Raputina - We get a fine opening act that hopefully will make up for their equipment malfunction marred headlining set a few months back. The same trio with two cellos and drums hit the stage in ornate costumes and make-up, per usual. Melora Creager delivers the usual humorous song intros which introduce the clever songs she has come up with over the years. No equipment problems as the cellos sounded just fine, sometimes on the clean side, other times distorted to the point where they sound like a rocking electric guitar. The newer drummer has an airier style than their previous drummer. They have also dropped some of harder edges on the cello playing and create more of a psyche-folk mood throughout. I miss a bit of the older material, but there is still enough quality to make for a good set. One improvement is the dual vocals with male voice added to the sound. They did an interesting cover of the Smiths' "How Soon is Now". The set was well received by the filling club as they have plenty of fans in their own right. I would like to see a bit more of the eclectic variety of the past.
Gary Numan - Well this takes me back. I made my first overnight trip to see Gary Numan in Cleveland around 1980-81. I was not a huge fan but enjoyed the harder edged synthesizer bands and he had some of that going on like the John Foxx Ultravox and unlike the Midge Ure Ultravox. It was a good show with what I believe was David Bowie's set which looked like a couple tiers of the Hollywood Squares and a little car to ride around in on, well, the obvious hit song. No chance of anything that elaborate at the Black Cat, but they did have a great light show they brought with them. He began by doing his first album under his own name (as opposed to his band, Tubeway Army) "The Pleasure Principle" in entirety, in order with "Random" bringing it in and the b-side to Cars closing it out. Then it was a mix of older cuts and newer cuts. His band had a good drummer and a bass player who was very smooth. Three others played keyboards, although one played guitar after the Pleasure Principle material. Numan did some keys, guitar and sang all but two songs as he had lost his voice and had to cancel a show. He let the audience sing the songs and several hit their marks impressively. When he did sing, he seemed ok, so he got enough of it back to make it work. I am actually becoming less of a fan of the album recreations than when this craze started. It is fine, but it seems to separate things a bit too much and is not really needed much of the time. I mean if I want the album experience, well, I have the album. It sometimes helps to know you won't have an artist avoid playing anything recorded before 2008 until the encores, so it can work. I don't know. It did not matter to me tonight as I think my two favorites were the screaming rockers, "Pure" and "Jagged" which are newer cuts. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. He still has a nice position in that hard keyboard led new wave sound, if you'll pardon me using the term new wave in 2010. The club was quite full and had a lot more hardcore Numan fans than I thought existed, so the show worked out quite well.
Set List: Random/Airlane/Metal/Complex/Films/M.E./Tracks/Observer/Conversation/Cars/Engineers/Asylum/The Fall/Pure/Down in the Park/Haunted/Halo/Jagged/Are Friends Electric Encores- Zulu/I Die You Die/Prayer for the Unicorn
Quote of the Night: from Ms. Creager after playing the Smiths song... "That's sounding more like Velvet Underground's Heroin"