City Paper is not for tourists
In 1984, a 40-second clip in a John Hughes film made Spandau Ballet’s imprint on popular culture permanent. The British new-wave band’s most famous tune, “True,” achieved broad popularity in 1983, but once it soundtracked Molly Ringwald’s teen angst during Sixteen Candles’ dance scene, it adopted new significance, especially among suburban teens. That assist forever linked singer Tony Hadley’s earnest, lounge-singer vocals and funereal attire to a specific era, and it continues to influence contemporary artists—in addition to appearing in dozens of commercials over the past 30 years, the infectious hook (“Ha-hah-hah-hahhh-hahhh/I know this much is true”) can be heard on P.M. Dawn’s “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” and Lloyd’s “You.” “True” propelled Spandau Ballet from Live Aid to London’s O2 Arena for the band’s 2009 reunion tour. The live response to other hits like “Gold” is always warm, but “True” is a karaoke essential that should ignite the crowd and revive everyone’s inner teenager. Spandau Ballet performs at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $45. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.