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Gallery: The Totally Tubular Festival revives the 80s with new wave tour

Fans of 1980s new wave had the chance to relive some of the decade’s hits when the Totally Tubular Festival lineup visited Arizona Financial Theatre on Wednesday. Though headliner Thomas Dolby had to bow out due to illness, the rest of the lineup kept the energy up for a show that had the whole room dancing.

Bow Wow Wow and The Tubes started the evening with their own takes on the new wave genre, culminating in some stellar performances of “I Want Candy” and much more. But it was when Ivan Doroschuk of Men Without Hats took the stage to the tune of the iconic “Safety Dance” that the audience all but leapt to their feet to groove along. The reformed Canadian band also closed with the tune and their set invigorated the crowd for the final two acts. 

Modern English provided the direct support for the Phoenix show, bringing their restrained version of new wave to an eager crowd. “Long in the Tooth” and “Crazy Lovers” drew great response from the fans but it was “I Melt With You” that had the biggest sing-a-long moment of the night- to the delight of the band.

Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins got bumped up to the headliner for the night and sauntered onstage- tambourine in hand and dressed to the nines in a crisp white suit- and the crowd went wild. Backed by a band of stellar multi-instrumentalists, he ran through a slew of hits that kept the crowd on their feet and partying into the night on a weekday.

The nostalgia of the Totally Tubular Festival was enough to draw an amazing number of people to downtown Phoenix and they dug through their closets to relive the fashion and party scene of the 80s. The tour rolls on across the country this summer and if you’re still vibing to new wave, it’s a show you won’t want to miss.