Club Madrid inside the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in Henderson doubled for a makeshift time machine as the crowd entered and went back in time to see 80’s icons Martha Davis and the Motels on March 10. Fans of all ages stepped into Club Madrid for what felt like a trip back some 35 years ago to the early 80’s.
Although the first incarnation of The Motels formed as early as 1971, the band is generally lumped in with the many pop bands from the early 80’s who were mostly known for their here today, gone tomorrow burst on the scene, with that one-hit wonder that sometimes stood the test of time. The Motels of course had their one iconic hit back in 1982 with “Only the Lonely.” What made The Motels a little different from most bands of the time is that they managed to catch lightening in a bottle a couple of more times, when “Suddenly Last Summer” peaked at #9 on the Billboard charts in 1983, and “Take the L out of Lover” also received success and much airplay as well.
After embarking on a solo career, Martha Davis reformed as Martha Davis and the Motels back in 1997. Almost one year ago to the date, they released a 27 song collection of songs recorded between 2002-2006 titled If Not Now, Then When which attempted to introduce a whole new generation to The Motels.
Martha Davis and The Motels have been out on tour playing songs, including the title track from the latest release, mixed in with the vast catalogue from the past. In testament to incredible vocal abilities to Martha Davis, it was interesting that she managed to keep the crowd engaged throughout the entire show, and nobody seemed to be just sitting there on their hands waiting on the songs they knew, which befalls so many of the 80’s one-hit wonder pop bands. None of us are getting any younger, and although the hair has silvered a bit, Davis' voice that defined The Motels was still surprisingly as strong as it once was.
In order for a concert experience to seem like a trip back in time to the 80’s, there has to be something that defines it and takes you back to that special time. Martha Davis’ powerful vocal performance on the evening is exactly what made the inside of Club Madrid feel like 1982 all over again.
martha Davis and the Motels photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos