The Bangles are one of those bands that, if you’re under the age of 30, you’ve probably heard of them, but you might not remember their songs. In fact, they evoke the quintessential saying of “They were big in the ‘80s!” Seriously though, you probably grew up listening to their songs without even knowing it, especially if hits like “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian” ring a bell for you.
Finishing their tour run in Australia, the classic all-girl rock band made an appearance as the headliner at Daisy Rock’s charity event, The Bangles Tribute Concert & 6th Annual Pretty in Punk. The night was a genre-mixing lineup of girl-fronted bands, featuring various openers such as 5 O’Clock Shakedown, Janet Robin, sASSafrASS, and The Dollyrots (who I swear reminded me of the movie Josie and the Pussycats). Aside from their own sets, each of the bands played a cover of their favorite or most influential Bangles song. Most of the chick singers onstage said something along the lines of “I can’t believe I’m opening for the Bangles!!”
When the Bangles took the stage, it was an instant blast from the past. I love seeing older popular bands perform because, while they don’t always have an amazing live sound (they don’t have to, they came from a different age of music), they just ooze the showmanship that tells us they’ve been doing this for decades. The band wasn’t the same group you would have seen in the ‘80s, as former bassist Michael Steele left the group in 2005, but they still commanded the stage with their energy and charisma.
Even without a polished live sound that newer generation bands need to have to be successful, they play the same songs they’ve had for a quarter century as if they were rocking them out for the first time three decades ago. Not even a Bangles fan myself, I had a killer time watching them.
Their set list had a few of the crowd favorites—that I was pleasantly surprised to see even kids in the audience were singing along to—such as “Manic Monday,” “Eternal Flame,” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” They pulled out some other driving rock songs from the ‘80’s like “If She Knew What She Wants,” “Hero Takes a Fall,” and “Silent Treatment.”
Typical of Bangles live performances, they also performed some of their popular covers, including “Pushin’ Too Hard” (The Seeds) and “Open My Eyes” (Nazz/Todd Rundgren). They even did their best-selling cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter,” for which they brought up guest guitarist and songwriter Charlotte Caffee, known for her work with the Go-Go’s and having written the hit song “We Got the Beat.”
If you haven’t seen the Bangles live, and if you have any respect for female-driven rock bands (which you should), this is one to check out next time they’re in town. Their influence on female artists is unmistakable, and they’re an important part of rock and roll history that you only get to see every once in a while.
You can pick up any of their albums or singles on iTunes.
The Bangles Set List:
01. Silent Treatment
02. Manic Monday
03. He’s Got a Secret
04. If She Knew What She Wants
05. Going Down to Liverpool
06. Eternal Flame
07. In Your Room
08. Hazy Shade of Winter (cover)
09. Open My Eyes (cover)
10. Ride the Ride
11. Hero Takes a Fall
12. Walk Like an Egyptian
13. Pushin’ Too Hard (cover)
For more information on The Bangles, visit their website:
Or their MySpace: