Concert Review: The Psychedelic Furs

Yesterday evening I got the chance to realize a dream of mine: I got to see one of my beloved 80s new wave bands live in concert. And what a concert it was!

I remember really enjoying “Pretty In Pink” the first time I heard it used in John Hughes’s film about teen heartache and hardships, then later on loving “Love My Way” after I heard it on the soundtrack to The Wedding Singer. But when I discovered “The Ghost In You” while out shopping one day, I knew that I needed to hear more from The Psychedelic Furs. And I was not disappointed to find such gems as “Heaven,” “Sometimes,” and “Until She Comes,” so when I heard that the Furs were playing at a tiny haunted theatre nearby, I knew that I had to be there.

My hovering view of the band from my balcony seat.

There wasn’t a lot of information beforehand, so I just showed up not really knowing what to expect. To my delight, the goateed roadie announced that there would be no opening band, and that the Furs would be performing their seminal album Talk Talk Talk in its entirety, taking a break, then “they’ll come back out and play the rest.” Sure enough, the brothers Butler & co. took to the stage like a hurricane and blasted into “Dumb Waiters,” followed immediately by “Pretty In Pink,” “I Wanna Sleep With You,” and the rest of Talk Talk Talk. Here, in a Hot Pink Headphones first, Miss Pink is sharing (gasp!) her own concert footage of the band performing the opening of “Pretty In Pink.” Unfortunately Miss Pink is in desperate need of a new camera (any secret admirers who wanna help out with that, feel free to drop me a line) but hopefully you get the idea.

The small venue wasn’t even filled to capacity, yet the Furs played every inch of that stage like it was Madison Square Garden. Tim Butler engaged with the audience, singing with them and even posing for pictures mid-song, and Richard Butler was surprisingly lithe and sexy as he channeled a bit of Bowie in hipster glasses. I was disappointed not to hear either of my two favourite Furs songs (“Sometimes” and “Until She Comes”) but seeing such an exuberant performance of hits such as “Love My Way,” “Sister Europe,” and “Heartbreak Beat” more than made up for that minor detail.

Richard Butler proves to the audience that new wave does a body good.

Having never seen The Psychedelic Furs in their heyday, I have nothing more than music videos to compare this performance to. However, I can say without any hesitation that the Furs are as good as they ever were, possibly even better than before. They performed their hits with so much joy and excitement that even the most stoic concert-goer was tapping toes and clapping along. If you get the chance, definitely go and see them. This is a band not to be missed live.

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Filed under Artist Love, Concerts

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