15th February 2014
GARY NUMAN, one of the big heroes of the eighties, was touring again! Sure that we had to attend one of the shows. Our choice was the Frankfurt show, taking place at the cosy club DAS BETT, a club that is not too big and so it was no wonder that the concert was sold-out at the end.
Though being involved in several other little bands before, GARY NUMAN’s career really started with THE TUBEWAY ARMY, the band he would rise to fame with and spawn hits like ‘Are Friends Electric?’. With ‘The Pleasure Principle’ (1979) and ‘Telekon’ (1980, now using the alias GARY NUMAN) he’d be releasing two albums incredibly successful. Especially in the UK NUMAN’s next effort ‘Dance’ (1981) marked a departure from his established sound trademarks going in a rather experimental, jazzier direction and a mixed critical reaction with some praising the album and others carelessly dismissing it. With the album ‘Warriors’ (1983), a phase of artistic decline sustained throughout the 80s which first was resolved with the release of the album ‘Sacrifice’ in 1994, seen as a return to form for the British artist and critically well-received and his next two albums ‘Exile’ and ‘Pure’ would continue to gradually restore his reputation, even being named the “godfather of synth music” supposedly by the same critics that once saw him as spent force. The latest album wears the name ‘Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)’ and was out in last October. Solo artist NUMAN is supported on stage by a four-piece band consisting of drums (Frank Zummo), guitar, bass and keyboards. http://www.garynuman.com / https://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial
Music & Performance
We already attended the club the night before where we had a great concert experience. Could this show compare with it? It could! Even though it was something totally different and the audience was much “darker“ than the day before. When we arrived at the club at seven, a small crowd was already waiting before. Not enough to fill the club, but very soon, people flooded the venue and short before the beginning at eight, the club was packed with people being very eager to see NUMAN. And let me tell you, fans came not only from the region, there were also devoted fans coming from UK or The Netherlands. There was no support band planned and short past eight, the concert already started. This might sound a bit early for a Saturday evening, but there was a party scheduled afterwards… and I personally did not mind about an earlier beginning. Finally, the “Godfather of Electronic Music” and accompanying band were entering the stage to start with ‘Resurrection’, followed by ‘I Am Dust’, the opening track of the current album.
The setlist on that tour was dominated by the new album. There were nearly all songs played. The new tunes were matching perfectly to the old hits and so covered all the bases. Favourites from the new album were i.e. ‘The Calling’, a song being quite dark and gloomy, and ‘Splinter’ bringing a lot of power onto stage. NUMAN was in top form – vocally and performance-wise. He acted very vivid… just like we know from the past. There was no static performance, no lazy food nodding behind the microphone and such crap. The man wandered around, often with the complete microphone stand and rocked to the music and displayed undying fun performing live. Not quite the shy type I expected to see. Of course GARY and the band knew that a few old hits needed to go into the setlist. One of the audience’s favourites of course was the 1979 hit ‘Cars’ completely re-vamped with fantastic sound. Another old hit was ‘Are Friends Electric?’ when cheers ran through the crowd with the first piano lines. During the key melody the entire audience joined forces for an “Oohoohh, Ohhoohh”. Fantastic!
Overall, this show was a great mix of dark and expressive energy that was perfectly transported into the audience. Together with great live musicians, GARY had the crowd completely in his hands. The concert ended with one more song from the current album, ‘My Last Day’, a perfect ending for the show and anyone later left the venue with a good feeling I believe.
02. I Am Dust
04. Everything Comes Down to This
06. Here in the Black
07. The Fall
08. The Calling
09. Down in the Park
14. When the Sky Bleeds, He Will Come
15. We're the Unforgiven
16. Love Hurt Bleed
17. A Prayer for the Unborn
18. I Die: You Die
19. Are 'Friends' Electric?
20. My Last Day
Total: 9 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.black-cat-net.de / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)