On Saturday, May 31 Berlin rocked Romano’s Concert Lounge in Riverside, Calif. The band took the stage at approximately 10:45 p.m. complete with a custom music video introduction. The California-based synth pop band current roster features: Terri Nunn (lead singer), Dave Schulz (keyboards), Carlton Bost (guitar) and Chris Olivas (percussion).
Your rather reclusive writer had braved the real world and the California freeways at the behest of Nunn herself whom he’d met earlier in the day at Rhino Records in Claremont, Calif. So bereft of his sexy sidekick Mary Sparks, your rockin’ reporter arrived early in an attempt to get familiar with this noteworthy venue.
Fortunately, the lovely lady at the door had spoken to Nunn personally and knew all about the arrival of your mild-mannered reporter. It was a steamy Saturday night singles crowd being willingly warmed-up by an in-house DJ complete with old school dance tunes.
There were far too many single girls on the dance floor. Unfortunately, your rascally writer was working. Business before pleasure, boys and girls. (Besides, after meeting the stunning Nunn these ladies all but paled in comparison.)
Nevertheless, it was an interesting audience awaiting the arrival of Berlin. There were girls without shoes and guys drenched in booze, men in hats and girls with tats, college-age cuties and those with big booties. When Berlin broke into their opening number, “Masquerade”, this crowd was more than ready to rock.
The band was apparently well-rested after their earlier appearance at Rhino Records and the moved quite seamlessly from the initial offering into the first top 40 hit “No More Words” and “Touch” from the second Berlin album Love Life. It was quickly followed by the eagerly anticipated earworm “The Metro.”
Nunn next paused and made a few comedic comments about the vocal styles of The Bee Gees which she had heard while getting her hair and make-up prepped for the gig. After briefly imitating them she stated: “I could never f*ck anyone who sings like that.” (D@mn, and your randy writer had been practicing “Stayin’ Alive” especially for the occasion.)
The next set opened on “Animal”. This is the titular track from Berlin’s noteworthy new CD. It was followed by another1984 Love Life track “Pictures Of You” which was yet another song to be featured in the band’s accompanying video show. As they performed a new song about Nunn’s “fear of people” outside of the performance venues—“Nice To Meet You”—she was piggybacked slowly through the appreciative audience.
The SRO crowd responded well to the 1982 title track “Pleasure Victim” as well, which is a song about self-pleasure from a female point of view. They performed the apt for the upcoming holiday “Blame It On The World” which was written for her father the late actor Larry Nunn. Ironically, her father, who died at age 49, actually performed the song “Come Home, Father” in the 1940 film Strike Up the Band.
During the song “With The Lights On” early bird arrivals were called up to dance onstage with the band. One of the best moments, of course, was when they performed "Sex (I'm A...)" proved once again that Nunn is still stunning and energetic onstage. They encored with the quirky touching tune “Mom” which offers insight into Nunn’s past, the fan favorite from the film Top Gun "Take My Breath Away”.
There last song was a cover of the 1967 Jefferson Airplane hit “Somebody To Love” which is included as a tuneful tip of the hat to one of Nunn's inspirations, Grace Slick and is on the new album Animal. The band rocked it enough to own it but not to the point where they made it unrecognizable. Terri Nunn and Berlin took control of the club and owned the audience. Nunn, in fact radiated the excitement she feels for the new album, Animal, and this tour.
"Even though it's more work than I've done in years, I love it and I want to do it, because I love the music"she confided. The love was reaily apparent, too. It was a great show and your rockin’ reviewer simply has “No More Words”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.