AFENet Review - Reviews of Numan gigs by Numan Fans
Sat. 21st April, Montreal, Que Cafe

Canada Dry

Well guys , (sorry for my english i'm quite limited in this language) after waiting for 20 years or so he finally came back to Montreal.

In a relatively small venue (Cafe Campus can hold about 500) he came to us almost completely the opposite way we used to know him. It was an intimate show where he didn't even talk between the songs exept for a shy "thank you" before the encore and a quite inaudible "au revoir" at the end of the set and poof... Gary was history.

I expected a rather bigger show (visually speaking) knowing what he is capable of, and, i must admit, it was a deception. Okay i wasn't expecting Mr Webb to come out of the stage in his spaceship singing Down in the park but we must admit that there is a big gap between Gary 1980 and Gary 2001.

You know seing Numan with no stage show is like seing Kiss unmasked... there's something missing.. period. For me (and i've been following every move he made since 79) it's like he ran into something interesting in 79 sci-fi themes, numanesque imagery etc... he lost it after his farewell concert in 81... made a few so-so albums with some ineresting tunes (like We take mystery to bed wich he doesn t play anymore anyways)... then Berserker..Wow ! he touched it back, regain esteem, had a solid concept, then...nothing!

Honestly, don't you feel he's making always more or less the same tune nowadays? Sure, Sacrifice is okay but you know what i mean. I saw a man with a few good tunes, but a naked (Nu)man with no concept, nothing more than okay musicians playing okay music in front of a crowd asking for more.

I wouldn't expect more if it wasn't Gary but you know, when you create so much expectation, leaving Montreal after the immense Telekon tour.

It was Canada Dry intead of Champain.

Jef Planet (planet@netacces.com)

Awesome

BEFORE THE SHOW:

The day sure got off to a good start : meeting Gary and Gemma early on to welcome them to my city.Since Gary hasn't played here for 21 years I wanted him to feel VERY welcome. Gary seemed pre-occupied a bit ( I think we found out why later...)but was nevertheless as cool as ever , despite the fact that he had a busy day planned with a whole bunch of interviews.And of course Gemma remains the sweetest friendly lady that she is.

Meeting some fans before the show was also great, my hat off to both Jims ( Napier and Collins ).

THE CONCERT:

When the doors finally opened we strolled up to the 3rd floor.Not a huge venue , but nice.A good thing is that it is airy , with a balcony...a place where you can breathe (unlike Lee's palace in Toronto '98 ).I've been told its a 500 people venue...if it's not sold out it's close.

We wait, and wait and wait some more.

Surprise : when the intro to Pure begins is when I realize that there is no support act.So Gary gets a cold room , which isn't the easiest way to begin.( we find out that Gwenmars didn't get the go ahead to come into Canada for some reason or another...maybe that's why Gary seemed upset a bit ?)

Oddly enough, while the crowd is bouncy and ''into it'' the audience seems subdued, at least where the noise level is concerned.I think people are more in awe than anything else.Most of this crowd has no idea that Gary's style stage wise has changed so much.

The set itself is the same as the previous shows of course , and Gary is in top form , belting 'em out with incredible power and energy. The sound is top notch up to A Question of Faith, where the vocals are almost inaudible.This will also occur again briefly on one or two songs.

Of the new songs I think My Jesus , I Can't Breathe and Rip get the best reception ; of the older material Cars , Films and AFE bring the house down. The light show was quite effective, while of course not comparable to what Gary does in the UK.

The show is being covered by a local TV show and they have a huge audience , I spot them right away at the start: this is great exposure for Gary.They were there for the whole concert I guess, because they interview fans as we file out.

Maybe my comment will make it to the airwaves ?? In one sentence :it was awesome !!!

Michel Lafontaine (michell@colba.net)

 

 
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