Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bumbershoot, Day One - Gary Numan

Oh, dear.  The first disappointment of the day, and I lost my endorphin high.  Back in the 80s, after nearly a decade of listening to Eno's early, pre-ambient, minimalist rock, krautrock bands like Kraftwerk, and Bowie, both Gary Numan's made-for-MTV appearance and synth-pop hit Cars seemed derivative.  However, I'm not sure I heard much by him other than the MTV staple Cars and I certainly never saw him live.  So, I was surprised by his performance at the Bumbershoot Fisher Pavilion, where he sounded darker and gothier than anything Cars would have suggested (even during his inevitable cover of Cars).  I used to think Numan was a copy-cat of Bowie and Kraftwerk - now I think Numan is a copy-cat of The Cure and Nine-Inch Nails.  But I always like to say something positive, and I'll add that the years have actually treated Numan well - the gaunt, ethereal appearance of his MTV days have given way to age, but he now looks more both healthier and more fleshed-out.  With his newly robust body and Robert Smith hair, he actually resembles his new musical influences - The Cure and Trent Reznor.   

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