New wave sensation Berlin featuring Terri Nunn entertained a full house of die-hard fans at City Winery, playing mostly ‘80s classics that once ruled the pop culture landscape, peppered with a couple tracks from 2013’s revitalized “Animal” release. Throughout it all, longtime leader Nunn and the current players commanded the stage with a confident presence and a visceral love for an enduring songbook that continues to connect with multiple generations.
Further proving its ability to reinvent, Berlin stripped the synth pop stylings of “No More Words” into an acoustic arrangement, which brought to life the familiar melody in the most pleasantly unexpected way.
Indeed the front woman’s magnetic connection with the audience was apparent all night, especially when she wound through the tables to perform “Pictures Of You.” Her voice sounded as strong as ever, while her demeanor of reaching out to faithful along the way resembled a graceful diva tempered with time and wisdom.
In fact, her brightly radiating light cast sparks to those around her, inspiring the rest of the band with every beat as they oozed additional conviction. Alongside originals such as “Masquerade” and “Take My Breath Away,” Berlin also broke into Jefferson Airplane’s psychedelic staple “Somebody To Love” (dedicated to front woman Grace Slick), but it more closely resembled the techno side of the dance floor.
Further proving its ability to reinvent, Berlin stripped the synth pop stylings of “No More Words” into an acoustic arrangement, which brought to life the familiar melody in the most pleasantly unexpected way. Nunn even wove in a few lyrics of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon,” channeling Stevie Nicks as a salute to yet another female pop/rock pioneer.
Beyond merely music, the screens on each side of the stage showed artistic video montages, alongside more candid clips that gave a greater glimpse to life behind the scenes. The supplementation served as an effective device to chronicle just how far Berlin has come, and while the group will always be inseparable from the ‘80s, the tunes hold up just as well in 2016.
For additional information on Berlin, visit BerlinPage.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at City Winery include Popa Chubby & Matthew Curry (Aug. 10); The Fixx (Aug. 11); Billy Joe Shaver (Aug. 18); Al Di Meola (Aug. 19); Vivian Green (Aug. 20); Buffy Sainte-Marie (Aug. 24); Eric Roberson (Aug. 25-27) and Frank McComb (Aug. 31). For additional details, visit CityWinery.com/Chicago.