On Friday night, the "awesome"-ly talented 80s music cover band Rubix Kube put on the show to end all shows. Theirs is the quintessential 80s act, as their "The Eighties Strike Back" show proved at the Gramercy. Cherie Martorana and Scott Lovelady fronted the band as a vocal duo who captured every aspect of the 80s sound. Steve Brown of the band Trixter shredded his way through "Eruption" with epic mastery. The other members, including saxophonist Michael Ghegan and guest-starring Dee Snider, helped round out a night that was "totally rad."
The band exhibited a near endless repertoire of 80s tunes, from the quirky new wave to the best of hair metal. They played tunes from Nina, AC/DC, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister, Madonna and Michael Jackson. And of course, ending it all with "Video Killed The Radio Star" was a foregone conclusion.
The pre-show started with a "Final Countdown" from 10 minutes that ended with an introduction by the inimitable Max Headroom. An astronaut with flag in hand brought the MTV logo to life, and Chewbacca strutted the stage. During the show, the astronaut shot confetti out of the base of the flagpole, ninety-nine red balloons were dropped on the audience and Dee Snider himself took the mike and sang "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock!"
Among the fans, big hair, neon and multi-hued leopard skin spandex set the tone. Offering a true trip back in time, the merchandised t-shirt had a "Back to the Future" style logo that screamed Doc Brown and Marty McFly. It was impossible to not get caught up in the enthusiasm.
In retrospect, the show did more than just transport one back to a simpler time. It helped those who lived through that time to realize just how optimistic we all were about the future, before the cynicism of the 90s or the post-terrorist fears of the 00's set in. Perhaps the function of a band like Rubix Cube is not simply to keep the past alive. Perhaps, so close to the "future" of 2015, the purpose of a band like Rubix Kube is to help us remember to look forward - with something akin to hope.