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HOCO Fest Day 1 – 80s Dance Party

Thu 29 Aug

HOCO Fest Day 1 – 80s Dance Party

Thursday, August 29th 7:00PM

Featuring: Howard Jones, Men Without Hats, & MORE! (7pm, $20/$25, 21+)
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We kickoff our annual HOCO Fest with something we’ve never done before… We’re bringing in the big boys to take you back to the beginning of the Club Congress circa 1985. Former KFMA DJ & pioneer of the first, biggest 80’s dance night that Tucson has ever seen, Spyder Rhodes, will be hosting the event and is joined by two very special acts, Howard Jones & Men Without Hats. These are two of the biggest acts to ever play the our establishment and quite simply, YOU CAN DANCE, if you want to – but DON’T leave your friends behind. Tickets will go fast so do not miss your chance to see these 80’s icons in your very own backyard, and the heart of downtown, the Hotel Congress. Not sure who Howard Jones or Men Without Hats are? Check the info below!

Howard Jones

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After an extraordinarily successful 2012 which included tours of Japan, UK, USA, Singapore and Australia, Howard Jones continues touring in to 2013 which will mark 30 years since the release of his first single ‘New Song’ in 2003. Some special concerts to mark this milestone are being planned for November 2013.

Howard Jones played a long-awaited return concert at the Sandy Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City in July 2011. The promoters were hoping for 1500 ticket sales but it turned out to be a complete sellout with 2,750 tickets sold and 300 turned away. He encored with the Killers’ ‘Human’ as a tribute to Salt Lake’s Brandon Flowers who had apparently been in line for a Howard Jones in-store signing back in the nineties.

In September 2011 Howard drew over 6000 at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas which was the biggest audience of their 2011 season. He also drew over 3000 people at the Liseberg in Gothenburg. This was followed by his most successful tour of US/Canada for 20 years in October 2011. 2012 saw Howard find another gear with a sold out tour of Japan and his most successful UK tour for 20 years in April 2012. This was followed by a very special appearance at the UK’s Isle of Wight festival and yet another highly successful US tour in June/July and his best Australian tour to date in September 2012. In October 2012 Howard played a very high energy gig to 6000 people in Singapore which was his biggest ever concert there.

It was in 1983 that Howard Jones first burst upon the contemporary music scene with his very English song-writing and pioneering synthesizers. Anyone who was around in the mid to late eighties will remember those high energy gigs and his first two albums Human’s Lib and Dream into Action. They lived in the higher reaches of the album charts in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Australia and many other countries in the 1984-86 period, and the hits kept coming……..New Song, What is Love?, Pearl in the Shell, Hide and Seek,(which he performed at Live Aid in 1985), Like to Get to Know You Well, Look Mama, Things Can only Get Better, Everlasting Love and the quintessential No One is To Blame, which reached No.1 in the US.

Howard Jones re-mastered those first two classic albums ‘Human’s Lib’ and ‘Dream into Action’ and played them both live in their entirety for the first time on November 6th 2010 at the IndigO2 in London’s O2 Arena Complex. The re-mastered albums are available  from www.howardjones.com. A special re-mastered box set of the 12” mixes was released in March 2011 and a DVD of the IndigO2 concert was released in October 2011. In April 2012 the third box set in the trilogy was released which features re-mastered versions of the next three albums ‘One to One’, ‘Cross that Line’ and ‘In The Running’.

A classically trained pianist, Jones applied his technique to the early synths particularly the Roland Juno 60, the Jupiter 8 and the Moog Prodigy. He also pioneered the classic Roland 808 drum machine and the Sequential Pro-One. In the early days he was triggering sequencers live on stage whilst playing and singing, something that no one had done before.

These days he still operates on the cutting edge of technology and has been one of the leading exponents of the Roland Fantom G8 and the Roland V-piano. Many contemporary giants of the dance world have shown interest in working with Howard which has resulted in tracks such as ‘And do you Feel Scared?’ with Eric Prydz, ‘Into the Dark’ with Ferry Corsten and a 2012 collaboration with Grum.

Jones continues to tour extensively and will be playing multiple dates and festivals in 2013 with Robbie Bronnimann on live sequencing/sampling and effects using Ableton Live and various controllers, and occasionally Jonathan Atkinson on electronic drums.

Always one to take chances, Jones continues to write great songs inspired by his Buddhist beliefs as is evident on his latest studio album ‘Ordinary Heroes’ which features a string quartet on every track and one of the best Welsh male voice choirs in the world The Morriston on the song ‘Soon You’ll Go’.

In June 2012 Howard made a Kaleidoscope documentary in ‘The Song that Changed my Life’ BYUTV series. The documentary premiered on 8th October 2012 in USA and has subsequently received great reviews. It can be streamed at www.thesongthatchangedmylife.com.

Throughout 2012 school choirs from all over the world recorded Howard’s song ‘Building Our Own Future’. The project started in Namibia and went viral with over 300 schools taking part. A compilation of some of the performances can be viewed HERE.

 But 2013 will mark the continued touring of one of the true eighties icons and godfathers of modern electronic dance music in full electric mode. If you were too young the first time around it’ll be a chance to find out where all those beats and sounds came from, and if you were around it’ll bring all those memories flooding back.

Men Without Hats

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They told the world “You can dance if you want to” 30 years ago – and we did.  A few years later they instructed that same planet – the third – to go Pop – and we did. Men Without Hats have been creating iconic and irresistible pop music for three decades and have soared back with the release of their latest album, Love in the Age of War, to be released this May.

 Led by charismatic front man, lead singer and songwriter Ivan Dorschuk, MWH has surged back starting with a breakout show at 2011’s SXSW and followed by extensive, well-received touring across North America over the last year.  Along with keyboard player Lou Dawson and guitarist James Love, Doroschuk and the Hats have been delivering high energy shows packed with all of the band’s absurdly catchy lyrics as well as great tracks from the new release, a disc that picks up where the hit making band left off.

 “Sure lots has changed in music over the last few decades, “ says Doroschuk, “ but the world still loves a hooky song with a bit of edge that can get you thinking.” And that’s what the Hats deliver, tracks that will get you bopping across the dance floor with subtle messages that will haunt you long after the music has ended.  It’s no surprise that this band has topped charts across the planet and even picked up a 1983 Grammy nomination for Best group (Culture Club won it).

 The Hats song catalogue always sounds fresh and relevant and Hats hits have been featured on The Simpsons, Family Guy and Glee and Pop Goes the World now lights up TV screens in a TIDE ad. Men Without Hats have been providing a hit-filled and hooky soundtrack for our lives since the 80s and the band powers magnificently into the 21st Century with a steady stream of jaw dropping live shows and a fantastic new album.

 You still can “dance if you want to” and Men Without Hats makes it easy and fun.