06 December 2017 (gig)
09 December 2017
From a guy who had once announced once his "retirement" from touring in 1981 (no, the retirement did not last), electronic music pioneer Gary Numan has had a very active life on the road during his career, and has played a good number of gigs as of late. While promoting his new product, 2017s “Savage (Songs from a Broken World) record, Numan performed to a pretty packed house at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA on December 4, 2017.
Kicking off the show with the initial track form the "Savage" album, “Ghost Nation,” a tale of a post apocalyptic world, before going way back to 1979s “Metal” from his breakthrough solo disc, “The Pleasure Principal,” Numan was fully in control of his very hardcore fan base.
Backed by an ace four piece ensemble, Numan enraptured the audience from the start. Again shifting from his different eras of creativity, Numan did a moody take of "Everything Comes Down To This," (from Numans 2012 CD "Splinter" (Songs from a Broken Mind") a song of a dying relationship led into “Down in the Park,” a fear of technology being used for violence from Numans former 70's new wave group, Tubeway Army.
A hugely innovative pioneer in the electronic, industrial, and electronic dance music genres, Numan had widely influenced a slew of acts from Nine Inch Nails (over the years, Trent Reznor has lionized Numans work and inventiveness one many an occasion) and other diverse acts as the Foo Fighters (who covered Numans “Down in the Park” for The X-Files Songs in the Key of X soundtrack album) and Lady Gaga. Numans sound even played an important role for Kanye West on his "808s & Heartbreak" record.
A latter set standout was a killer new tune, "My Name Is Ruin," which is filled with lyrical elements that could be profiling a sociopath (or an anarchist). This led into Numans Top 10 US track, the iconic "Cars." One of the most early and successful New Wave/synthesized hits in the US, the songs is as alluring now as it was some 38 years ago. Numan closed out the set with "When the World Comes Apart" and 2000's "A Prayer for the Unborn."
Playing two encores, Numan again revisited both "The Pleasure Principal" record with "M.E.", and Tubeway Amy, with the marvelous "Are 'Friends' Electric?," (first encore), and returned to close out the show perfectly with 1980's, "I Die: You Die"
While people throw around the accolades "avant-garde" and "ahead of their time" quite freely, and not always that deservedly, Numan truly is an original. The fact that he has always made quality music and can still produce such a stunning live show, proves all his acclaim is more than justified.