WE, THE HAIRCUTS: A Flock of Seagulls, Animotion, Wang Chung, Naked Eyes, Gary Myrick and Bow Wow Wow play Mandalay Bay Beach on August 10 ($35). Let’s unpack this, shall we? Firstly, you should know that all these artists hail from the 1980s, a decade that has been statistically proven to cause unwarranted nostalgia. (Ask yourself if Transformers was worth the suffering.) Secondly, the only band in this lineup that still has all its original members is Wang Chung, otherwise known as “the band you’re least interested in seeing.” (To be fair, their soundtrack for To Live and Die in L.A. is excellent.) And thirdly, the 1980s are done. We ended them for a good reason: because it was time to put aside our Swatches and jelly bracelets and live in the now. (Also because time is linear and stuff.) If you want to go back to the 1980s, you’ll be going back there without me, because frankly I get the same buzz from a half-bottle of Cabernet as I used to get from dancing in the now-defunct Southern California clubs where this shit was played. The 1980s only look good to us now because most of the music being made today emulates that decade … and, in a way, improves upon it. But I will say that the haircuts were way better back then. Fact.
THE MAN FROM CALIFORNIA: Speaking of nice hair, the stylishly coiffed Chris Isaak performs at The Smith Center on August 14 ($29-$89). I’ve made a case for an Isaak residency in the past, and I will do so again now: He’s a charming performer who loves to tell stories and off-color but inoffensive jokes, and his voice is a warm croon that can fill rooms and hearts with the same fluid motion. I’m sure he can do all that at The Smith Center, but I’m thinking big room at Caesars, surrounded by Cirque performers he can regard with bemused indifference. Make it happen, Vegas.
NOW ON SALE: The Funny or Die Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, with Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords, happens September 21 at Mandalay Bay ($50-$125). The only thing about this stellar pairing that provokes curiosity in me is how I’m gonna get in, because this will almost surely sell out long before show day.