,” I finally get to see and hear Bowie live during the Serious Moonlight tour.

022b. Let’s Dance: David Bowie with Rough Trade, CNE Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Saturday September 3, 1983, $22.50

In Part One, I wrote about what Bowie and glam rock meant to me, my impressions on how his emergence had a broader impact on the 1970s, and explored his musical shape-shifting.
In this third and final segment, I focus on his 1983 comeback via the glossy commercial juggernaut, Let’s Dance, and my thrill at taking in a brilliant set at CNE Stadium — with openers Rough Trade — along with my pal Miss Bennies and 60,000 others over the Labour Day weekend.

Interest ran high for this new Bowie album in my corner of the world. What bold new step forward would this upcoming release portend? What adventurous new direction would his sound take?

In my mind, I had the idea that it would be some kind of merge between synthpop and noisy, angular post-punk experimentation, something like The Human League meets The Birthday Party. Continue reading

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019. Walking on the Moon: Police Picnic III featuring The Police, Peter Tosh, James Brown, King Sunny Adé, & more, August 5, 1983

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Three consecutive summers of Police Picnics — and four consecutive summers of music festivals — come to a close for me with this final edition.

019. Walking on the Moon: Police Picnic III featuring The Police, Peter Tosh, James Brown, King Sunny Adé, Blue Peter, and The Fixx, CNE Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Friday August 5, 1983, $20.

Another summer, another all-day music festival in Toronto headlined by The Police. The last of the three, in fact.

It was part of the band’s final tour undertaken during the time of their original existence, as a promotional vehicle for their fifth album, Synchronicity, which was an immediate blockbuster upon its early June release. Advertised as being along for the ride this time were former Wailer and reggae legend Peter Tosh; the brilliant King Sunny Adé and His African Beats; bland, contemporary new wavers The Fixx; Toronto’s own Blue Peter, then nearing both a career peak and the last throes of their existence; and, best of all and initially the biggest reason for my purchasing a ticket, Scotland’s Simple Minds, then finishing up their global flogging of what is for my money the one truly brilliant long-playing moment of their career: 1982’s New Gold Dream.

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012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, September 5, 1982

One for the ages.

012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, Part 1, CNE Grandstand, Toronto, Ontrio, Canada, Sunday September 5, 1982, $11 … and a Bonus Featurette: Etymology of the Nickname “Lady Bump.”

It would be difficult to overstate just how obsessed I was with The Clash during their late ‘70s/early ‘80s lifespan. Along with The Jam, and then a bit later, Joy Division, they were my favourite band of the era. This 1982 concert was the one time I got to seem them live and was easily the most anticipated show I had attended up until that point. Continue reading