Whether you lived through it or were a child of it, the 80s were truly a decade unlike any other. From the overly teased bangs to the scary abundance of neon and fanny packs, everyone can certainly remember a few highs and, of course, those inevitable lows of that totally tubular timeframe.
As a tribute of sorts — and let’s be honest, just a reason to relive the 80s again — the Minnesota Orchestra will present “80s Rewind: Totally Awesome Hits of the Decade” on May 6 and 7 — re-scored, grand-scale performances of the greatest tunes from the iconic decade.
Between Madonna and Michael Jackson to Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses, the audience will no doubt be transported back in time where “the bigger, the better” applied to both hair and parachute pants. Leading the 80s time machine is Sarah Hicks, the principal conductor of pops and presentations — and a serious fan of the 80s.
Hicks hinted that she’ll take her role as leader of the 80s music seriously — ensuring her outfit is in accordance to the era. While she wouldn’t give anything away, one can only hope a good amount of Aqua Net will be involved.
Before the show, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at a few of Hicks’ favorites from the decade she’ll be paying homage to this weekend. So without further delay, here are her picks for the best of the 80s.
Best 80s song: “Oh man, that’s like choosing a favorite child. I’ll have to go with ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran, at the time.”
Best 80s actor: “That’s a good one. So hard to choose. Matthew Broderick in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’”
Best 80s actress: “Molly Ringwald.”
Best 80s quote: “From ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,’ the quote is, ‘Be excellent to each other and party on dudes.’ That really encapsulates the 80s.”
Best 80s fashion faux paus: “Pretty much everything, but I have to say the most egregious, I think, was jelly shoes, because who thought jelly on feet was comfortable? That was the most uncomfortable 80s fashion faux paus.”
Best 80s rock band: “How do you choose? I like them all. But what was I really a fan of? I was kind of a Def Leppard fan. (Laughs) Which, I know, is kind of weird. We’re not doing Def Leppard, but hey, I loved them. The hair metal? I was really into that for a period.”
Best 80s pop star: “Michael Jackson. I know he’s not necessarily 80s but ‘Thriller’ was 80s and that’s when he really came to the floor. Man, yeah, he could do everything, ya know? Sing, dance, have plastic surgery, it was amazing.”
Best 80s movie: “If I had to pick one, for me, ‘The Breakfast Club.’”
Best 80s hairstyle: “I guess kind of the mullet was kinda 80s. I honestly, I had a perm in the 80s because you know those were cool back then. The perm. The big poofy hair with bangs. I might have some old prom photos but they might be kind of horrifying.”
Best 80s accessory: “The best 80s accessory? Oh gosh, I don’t know if it was the best, but the ones that we all had were the rubber bracelets that Madonna made popular. That was like the big thing. I actually think I still have rubber bracelets from the 80s. I might be wearing them for the show. That’s how sad it is.”
Janet or Madonna: “I pick Madonna, just because she was also a fashion icon.”
Footloose or Flashdance: “Oh that’s so hard. I love them both. I like the ‘Footloose’ song better but I like the ‘Flashdance’ movie better. And also because I still own sweatshirts with the neckline cut out.”
Flashdance or Dirty Dancing: “Oh, ‘Dirty Dancing,’ because nobody puts baby in the corner. I love that quote and I just think Patrick Swayze is dreamy in that. I think it’s the ultimate romantic role.”
Best 80s trainwreck: “The worst 80s trainwreck? I guess the serious answer would be communism. (Laughs) But who was the worst 80s trainwreck? In terms of celebrities that cashed out? I don’t know. We’ll have one serious answer — communism, well, actually it’s not that serious but yeah. Oh wait, for a celebrity meltdown: Milli Vanilli. Late 80s when they were stripped of their Grammy.”
Your favorite 80s memory: “Oh gosh, high school dances or junior high, high school dances. I went to my first dances in the 80s, late 80s. And you know how you used to dance back in the day, where you had your arms on the guy’s shoulders and he’s got em kind of around your waist and you have to maintain that distance. It was still a slightly more innocent time back then, 20 years ago. I just remember those dances and those incredibly awkward moments. (Laughs) But listening to that really great pop music, which is why I think that’s what sticks in our heads for those of us who are children of the 80s. And the prom dresses were some of the poofiest things ever.”
80s trend you wish was back in style: “Well actually it already is. I loved leggings. I find them so comfortable and I’ve been delighted that they’ve been back in fashion the last several years. They show no signs of going away. Everything old is new again. I can’t think of anything else — no leg warmers, no shoulder pads, no, none of that. I think leggings is the only viable fashion option. Unless it’s neon, but I only like neon in small doses. It’s popping up a little on the runways but it was the big thing in the 80s, everything was neon.”
80s guilty pleasure: “There’s so many. I actually have all the John Hughes movies and I still watch them pretty regularly. ‘Sixteen Candles,’ ‘Pretty In Pink,’ ‘Breakfast Club’ all of those. I just think he was such a good filmmaker and he really captured the 80s in those films and being a teen in the 80s, which I was, so that always takes me back.”
“80s Rewind: Totally Awesome Hits of the Decade with the Minnesota Orchestra” will take place at 8 p.m. May 6 and 7 at the Minnesota Orchestra. For tickets and more information, click here.