Psychedelic Furs at Cleveland’s House of Blues

10906455_10152924027369927_4318695960578236768_n (1)So, the first concert of 2015 was very promising at the House of Blues this week.  The one and only Psychedelic Furs were coming back to Cleveland.  Traffic was kind of a pain in the ass with the Cavs game going on down the street but we managed.  We used the MVP Valet in front of the venue for a whopping $18.  Yikes.  LeBron-Economy folks get used to the premiums.  The only gripe I had about the show was the parking situation.  I’ll pay the $18 for valet but the definition of valet means I drop the car at the door, you bring the car back to me at the door.  That wasn’t the case.  We dropped the car off walked a few blocks and had to wait in a pretty long line to get the car back.  The weather Wednesday wasn’t the best in the world and the mini hike was uncomfortable in the frigid arctic cold.  I understand you are busy with the game, but at least have a couple folks out front.

The Psychedelic Furs have been doing their thing for almost as long as I have been alive.  Searching my memory bank I think I got to see them 8 times now from the world famous Cleveland Agora to Blossom in their heyday I saw them all around the Cleveland Area.  The Psychedelic Furs music transcends generations.  Who hasn’t heard Pretty In Pink?  Some folks got hooked there, others have followed them since their self titled release in 1980.  The Furs are an interesting chapter in the book of rock and roll.  They started more as an art punk band slowly drifting more and more into the New Wave sound of the 80’s until their breakthrough record Midnight to Midnight.  Furs fans don’t get all huffy with my saying Midnight to Midnight was their breakthrough, but it was in the US.  Sure many of the tracks from previous records are notable but when Midnight to Midnight came out they started playing the larger venues.  It unfortunately for me comes off now as their most dated release.

The Furs, well into their 50’s, continue to put on a very entertaining show.  Richard Butler is the ultimate showman.  He really plays to the crowd sauntering from left, right and center making sure he makes that connection with the fans.  His brother Tim as well knows how to play to the crowd bringing his bass front and center and leaning into the crowd mouthing the lyrics to all the hits.  The Butler Brothers are the only original members but they are joined with long time Fur Mars Williams on Sax.  He joined the group in 1983 touring somewhere between Talk Talk Talk and Mirror moves leaving in 1989 and coming back only over the last few years to my knowledge.  The guy might be a foot taller than his Sax, but wow can he play.  The rest of the band are mostly session musicians.  Paul Garisto on drums has played with Ryan Adams on Rock and Roll and Love is Hell, multiple records with Iggy Pop and played with the Furs in their late 80’s incarnation.  Richard Good was on guitar, a popular recording artist in California.  Amanda Kramer was on keys.  Amanda was one of the original members of Information Society, played with the Golden Palominos, 10,000 Maniacs, and World Party.  Kind of a who’s who of 80’s pop culture up there when you think about it.

It was a great show, awesome show, radical and all that.  They played a good hour and a half with no opener (thank God), with a two song encore.  The Furs took to the stage and belted out “Into You Like a Train” which has been their staple opener for as long as I can remember.  The Furs have been touring this greatest hits thing for many years now and they don’t tend to switch up the setlist too much.  It was very similar to their last show at the Kent Stage a couple years back.  They did throw in a new song they have been working on and honestly it was decent, but with a band like the Furs people are accustomed to the hits.  They made that bed though not working on new material for almost a decade and focusing on the hits.  The hits were plentiful though focusing on a couple from every record.  Bottom line here, the Furs are awesome in concert.  It is always a good trip down memory lane and the House of Blues was packed to the hilt to see them play.  Setlist:

Into You Like a Train
President Gas
Imitation Of Christ
The Ghost in You
Little Miss World
Until She Comes
No Easy Street
Only You and I
Love My Way
She Is Mine
Mr. Jones
Run and Run
Heartbreak Beat

Pretty in Pink

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