Merging image and musical composition is often a challenge not many are up to. After all, not everyone can be David Bowie – an artist who not only merged the two without compromising the other, but also redefined them at multiple stages in his career. Then, when Bowie sadly left this world, many regarded such approaches to be over, which is understandable, but overzealous. Fortunately, English Singer-Songwriter Gary Numan is not only just such an artist, but still thriving in an age of musical decline as he continues along a North American headlining tour this fall.
Celebrating the release of his 2017 album, Savage (Songs from A Broken World), the newest tour launched September 4th and concludes on October 6th. Before going any further, it is granted many witnessed the whole rise and fall of the New Wave movement, while others associate Numan with his 1979 Synth Pop classic “Cars,” but in truth, there is so much more to the frontman’s career that is being overlooked.
His past compositions helped pave ways for everything from Industrial to Goth, to Synth Pop. Even to this day, bands such as Industrial juggernaut IAMX, not only award Numan homage for influencing their music, but has even collaborated on remixes and videos with the icon. However, Numan’s background is not only set in his solo endeavors, seeing he started in the mid ’70s with the British project Tubeway Army. While style wise they could easily be thrust into the New Wave/Electronic genres, their mentality was almost Punk in nature. In fact, Tubeway Army refused to stick to modern trends or rules of composition and thought outside the box while pushing modern approaches far beyond their limits.
Interestingly enough, rather than becoming a simple stepping stone in his long career, Tubeway Army never officially disbanded, it rather evolved into what all know as Gary Numan. With his 1979 debut album, The Pleasure Principle, Numan officially changed the playing field for electronic composition via technology and sound. Flash forward to 2017, and yet again, he delivered an unforgettable album, the aforementioned Savage (Songs from A Broken World). Amazingly his twenty-second studio album, it evolves well beyond Numan’s origins and still dwarfs most fresher material out there as he brought it all to the city of Englewood, Colorado on the evening of Friday, September 28th to host the Gothic Theatre.
Entering the final stretch of the tour, Numan brought out standout Shoegazer Nightmare Air. Out in support of their recently released Fade Out album, as the trio kicked off the set, their sounded virtually washed over the whole audience as one sonic wave.
Featuring Dave Dupuis on guitar/vocals, Swaan Miller on bass/vocals, and Jimmy Lucido on drums, their impression on the Denver crowd was virtually hypnotic as they played tracks including “Way We Fall,” “18 Days,” and “Icy Daggers.” Armed with material from their debut 2013, High in Lasers, and of course Fade Out, the layering to each song easily made each stand out. If stripped down infectious grooves churned with distinct melodies is what you are searching for, Nightmare Air is an opening act you will not want to miss.
Following a brief intermission, the lights began to dim once again, and the moment the sold out Gothic Theatre had been waiting for arrived with the emergence of Mr. Gary Numan. Kicking off his set to the thunderous approval from the crowd, he launched the show into full swing with 2013’s haunting track “Everything Comes Down to This.” Hitting the stage in full apparel, showcasing the immense visual side of Savage (Songs from A Broken World), Numan and his band brought the show to a whole new level of appeal.
Thereafter, Numan and company wasted no time in bringing out the classics following up with 1979’s unmistakable “Metal,” sending the audience into an utter frenzy. Then Numan’s influence did not take long to bleed through with certain tracks such as “Down in the Park” – a song some may remember Marilyn Manson covering, yet Numan showed all just how he came to influence one of today’s biggest shock rockers. As the show went on, of course the band played the New Wave staple “Cars,” but it’s modern day approach brings the track a whole new sense of life. Then, transitioning into one of his newest tracks, “Mercy,” he put on a virtual clinic on how he has not only reinvented his sound through the years, but how his musical vision has evolved overall over time.
Offering other songs along the way that included “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “The Fall,” this is one tour you will not want to miss. Crossing all sense of time, it is a return to a period of musical innovation and the celebration in its existence still carrying on. Numan has never been one ruled by the current trends and he still proves to be entitled to every bit of love and respect he is given. Mesmerizing lights, charismatic performance, and a shear shock to the senses, all in all, Gary Numan put on one of the most memorable performances the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area has had in some time. With one of a few shows left on this leg, welcome in a strong new sound while reveling in the timelessness of a legend and innovator.
Purchase Fade Out:
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Purchase Savage (Songs from A Broken World):
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