Tainted Love Unites All Ages in San Jose

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As I prepared to attend last Friday's Tainted Love concert, at the Voodoo Lounge in San Jose, I asked my colleague and friend, Noah Zaves, whether or not we should attend dressed in 80's attire.  He responded to me, "This is a nice, upper class club and I do not believe people will be dressing up.  You should wear casual, yet nice, attire that you would wear to go out."  When we arrived to the club in downtown San Jose, we surprised and happy to discover that our prejudgment of the crowd had been incorrect: about 1/4 of the crowd showed up in some resemblance of 80's attire.  (I then quickly touched up my appearance to fit the genre).  It was wonderful to see how this band attracted a crowd with a variety of ages, beginning with (and the majority being) the 80's babies, who had not fully experienced the 80's culture, yet were still passionate about it due to its lasting wonders, and ending with people who experienced the 80's during their 20's and have remained passionate about the 80's. 

The excitement for the show was evident in the attire, mood and behavior of the crowd and very contagious all around.  (I also believe that the HUGE disco ball in the center of the dance floor aroused a lot of excitement and had an enchanting effect on the crowd, the atmosphere and the experience).  Even the security guard stated that the band and music attracted a different kind of crowd and atmosphere. He said this crowd seemed to be having a lot more fun than usual.  

The people who had dressed up for the event seem to have a different dynamic, that stood out before the show began.  The crowd that had dressed up had a young age range.  All of them seemed to be very prideful of their outfits, and associated the music a lot with the attire.  When I walked into the bathroom, one girl who was dressed-up looked at another who was dressed up and looked at me and said, "Yes, thank you! No one else dressed up!" 

A lot of people we talked to commented on how passionate they were about 80's music as well as fashion, regardless of whether they were dressed up or not.  One of the interviewees said she was a big fan of the 80's because "you can dress up as crazy or funky as you want, and you look cool."  She also said that dancing to 80's music is the same. You can get as crazy and funky as you want when dancing to 80's music, and you become the cool one.       

However, when the show began, everyone, dressed up or not, began showing their passion for the 80's.  The crowd was seen constantly jumping up and down, singing the words to the songs, getting funky in their dancing, and having a great time.  Tainted Love did a wonderful job creating great energy for the show.  They played great 80's hit songs. They were very dynamic on stage, dancing and trying to arouse the crowd. And, of course, they came in full 80's attire, which greatly added to the experience of watching them and associating them with the 80's. 

Every time the music became intense, and the singers would move around more and throw their hands in the air to the music, the crowd would follow the same movements.  Also, during the choruses of the hit songs, the band would stop singing and hold the microphone towards the crowd to allow the crowd to sing the chorus. Every time this happened, the crowd became louder and more energetic.  Through these actions by the members of Tainted Love, the crowd became more aroused by the music and became more connected to the music and the band.  At the end of the show, the whole crowd started chanting, "One more song!"  This was an incredible end to a great show and proof of Tainted Love's success. 

EBAC thanks Tainted Love for access to this show.

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