New wave reunion

Human League and ABC back-to-back

PREVIEW I'm too young to know for sure whether or not it's normal that so many older bands are re-forming to record novelty albums and go on reunion tours, but it certainly does seem strange. I mean, sure, there's the money (just check the inflated ticket prices) and the thrill of seeing thousands of aging fans sing along to all your songs — but at some point it must get kind of depressing to realize they would probably rather be teleported back to 1981 when they could see you for $10 in a small club when everyone was 40 pounds lighter.

But nostalgia is a powerful thing, and the reunion-industrial complex keeps chugging on. This summer's Regeneration Tour unites all the best new wavers — the Human League and ABC included. Unfortunately, it's bypassing San Francisco, so we'll have to settle for back-to-back shows at smaller venues. On Saturday night, Sheffield, England synth pioneers the Human League performs at the Mezzanine. The band, which never officially broke up, put out its last album of fresh material in 2001, the much-overlooked Secrets (Ark 21). On Sunday, ABC plays the Independent, drawing material from its first batch of new songs in 11 years, 2008's Traffic (Vibrant).

But, hey, who am I to judge? I'm sure one day I'll shell out $150 to see the Strokes at the Greek Theatre so I can experience two hours of joy before rushing home to pay the babysitter. I only hope they play "12:51."

HUMAN LEAGUE With DJs Skip and Shindog. Sat/9, 8 p.m., $40. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. (415) 625-8880, ABC With DJ Funklor. Sun/10, 8 p.m., $27. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1421,

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