Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Oct 24th 2010 2:41AM by David Chiu
Jason Persse for AOL
But as Numan said, these shows aren't retro but "a bit of everything," as evidenced by his appearance at New York's Best Buy Theater on Saturday. Playing to a very large, age-diverse crowd inside the venue, Numan and his band, which included two main keyboardists, a bassist, guitarist and drummer, played about 90 minutes' worth of music from his long career.
The stage's minimalist setting, with tall lit-up poles and the smoky haze, added to the dark mood. For the first half of the set, Numan ran down the whole of 'The Pleasure Principle' almost letter-perfectly: from the driven beat of 'Airlane' through the balladry of 'Complex' to, of course, 'Cars.'
To casual audience members who only knew Numan from 'Cars' and didn't pay much attention to the rest of his music after the early '80s were in store for a rude awakening at the show. After he finished performing the synthesizer-dominated songs from 'The Pleasure Principle,' he and the band for the rest of the set churned out hard-hitting and jarring industrial rock highlighted by the use of electric guitars. He also performed two older songs, 'Down in the Park' and 'Are Friends Electric,' from his early Tubeway Army days. The encore consisted of two songs, among them 'A Prayer for the Unborn.'
Judging by Numan's performance onstage, one couldn't tell that this was the same artist who previously canceled a show in Atlanta a couple of days ago after losing his voice. He sounded fine at the New York show; his physical movements consisted of either hunching over his keyboard in the first half of the set or stretching out his arms and rocking out on the guitar for the remaining part of the show.
So is Gary Numan a nostalgia artist because he is performing an album from 30 years ago? Given the stylistic contrast of the music at the show as well as the type of audience -- from 40-somethings who have listened to his music from the beginning to kids who might have heard about him through Nine Inch Nails -- Numan's music still has crossover appeal and relevance. He doesn't have to worry about a thing.