Taylor Dayne and Tiffany in Clearwater: A full-blown ’80s dance party

Live Review

Taylor Dayne. Photo by Chyrisse.

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Live Review: Tiffany and Taylor Dayne at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, Florida – March 23, 2024

Mark Alberici and Tiffany. Photo by Chyrisse

Growing up in the 80s was magical—the music, MTV, and the clothes. Whether watching Dance Party USA or heading to the nightclubs, one would be bombarded with music from Tiffany’s single “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Teens at the time probably didn’t realize it was a remake of Tommy James and the Shondells. A teen herself in the late ‘80s, Tiffany hit the shopping mall circuit, a brilliant strategy at the time, as malls were the meeting place and hangout of the day.

At the nightclubs, we listened to the queen of New York, Taylor Dayne. With her full sultry voice and R&B dance sound, her songs like “Tell It To My Heart” and “Every Beat of My Heart” kept us dancing. And let’s not forget that full head of wild hair we all wish we had.

For nostalgia’s sake, I had to see Tiffany and Taylor Dayne at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, Florida. While walking into the venue, I heard music coming from the Bayfront Sound, an outdoor venue a few blocks away. I heard that Air Supply and Little River Band were performing around the corner (not my cup of tea). I was at the Cap for the dance party—indeed, it was one.

Unusual for the venue, the first few rows of seats were removed so patrons could crowd against the stage and dance. At 8 o’clock, Tiffany appeared on stage with guitarist/producer Mark Alberici and said the two of them would be performing since another musician had taken ill. She entertained the crowd with a couple of her recent singles, “Shadows” and “Beautiful,” as well as old favorites like “All This Time” and “Could’ve Been.” Since her teen days, her voice had become full, womanly, and powerful. I was very impressed. My only criticism is I wish there had been a full band and not a backing track.

Tiffany. Photo by Chyrisse

Tiffany’s warm personality shined as she spoke to the audience between songs. She mentioned, “I have a cookbook coming out. It’s called ‘Pop Life’ and has after-school foods—80s foods. No Cheese Whiz.” She has been working with chefs “around the world” to create a collection of nostalgic and comfort foods. The hiatus during COVID-19 allowed her food creativity to develop. Additionally, she thanked Hamburger Mary’s in Jacksonville for holding an event for her in 2021.  

Tiffany shared memories of making a beach-themed video for the ballad “Feelings Are Forever.” Many standing near the stage were canoodling and swaying arm-in-arm. Arms holding cell phones as flashlights waved as she sang the emotional “Could’ve Been.”

She told the audience, “I was on the Masked Singer UK as the Eiffel Tower.” Wearing the masked costume was difficult to see and maneuver, she recounted. While on the show, she had the opportunity to sing various songs and fell in love with Robbie William’s “Angel.” Produced by Alberici, she explained this would be her next single. This point in the show was moving and emotional as she walked into the audience singing and, without missing a beat, stopped to take selfies with people.

The set ended with “I Think We’re Alone Now” as everyone rose out of their seats to dance. Honestly, it was a fun show, and I have new respect for Tiffany as an artist and entertainer.

Taylor Dayne. Photo by Chyrisse.

Next, Taylor Dayne walked out on stage with a silver sequin dress covered by a white satin robe. A full band flanked her as support. The venue had turned into a full-blown dance party. Her voice is unbelievable as this petite woman belted out songs with power. The original recordings were over-engineered because, in person, they were full and sultry. Pure soul. Her hair was blowing from a fan as she danced across the stage, squatted to shake hands with people, and brought all the hits like “Every Beat of My Heart” to life. The support band offered harmonies, bringing the music to a new level.

Taylor Dayne. Photo by Chyrisse.

Between songs, she chatted with the audience, saying, “These are pop songs. They were on the radio.” She stressed that she has been “doing this for 35 years” and that “music is what brings us together.” Being in Florida, was special to her because she wrote “Tell It To My Heart” here 35 years ago.

She recalled her early years, saying, “I was the girl from New York with the hair and the lips. I was nominated (in 1989) for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.” Anita Baker won in the R&B category, and Tracy Chapman won in the Pop Vocal category. She noted that the album of the year was George Michael’s Faith. 

Dayne removed her jacket as she sang, “I’ll Always Love You” and “I’ll Be a Shelter for You” (which was originally written for Tina Turner, who passed on it). Like Tiffany, the lights came on as she sang through the audience. People were eating it up, cell phone taping, and dancing. Returning to the stage, she asked, “How are you feeling? Lubricated? Flexible?”

Possibly a highlight was her emotional version of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” She met Prince 34 years ago and said the song was “Timeless. Ageless. Music knows no color, no religion. We all have the energy within us.” She continued naming all the legends we have lost in recent years—Michael Jackson, David Bowie, David Crosby, Olivia Newton-John, and Tina Turner, to name a few.

The concert was better than I had anticipated. The quality of these two women—voices and entertainment—exceeds what I initially perceived. Anybody who wants to enjoy music from the ‘80s (and likes to dance) should seek out this show. As I understand, they may have a residency in Vegas.

PHOTO GALLERY

 

 

Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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