The Astor Theatre
Sunday, May 24, 2014
One has to admire Gary Numan. There are not many artists in the popular music field that have been around as much as him and maintained their creativity and popularity without compromising with either. He survived huge success and kept on going, changing his style and not so much kept reinventing as kept developing it.
The night was dark and gloomy, with sporadic rain, and it was great to see the audience consisting of three generations of Numan lovers. When the show was about to start the mood lifted up one notch and from when the band came on stage until the end of the encore there was nothing but excitement in the air.
They started, as seems to be the case on most recent shows, with Resurrection and I Am Dust. Sound mix was amazing from the beginning – loud enough, but never ear-piercing – and each instrument perfectly balanced in the mix. It must be said that the band is on par with Gary. It was a true pleasure hearing all four members having their own moments during the set, as well as working incredibly well with each other and the group as a whole.
Numan’s vocal performance was immaculate. He delivered every line with precision and passion and he was theatrical enough to suit the mood of the songs. From memory, he only spoke to the crowd twice, just saying thanks, but he was never cold and the audience could feel it and responded with very positive vibes.
Despite the volume and intensity of Gary Numan and his band’s music, the songs they produce together are basically great pop songs, with hooks and choruses. Thumping beats, pumping bass, screaming guitar and ominous keys hide inside very catchy tunes, regardless of their mostly dark mood.
It’s rarely that the show is great without the great audience and the Sunday’s night crowd was nothing but. Most people filled the front area, with a few of us watching it from the back. In recent years Numan has been enjoying what one could call a cult status almost bordering with big success. The punters at the show were there to see him and his band and they loved every second of it.
The artist carefully placed two of three old hits in the middle of the set – Down In The Park was slightly slower and more sinister, while Cars was played at the volume of 11, however the audience reacted even better to his newer stuff. Are Friends Electric was left for the encore, together with I Die: You Die and My Last Day.
We left into the night happy.
Gary Numan – Photo by Michael Caves