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: