Synth Pop King Howard Jones and Dance Safety Advocates Men Without Hats Are Coming to Cincinnati

The ’80s Pop faves will perform together at Bogart’s on June 18

click to enlarge Howard Jones and Men Without Hats' Ivan Doroschuk - PHOTOS: YOUTUBE
Photos: YouTube
Howard Jones and Men Without Hats' Ivan Doroschuk

A pair of popular ’80s Electronic Pop acts are currently on a coast-to-coast North American tour that will bring them to Cincinnati’s Bogart’s on Tuesday, June 18. Hitmaker Howard Jones is being joined by one-hit-wonders Men Without Hats for the jaunt. Contemporary Synth Pop duo All Hail the Silence is also on the tour.

Jones released his first single, “New Song,” in 1983 and it was an instant hit in the U.K., while also doing well in the U.S. thanks to MTV exposure. A quintessential Synth Pop banger, the song was followed by a string of other hits that helped define the sound of the era, including “What is Love?” and “Like to Get to Know You Well.”

Jones became a bonafide star in the U.S. with his second album release, Dream Into Action, and the 1986 Action Replay EP, which featured a remixed version of Dream track “No One is To Blame,” which was a Top 5 hit on the singles charts and helped him to be albe to tour large venues across the country through the end of the decade.

Jones’ live show in the beginning featured just himself and banks of synths and electronic gear, as well as the dancer/performance artist from his early music videos. His first show in Cincinnati was opening for the Eurythmics at Riverbend Music Center, part of their huge 1984 world tour.

Jones has consistently released new music in the years since his initial breakthrough. In the mid-’90s he started his own label, Dtox, which released his latest album, Transform, in May. The album brought Jones back to the UK album charts for the first time since 1989, cracking the Top 50 upon its release.

Men Without Hats may have only had one big hit, but that hit is one of the more instantly recognizable songs of the 1980s. Led by singer Ivan Doroschuk, Men Without Hats began in Montreal in 1977, originally as a Punk band. Also featuring Ivan’s brothers Stefan and Colin, the group reportedly got the band name from the siblings’ “style over comfort” fashion sense, which resulted in them forgoing hats in the cold of winter in order to look cool.

Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance” was first released in 1982 and did well on radio and the charts in Canada. The weird-as-hell music video for “The Safety Dance” was embraced by MTV, helping the song eventually make it to No. 3 on the singles chart in 1983. The actual dance from the video, which seemed to involve making a jerking “S” sign with your arms (a la the “YMCA” dance), did not, fortunately, catch on.

Men Without Hats continued to have success in various parts of the world through the end of the ’80s before breaking up in 1993. Ivan Doroschuk reformed the group in 2010. He has performed on various ’80s-themed tours ever since, including the 2013 “Regeneration Tour” with Erasure, Berlin and Howard Jones.

Tickets for the ’80s SynthPopPalooza show at Bogart’s are $30 in advance here.


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