On Saturday, May 31 Berlin rocked Rhino Records in Claremont, Calif. The band took the stage at approximately 1:25 p.m. to treat fans to a free mini-concert before a friendly “meet and greet” signing session. The California-based synth pop band currently includes: Terri Nunn (lead singer), Dave Schulz (keyboards), Carlton Bost (guitar) and Chris Olivas (percussion).
Your all too often penned in penman and his sexy sidekick Mary Sparks had arrived early enough to scope out the interesting audience. It was an interesting mix of multiple races and occasionally pierced faces. There were gray-haired old men and one or two under 10. The energetic opening number was “Masquerade” which focuses on the struggle of making it in the entertainment industry. The second selection was the perquisite piece “The Metro” which gave the audience their first clue that Nunn was still something.
"Sex (I'm A...)" proved that Nunn has lost nothing over the years. Unlike some of her contemporaries she remains lively and youthful with vocals that were still powerful especially in this intimate venue. Before an audience of over 100 people Berlin demonstrated they are still solidly in the game. Nunn even shared a bit of her personal history with those in attendance as an intro to new material.
The music slowed as the band began “Mom” a new number off the album Animal. It was a personal ballad that often elicits an emotional response from Nunn and is admittedly a touching track. It provided a break to the Berlin blast but only momentarily as Nunn quickly bounced into the titular track from the new recording Animal. It was a stark but effective contrast in song styles.
The band closed with another fan favorite from the film Top Gun "Take My Breath Away”. She mesmerized members of the audience by stepping down off the stage and making her way through the throng singing to individuals as they ended the show. One need only briefly make eye contact with Nunn to fully grasp her ability to use her stage presence to conquer the crowd as she so easily did at Rhino Records.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.
(NOTE: This summer fans can see Berlin in Flagstaff, Arizona, Louisville, Kentucky and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Berlin returns home to Orange County for a gig at the Pacific Amphitheater as part of the OC County Fair, on July 23rd. Check their website for details.)