Local concert celebrates music of the '80s

In the latest tribute concert to hit the Kimball Theatre stage, three bands will deliver a dose of '80s nostalgia.

For John Spence, guitarist and lead singer of DOG Street Boys, the decade was "irreplaceable."

"(The music) takes you back to a time and helps you reminisce about a time where life was carefree and fun," Spence said. "You were able to just enjoy life and each other."

The Williamsburg-based DOG Street Boys joins Virginia Beach's BJ Griffin and the Galaxy Groove and acoustic duo Ball and Chain to pay tribute to Prince, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, INXS, Tears for Fears and more on Oct. 1 at Kimball Theatre.

Presented by CultureFix, "Time After Time: An '80s Tribute Concert" is the latest musical tribute curated by Shirley Vermillion, founder and director of Second Sundays and a director at Culture-Fix. Past concerts organized by Vermillion, along with local musician James Drake, include tributes to Bob Dylan and music of the 1950s.

Though BJ Griffin, 28, didn't experience much of the '80s, he finds much to appreciate in music from the decade, music that Griffin described as simple, yet powerful.

"It was accessible and still is accessible to people who aren't musicians," said Griffin, the lead singer and cellist of BJ Griffin and the Galaxy Groove.

The six-piece band will cover Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince and Herbie Hancock, to name a few. Griffin said the band usually arranges songs in its own style, but for this concert, the Galaxy Groove hopes to capture the original songs and sounds.

For Spence, who graduated from Lafayette High School in the late '80s, the music is about memories.

"We can remember where we were when we heard these songs, or when we were listening to them," he said.

DOG Street Boys adds a guest keyboardist to its usual four instruments for Saturday's concert, and the band also welcomes two guest singers for select songs, including recent Lafayette graduate Abbey Potter.

Rounding out the lineup is Ball and Chain, an acoustic rock duo composed of Jon and Lucinda Piro.

"I think it's a fun weekend, with Occasion for the Arts," Vermillion said.

Bridges can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342.

Want to go?

When: Doors open at 6:30 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m., Oct. 1

Where: Kimball Theatre, 424 W. Duke of Gloucester St.

Tickets: $25, available at culture-fix.org/events, from the Kimball Theatre box office or by calling 1-800-HISTORY.

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