New wave/synthpop musician Howard Jones is on a North American tour and made a stop in Cleveland last night at the Music Box Supper Club.
The English artist is known for 15 top-40 hits in the 80s and early 90s, including No One is to Blame, Everlasting Love, New Song, What is Love, Like to Get to Know You Well, and Life in One Day.
Whereas past tours have featured simply Jones and a piano, this tour adds the flavor of a second synth player and an electronic drummer for a fuller, more rocking sound closer to the way we hear them on his albums.
Jones is a fantastic performer, and he peppered his set with just the right amount of between-song storytelling. He introduced Life in One Day as a song that is full of lies. “The old man said to me don’t always take your life so seriously? That’s a lie, my father never said that. The record company asked for another hit so I made this up,” Jones admitted. “No. Take your life seriously, especially in this day and age.” Although he agreed that learning to “play the flute and dance and sing your song” is pretty good advice, especially given the flute stylings of Ron Burgundy.
A couple times he’d interrupt a song to tell a quick story, like when he stopped New Song‘s chorus to talk about how much the critics hated his music back in the day, but how the public loved it.
For an encore he played Things Can Only Get Better, bringing a fantastic evening to a close. He described it as a mantra for when life isn’t going so well. But after such a fun and inspiring show, things were just about as good as they can get.