‘DREAM INTO ACTION’ was a true ‘Transform’ from fantasy into reality.
Howard Jones is a brilliant artist, he got the chance to state some words of extreme wisdom and value within his segment of ‘The Song That Changed My Life’ series, “life’s too short, it could be over in a minute, if that’s the case, you better just get on with what you wanted to do, get on with your life, don’t be messing about, just go for it, just commit whatever you need to commit to, do what you really like to do.” or “That shows you you’ve got to believe in what you think and not be put off by peoples kind of random opinions, you’ve got to believe in your own work. Don’t listen when people praise you, don’t listen when people have a go at you, just know what you think about, what you’ve done and be happy with that!” Also, “the number 1 rule for songwriting is you have to have something to say when you’ve got something to say then you will communicate something with the listener. I want to write music you know, that has an effect on people.” HOJO goes on further to say when speaking about his children, “we always try to give them a sense of perspective about what’s valuable in life. What’s valuable is your friendships, your state of mind, your relationships with people, that’s what’s valuable, all the other stuff could go tomorrow. So really, what you’re left with is your ability to connect with other people!” All making total sense to this volunteer photojournalist~ words I have and will continue to live by.
Dream Into Actionoccurred for this Wire Megazine photojournalist on June 15th, as HOJO approved my attendance once again, marking show review #5. Howard returned with his band to Niagara Falls, Ontario for yet another sold-out show at Fallsview Casino’s Avalon Ballroom.
Howard’s nonstop creative writing process is driven by what he wants to say and conveys it well, always projecting words of encouragement with a positive message in every song, even connecting with those that suffer from anxiety or depression (like myself). Take his newest hit, ‘Beating Mr. Neg (2019’s album entitled Transform)…..truly hitting close to home for me, as he sang, “Seems like I got a companion that’s embedded in me, has an awful lot to say and says it oh so negatively, wakes me up in the night, with a raging fear, tells me what I can and can’t do, and makes my thinking unclear. I want to shout about it, but I know that I’ll be getting no rest tonight…….I can win this time.” His innovative synth-pop icon songs have stood the test of time, still trailblazing well into the 1st quarter of the third millennium with a brilliant 80s resurgence, touring in celebration of his 13th studio album Transform, (1st album since 2015’s instrumental album Engage), also celebrating musical milestones with his 36th anniversary in the biz on the music scene, and his debut album Human’s Lib turning 35, (released in 1984). The audience acknowledged his gold and certified double-platinum status along with his album sales in access of 8 million copies worldwide.
Howard strolled over to his black RD-2000 Roland piano, sitting with just a dim-lit spotlight accompanied by acoustic stylings of Robin Boult, dressed all in white, the crowd cheered, as he asked the fans, “do you remember the 80’s?” (audience response) “Yeah!” Howard continued, “that was an amazing event, it was called Live Aid. It was the most amazing day. I’m gonna throw out some curves at you tonight, I hope you come
The show virtually exploded from there once Hide and Seek finished with fans enjoying past hits Pearl in the Shell, No One Is to Blame, Everlasting Love, The Human Touch, What Is Love? and New Song while HOJO introduced 3 brand new pieces of instrumental genius from the new album that still resonates that heavy synth signature featuring The One to Love You,
His shows deliver the right measures of fantastic with realistic elements of complexity and tranquility, deeply enriched with introspective delights. Howard writes compositions that are really encouraging ending the climax with optimistic spins “challenge preconceived ideas, to say goodbye to long-standing fears, don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides and to throw off your mental chains.”
Though the 80s synth moved over for 90s grunge, that never waned Howard’s passion for music. He has never been idle, always with his hands in music from all sides since he starting taking piano lessons 57 years ago at the age of 7. Thus leading to his first progressive rock band in his teens called Warrior, then attending the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester UK in the mid-1970s while playing in various bands, one in which he performed with his brothers, called Red Beat. He performed non stop in local venues in the UK leading to his signing with Warner Music in 1983 and the rest they say is history!
Hojo’s latest masterpiece album Transform has a three-dimensional sound that allows his signature heavy synth to shine! Rock n rollicking all over the stage throughout his showcase, spanning back and forth between the keytar, to synth and back to the piano, you sure got to witness his increased stamina and awe-inspiring spirit, with this 64-year-old being in impeccable shape with no signs of slowing down. One of the magical portions of Howard’s shows is how he is still capable of transporting you back to the future.
His presentation featured Robin Boult (of Roger Daltrey, Dave Stewart, and Fish fame) on guitar blending in the technical keyboard styles of extraordinaire Robbie Bronnimann (of Nik Kershaw, Tom Bailey fame) who loves how their classical collides with synths & technology, producing a power trio highly sought, even after 3 decades. Most of HOJO’s appearances experience standing ovations and dancing in the rows, but this time around, Mr. Jones wanted to see his fans up close and having a good time and they obliged, leaving the security to give up control and let the fans rush the stage, truly priceless! The enhanced 80’s hues and trippy 60’s designs formulated the eye-popping backdrops even allowing a current Howard on stage to look back on the screen to see his younger self throughout the show.
Thanks once again Howard Jones for making a difference upon the global music scene, but, thanks most of all for the balance of new magic from your old spells.
Stay in tune with this fast moving entity at http://www.howardjones.com
and see what’s coming up next at https://www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com/entertainment