Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gary Numan in Auckland (21 May 2011)

I have a list of musicians, the idea being that once I have seen them all play in New Zealand, I'll be ready to die. It is a slightly worrying list in that there is only one musician to go (Tom Waits). If it had ever entered my mind that Gary Numan might tour, he'd have been on the list. I still remember the impact he had on me with Are Friends Electric? The combination of a barely moving Gary, the electronic sounds of the synthesizers and the lack of any sort of rock and roll feel came as an extreme novelty (I think my musical diet consisted largely of Dire Straights, Pink Floyd and the Motels at that stage, with the only "edgy" song being Ian Dury's Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick).

So when I heard that he was coming, it was a no-brainer: I bought a ticket as soon as I could. I flew up to Auckland the night before, made a fruitless journey to much touted pizza place Epolitos (who ever heard of a pizza shop selling out, before 8:00 on a Friday night?), spent the day wandering around coffee and food places and finally it was game on.

I was a bit disappointed that I didn't have my camera - I was worried I wouldn't be allowed it, but others were there, snapping away. Mind you, it might have proven to be a distraction. I was also a bit disappointed that it was an all seated venue, but the music had hardly started and people were leaving their seats. By the end of the show, the spaces around the seats were packed with happy dancing people, right up to the back wall. Me: I'd scooted forward early, and was right against the stage.

There was one slightly confusing aspect: Gary was here to play the Pleasure Principle in full. Its not my favourite of his albums (Replicas is), but still that was the game plan. So why were people calling out for other random songs? Mind you, he did play an equal number of songs after he'd finished playing the album. Thanks to the magic of the internet, here is his setlist:
Gary Numan Setlist The Edge, Auckland, New Zealand, The Pleasure Principle 2011
Edit this setlist | More Gary Numan setlists

Some of those songs in the second half were completely unfamiliar to me, and a bit of energy leaked out of the show, but on the whole it was a fantastic experience. The thing that really got me was Gary himself: as I said, when he first emerged, it was as a rather robotic presence, and a lot of white makeup was involved:
If he was wearing any in Auckland, it was not noticeable. And the robot thing? Completely gone! He looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself on stage, and gave a very physical performance. Here he is at his Adelaide show:
Doesn't show his broad smile but when you're stealing images from the internet, beggars can't be choosers. For more images, there are plenty on this fan page.
All in all, it was a brilliant night which I polished off with a dose of Korean Fried Chicken and roast duck before the long walk back to my hotel in Parnell.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I took for granted, all the times
That I thought would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can't get near you now
Melbourne Escortssalvia divinorum

11:38 PM  

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