May 28, 2015 The Psychedelic Furs magical in return to The Paramount Huntington, NY 5-15-15
Emerging from the late 70’s English Punk scene, The Psychedelic Furs are viewed as one of the most important bands of the New Wave era. Founded in 1977 by members and brothers, Richard and Tim Butler, it was their 1981 album Talk Talk Talk that saw the band reach new heights, breaking through on the Billboard 200 Chart in the United States and beginning their ascent to international success. Inspiring the title behind John Hughes 1986 classic film, Pretty in Pink, The Psychedelic Furs have sustained a career of longevity and inspired a mass amount of musicians along the way, including the likes of bands such as The Killers, She Wants Revenge, and even Nirvana. Now celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of their debut studio album, the band continue to tour into 2015 with some May dates across the East Coast, landing them at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Friday the 15th. No stranger to The Paramount, The Psychedelic Furs have made appearances for the past two consecutive years at the state of the art facility and welcomed the trip back for a third straight year. This time bringing along opening act Black English, it was another joyous return for the band as fans were ready to begin their weekend in style.
Formerly known under the name NO, Echo Park, California’s Black English opened the night with the dirge of artsy Leonard Cohen inspired Indie Rock. Their story began in 2010, and in 2014 they released their debut album, El Prado. Led by vocalist Bradley Hanan Carter, his style had the pangs of Lou Reed with a heartfelt New Zealand draw and, overall, Black English’s sound is best described as a melodic blend of Electro-Indie Rock. Performing as a trio, featuring Laura Burhenn from The Mynabirds and drummer Spike Phillips, the band began the night with mildly upbeat tempo that had many dancing, including songs like “Another Life” and “So Scared.” Keeping the audience’s interest, Black English was a fitting opening act, giving the East Coast a chance to see this interesting up and coming band with loads of potential.
Warmed up for headliners The Psychedelic Furs, fans were cheering as vocalist Richard, along with bassist Tim Butler, saxophonist Mars Williams, drummer Paul Garisto, keyboardist Amanda Kramer, and guitarist Rich Good walked onto the stage. Opening up with “Danger,” following immediately with “Only You and I” off their 1982 album Forever Now, Richard, dressed to the nines in a three-piece pinstripe suit and two-tone saddle shoes, ran around the stage with the energy of his youth coursing through his veins. Continuing on with “Highwire Days” and “So Run Down,” the entire band’s sound was full of expression, ranging from the souring pitch of Williams sax to the popping drums and bass of Garisto and Good, as well as the tingling keys of Kramer in the backdrop.
Turning their attention to 1984’s classic Mirror Moves album, they performed the beautiful “Heaven” and major hit “The Ghost in You.” With Kramer tapping less than four notes of the keyboard, the entire venue roared with approval as Richard swayed from side to side, holding onto the microphone stand, and the crowd echoed back “the ghost in you, she don’t fade.” Keeping everyone moving, “Fall” came before the Punk Rock influenced “I Wanna Sleep With You” where Richard continued to bounce around vigorously. All smiles and engaging with the audience each step of the way, Richard reached out to fans and showcased his ever distinctive voice that has not wilted one bit over the years. Bringing on “Like a Stranger,” fan-favorite “Love My Way,” and “Mr. Jones,” couples danced the night, as well as their troubles, away. The evening was not without surprises though, and one of the biggest came when they played 1991’s “Until She Comes” before set closer “Heartbreak Beat” where Williams’ saxophone resonated magically through the room.
The set list was stacked heavy already, and the Long Island crowd was treated to an encore with the band’s second single off their 1980 self-titled album, “Sister Europe.” Yet another pleasant surprise, the moody tune led to the lights dimming into a bright pink. The entire crowd immediately knew what was next before the band could strike a note, and began to move around dancing, shouting loudly, “Isn’t she so, so pretty in pink?!” Richard just smiled and nodded to his bandmates to let it rip as “Pretty in Pink” filled the air. With a cherry on top, the final present came with the title track from their 1982 album, Forever Now.
Huntington literally had one of the most influential Post-Punk/New Wave bands play a greatest hits album, live. It was a showcase of a superb collection from the The Psychedelic Furs’ catalog, and they left no stone unturned. Most of all, the band was energetic and appreciative of every fan who came for the show. Perhaps one of the most under-appreciated bands of the ’80s, The Psychedelic Furs still draw crowds of adoring fans, have a down-to-earth attitude, but project a mystical rockstar vibe. A rare thing indeed for bands of that era, their return to The Paramount was a treasure to behold for anyone who was fortunate enough to be in attendance. While the current tour winds down May 31st, The Psychedelic Furs recently announced an amazing double bill with The Church set for this August when they will return to Long Island August 19th for one of the most anticipated tours of the Summer.