The last time bandleader Jeff Lynne brought the Electric Light Orchestra on a full-scale North American Tour, Ronald Reagan was a newbie in the White House and songs from the “Xanadu” soundtrack were still in rotation on contemporary pop radio stations.
For South Florida fans, you’d have to go back even farther than 1981’s Time Tour.
Unless memory fails, the last time ELO played a South Florida stage with one of its lavish laser and spaceship visual concerts— the old Hollywood Sportatorium — you’d be talking the Out of the Blue Tour in 1977-78 or maybe the tour for the 1979 “Discovery” album. (Fans, help us out here.)
After testing us out with about 10 dates last summer, which included an August concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Lynne is bringing his retooled and rebranded band, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, to the States for a 20-date summer 2019 tour.
This one makes it south, with two Florida dates. On July 7, the Bristish musicians play Tampa’s Amalie Arena. On July 9, the group plays Sunrise’s BB&T Center.
American Express card members can buy tickets at the presale that begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. But this doesn’t ensure better seats than the general public gets when those tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 29.
Tickets range from $115 to $175 via www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets will also be available at the BB&T Center Box Office beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Reviews for the abbreviated leg were good.
“Jeff Lynne’s ELO revives ‘70s symph-pop greatness… a brilliant catalog returns to U.S. stages and gives the strings-starved people what they want. The ELO catalog speaks for itself… and it was a glorious thing to behold… in a 19-song set that reprised the closest thing to truly Beatle-level pop the 1970s had to offer,” Variety gushed.
A 23-track live album, “Wembley or Bust,” from the UK concert was released in November 2017 and included a concert film shot at the show. Hearing songs in a live setting like “Shine a Little Love,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Telephone Line” and “Livin’ Thing” was an instant shot back to the late 1970s.