Legendary UK alt-rocker Gary Numan lights up the Observatory!
Gary Numan w/ Me Not You @ The OC Observatory – Santa Ana, CA 11/17/2017
Last night the legendary Gary Numan descended upon the Observatory in Orange County, CA and he took no prisoners! It was a deep, at times dark and surreal, dramatic, and fantastic show. It was definitely something to behold. The man is a UK legend in the alt-synth world, but in 2017 Numan resides in So Cal and he’s far from your average musician and performer. He is definitely on another level and he oozes originality and quite frankly he was way ahead of his time. Looking back at Numan’s performance at Wembley in London in 1981 with the Tubeway Army his original group and configuration, it’s not hard to think how pioneering and futuristic his music is and was. Even back then he was way ahead of the others, and he definitely pioneered the way for later artist such as Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.
Some artists and bands fade as the years move on, and they lose some mojo, but Gary Numan is the opposite. He is if anything better than ever! He has really found a great balance in his music, between his music from the 70’s and 80’s which was purely electronic to his more recent heavier goth/industrial-esque albums, including his incredible new album ‘Savage (Songs From a Broken World)’.
Numan took the stage with his band dressed in a tan ragged body suit that at times looked like a straight jacket from ancient Egypt. His spiked jet black hair glistened in the lights and he jerked and moved to “Ghost Nation”, the opening number on Savage. Feeling every note and completely enraptured in the moment, He seemed right at home. His fans were thrilled to be witnessing such a classic and legendary performer and really it’s as if he is once again peaking.
Sure his most famous song is “Cars”, of which he turned in a very tight and cool version of, but personal favorites such as “Metal” and a stellar version of “Down In The Park” were some of the most incredible moments.
His more recent music really shines live as well and he played killer versions of “Bed Of Thorns” and “My Name Is Ruin” from his new album and man it really was so epic. His voice and conviction and intensity in his music really shines through as he flails and moves, and he definitely feeds off the energy of the crowd. Another more recent song from his last album, 2013’s ‘Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)” was particularly tight and dark and definitely has a kind of Nine Inch Nails vibe, which is no surprise as he has collaborated with Trent Reznor, who I am sure was definitely influenced by Gary Numan as he grew up.
The final song of the 3 song encore was a brilliant and delicious version of “Are Friends Electric?” from 1979’s ‘Replicas’ album. It definitely was a perfect way to cap a perfect and legendary set.
NYC up and comers Me Not You’opened the show and are definitely a band to watch. They have a great shoegazy alt-rock vibe. Their new EP ‘Reckoning 1’ is out now so be sure and check it out, and if they come to your town definitely don’t miss them.
Gary Numan is touring now for his new album ‘Savage’ and is playing Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles tonight Saturday November 18th and continues from there, check out his website garynuman.com for more dates. Don’t miss this living legend, he will not disappoint!