Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Venue: The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
Date: Tuesday July 10th, 2018
Most of you will remember The FIXX as one of the new wave rock bands on MTV in the early 80’s. They had 3 #1 hits during that time that played a lot on MTV: “One Thing Leads To Another”, “Red Skies” and “Saved by Zero”. Probably their most popular and successful album was Reach The Beach. This is the 35th anniversary of the release of that album and the original band members have gotten together for a summer tour. The band consists of Cy Curnin as lead singer, Jamie West-Oram on lead guitar, Rupert Greenall on keyboards, Adam Woods on drums and bassist Dan K. Brown.
As a rarity, for this tour, they are playing the entire Reach The Beach album in order as the first set of their show. The show starts with the band playing “One Thing Leads To Another” and everyone in the audience was signing along. During the first set, they had a set of movies playing in the background to go along with the songs. The different movies ranged from one about the British Navy and the Falkland war, to a scene of a beach with fireworks exploding in the sky. During different songs in the set, Cy would stop singing and let the audience complete the song’s part. A number of times, Jamie come out to the middle front of the stage to perform a mini guitar solo. The band did an amazing job or recreating the albums original sound and feel.
The band took a very short 2-minute break between the two sets. I don’t believe the audience really believed the break would be that short, because they were still returning long after the band started the second set. The second set was a collect of songs from their other albums including their newest album, Beautiful Friction released in 2012. They started the second set with one of my personal favorites, “Stand or Fall” from their debut 1982 album, Shuttered Room. They ended the second set with one of their biggest hits, “Red Skies”. The audience were on the feet shouting for more as the band bowed to us. After a couple of minutes, the band came back out to perform a 2-song encore. Both songs were from their 1986 album, Walkabout. Again, at the end of the encore, all of the band members bowed to the audience and thanks us for coming to the show.
A couple of interesting things occurred during the performance. The first was the crowd shouting to have the sound turned up. The thing to know about the MIM is that it has outstanding acoustics and very little amplification is required. However, since this was a rock concert, the audience wanted the sound turned up. Prior to the show, the ushers were passing out ear protection to anyone that wanted them. I go to a lot of concerts and I can tell you that even after the sound was turned up (a little) it was still very pleasant without ear protection. The second funny thing that occurred was during the second set. Someone in the audience shouted out a particular song they wanted to hear. The band has a specific setlist, so Cy very calmly said, “Ah…..No” and then moved on to the next song. I thought it was the perfect comeback that was not insulting to the audience. The MIM is one of my favorite venues in the greater Phoenix area. It is a small venue that has outstanding acoustics and great lighting. If you get a chance to see any show there, you will definitely be delighted.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved
The FIXX Setlist: (Album)
Set # 1: (Reach The Beach)
One Thing Leads to Another
The Sign of Fire
Saved by Zero
Reach the Beach
Set # 2:
Stand or Fall (Shuttered Room)
Less Cities, More Moving People (Phantoms)
Are We Ourselves? (Phantoms)
Chase the Fire (Walkabout)
Driven Out (Calm Animals)
Something Ahead of You (Beautiful Friction)
Shaman (Beautiful Friction)
Deeper and Deeper (Streets of Fire Soundtrack)
Red Skies (Shuttered Room)
Built for the Future (Walkabout)
Secret Separation (Walkabout)