Monday, September 16, 2013

Psychedelic Furs--Chicago, 9/14

 Would have liked to have focused this shot on the band,'s an iPhone.

They still got it.

For my money, nobody better encapsulates the definition of "1980s Alternative Sound" than The Psychedelic Furs.  I know that music critics and wankers can endlessly debate those terms.  So I'll let them.  This review is from my personal point of view, so I'm sticking with that quoted phrase.

I don't know anybody that sounds like this band.  Richard Butler has absolutely one of the most distinctive voices in all of rock music.  He evokes a bit of Bowie, but with more of a Cockney lilt and certainly a coarser and huskier sound (that's a good thing.)  Combine that with a droning (again a good thing) post-punk sensibility and a nigh-constant saxophone that somehow never seems out of place, well...shake and serve and you have a winner.

I saw the Furs last Saturday night at House of Blues in Chicago.  It symbolized the breaking of a curse of sorts.  I have never seen The Psychedelic Furs before, having missed them several times over the years due to schedule conflicts or being out of town.  One time I actually made it to a show with Armando and we ended up needing to leave as Mrs. Armando took ill.  Well those folks totally made up for it by getting me to a Furs show this past weekend.

Well worth it, I'd say.  The Psychedelic Furs have retained their sound and show no signs of letting up.  Richard Butler sings as well or better than ever.  Would have been nice, however, if the sound crew had gotten his vocals to a level up above the rest of the band so he could be better heard. Butler can also still make with those prancy dance moves from their 1980s videos.  Just thought you should know.

The set list was an almost perfect combination of deep cuts for the faithful and all the hits for fans of John Hughes films.

To the best of my recollection, these were the songs:

Highwire Days
Ghost in You
Wedding Song
Heartbreak Beat
Soap Commercial
Little Miss World
Here Come Cowboys
No Easy Street
All of This and Nothing
Love My Way
Heaven (Butler mimed his "orbiting in the rain" bit from the video on this one.)

Pretty in Pink
President Gas
Sleep Comes Down

I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't play "All That Money Wants," but you can't have it all now can you?

A few bits of trivia I learned from online:

Mars Williams, the band's saxophone player and an integral part of the Furs' unique sound, is local to Chicago and attended my grad school, DePaul University.

Amanda Kramer, keyboard player, used to be in Information Society.

Pure energy.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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