Concert Review: Love Canon at Abilene


For me, the 1980's were the last stand for pop, before the music got stupid, vapid, and insipid. That's not to say that music of the "Me Decade" was for intellectuals. Let's face it, we're all a little blinded by science. But it's amazing how those little neon ditties get stuck in your head. People call it a guilty pleasure. Not me; as a recovering Catholic I don't adhere to guilt or regret. If it sounds good it is good, even if the musical muckity-mucks disapprove.

The Big 80's got a rural dressing down Wednesday night in front of a sizeable room of drinkers at Abilene courtesy of Charlottesville, Virginia's Love Canon. The band brandishes classic bluegrass artillery to tackle songs from The Human League, Don Henley, Bow Wow Wow, etc. I expected a little more non-commercial interpretations. But the band's arrangements were identical -- or damn close -- to the originals. There was no "Like a Virgin"/"Foggy Mountain Breakdown," a sanctified take on "The Devil Inside," or a yodeled "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Though how cool would that be? I mean, really.

Glamorous Glenn, the Abilene bartended/pharmacist and I had a natural ball when we went head to head seeing who could identify the next song first. It was a tie, with absolutely no guilt.