AFENet Review - Reviews of Numan gigs by Numan Fans
Fri. 20th April, Boston, Paradise

"It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

A recent musical rediscovery has jolted me back to the winter of 1980. Here are a few back-to-the-future global notes and personal reflections to set the mood... Former B-movie actor, Ronald Reagan, with his "Newspeak" and feel good ways,prepares for his greatest role on the presidential campaign trail; having made peace with his past, New-Yorker, John Lennon is determined to make the most of the new decade; Prince Charles meets his bride-to-be; IBM is working on the prototype for its first personal com- puter; and the charred remains of punk rock give way to a new wave... Twelve-inch vinyl albums are still the norm for music consumers everywhere. Three in particuliar, reside in a pre-condo brownstone with a great view of the Boston sky- line.

However, there exists a slight cultural clash between the student occupants. One is involved with social causes, prefers the natural look in home decor and clothing, and favors the music of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. The other two disrupt the harmony by donning trendy, new wave gear - only to lounge in brightly colored bean bag chairs to watch DR.WHO on the pre-cable B&W portable, or to listen to the latest recordings of Lene Lovich and Iggy Pop. Amidst the incredibly high ceilings, bamboo shades, and hanging ferns, is THE ALBUM to usher in the 1980's - a sumptuous new work entitled, REPLICAS, by a peculiar vision- ary known as Gary Numan. It spins on the turntable like a daily prayer... "It's cold outside And the paint's peeling off of my walls There's a man outside In a long coat, gray hair, smoking a cigarette..." -from "Are Friends Electric?"

Although clearly the frontrunner in the futurama division of the second Brit invasion, Numan's stoic persona and cryp- tic electronic treatments proved too over-the-top for U.S. markets (with "Cars" charting as a one-hit wonder). Most were ready to dismiss the mannequin-like Numan as a whiter- shade-of-pale imitation of David Bowie. Both did share a passion for elaborate stage design:a huge neon Hollywood Squares set was deployed for Numan's 1980 tour. His bay- state debut at the Harvard Square Theatre featured an appre- hensive Numan-as-outcast, with a striking, but standoffish performance. Retreating to England in the mid-eighties to pursue a stunt pilot sideline, Numan continued to release albums (seventeen to date) to an enduring cult following...

Flash forward two decades to a more intimate setting without neon distractions. All who entered the brave new world of Gary Numan on April 20, 2001, not only instantly connected with his new sound:a grittier blend of industrial, metal, goth-lite, and electronica; but the young audience was also witness to a real mascara-rimmed eye-opener - future boy can rock like there's no tomorrow. Clad in black attire ala Edward Scissorhands(without the weapons), Numan opened with new material from his much- acclaimed and highly atmospheric, PURE CD. With its turbu- lent tone unfolding like a great science-fiction novel, the songs performed from PURE(including "RIP," "I Can't Breathe" and "Listen to my Voice")offered Numan, with his mesmeriz- ing cry of a voice, as the enigmatic keeper of the flame - confronting pain, loss, and religion in an apocalyptic uni- verse (or maybe just 'round the corner pub - one can never be sure).

Considering the ethereal elements of PURE, along with Numan's history as a disconnected poseur, the onstage trans- formation that took place was an amazing sight to behold. A spontaneous eruption of lightning couldn't have stunned the crowd any more than the 40-something power-house, as he cat- apulted out of his silver synthetic shell into a world of color, sweat, and highly-charged, agile moves. Supremely confident in his music, and playing with an edgier guitar style, an almost joyous Numan strutted the stage, touching hands with his devotees. Often raising his arms in angel-like repose, Numan had the fans reeling and singing along with many of the 80's favorites - among them "Cars," "Metal," "Down in the Park," and an enticing encore of "Are Friends Electric?" - which captivated the crowd to no end, and gave new meaning to the line, "...And just for a second I thought I remembered you..."

Currently catching praise as the godfather of goth, Gary Numan displayed a re- markable ability to translate his haunting, isolationist's music into a tour de force of earthy, expressive, total abandon - now that's an alien of a different color.

Nusues ([email protected])


The show was wonderful.

Even though I was off to the side a bit, it was probably one of the best shows I have ever see.

Gary was AMAZING, perfect and just plain mezmerizing!

I do wish this evil man in front of me who kept jumping forward and trying to grab Gary, and even succeeded once was not there, he was a bit distracting!

But, after an hour of music we all wanted more.

I even checked out Gary's next stops but alas I missed all the semi-close ones! hopefully he will tour again soon!


10 Out Of 10

After driving all day to get back to Providence to shower and change and drive to Boston I was a little weary but soon perked up when I saw numanboy David at the pre-show pub next door to the Paradise. The crowd lined up early for this show - a stiff cold wind blew that night too!

After downing my dinner in the form of a Guiness and giving a fellow fan my spare Exile tour shirt, we filed into the Paradise - a fitting word for what was to come!

Gwenmars was without their backdrop of artsy film (but the bubble machine remained unfortunately) and were more enjoyable tonight. The place was comfortably packed - once again I was meeting many people left and right. Seeing Jim Napier again was fun and we all stood together in a small pocket to the front side of the stage.

The sound for Gary Numan tonight was crystal clear - I even took out my earplugs and didn't have ringing in my ears the next day. The entire set was spot on (except one song the bass dropped out) and the crowd was ultra-responsive. At one point Gemma joined our little crew and continued to whoop it up and take photos of her husband on stage. At one point she saw my Numan tattoo and I got a good smile and we chatted briefly about the Philly show and possible future US tour this year.

"I Can't Breathe" was the highlight for me as well as the encore's middle song "Remind Me to Smile". He was enjoying himself immensely and even was playing with the crowd by being slightly menacing near the edge of the stage. Ending on "Prayer to the Unborn" seemed a little odd and the crowd ALMOST eeked out a second encore but the club cut the wires and shuttled us out into the cold. The name on the marquee had already been changed!

My boyfriend and I went down the street to see his friend's band play and made it back just in time for me to get my "Praying to the Aliens" book signed by a much happier Gary!

My only question regarding the tour merch: why not sell "Pure" alongside "Purified"? A lot of people I met told me they couldn't find his new album or were not aware he had a new one out. I passed on the tour shirt. Purified is a nice listen for the die-hard fan and any musician.

FINAL SCORE: 10 out of 10. No doubt about it.

Hopey ([email protected])


Excellent Venue

First off, the venue was excellent, there wasn't a bad seat anywhere. The crowd was into it and Gary's energy level was high. It was a great show!

I would have chosen a different set list, but it was incredible nonetheless, as I can recall, It was ( in no particular order )
1. Pure
3. Rip
4. Dark
5. Down in the Park ( newer version )
6. Metal ( newer version )
7. Walking with Shadows
8. My Jesus
9. Listen to My Voice
10. I Can't Breathe
11. Cars

Are Friends Electric?
Remind Me To Smile
A prayer for the Unborn

All in all about the standard hour and a half give or take 10 minutes. The Lighting, Breaks, Sound, and Overall "athmosphere" was all on the mark.

Props to the girl with the vintage "TELETOUR" 80 shirt

As for merchandise, I only saw one shirt for sale, of course the PURIFIED DISC, the "Crypt of Dawn (?) " Comic, ( that sold out quickly, and The "Dawn" version of SACFIFICE well, once again a great show, and hoping gary continues touring in the U.S. ( in case anyone noticed, I was the idiot wearing the bright purple "PSYCH WARD" shirt ( he he )

jason ([email protected]))


Great Show But To Short!

He was on fine form and voice, with the band as tight as a drum. There was headbanging, poses, and angry looks aplenty from Mr. Numan tonight. It was a truly brilliant gig.

We got almost all of Pure, one each from Exile and Sacrifice, Cars, AFE, Metal, DITP, Films, RMTS. But it wasn't enough. He went off after an hour, did an encore of three and left for good, even though the audience were braying for more and only left when the crew started to pack up the gear. Quite an achievement to get such a reaction, considering they seemed to be a regular Friday club audience rather than actual Numan fans (sample dialog - "Was Gary Numan in Devo?"). Shame to disappoint them.

The sound was phenomenally good, and the vocals were so superb that an idiot at the back yelled "you're a lip syncher!!". I hope Gary took that as the ultimate compliment!

Murph ([email protected])


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