Psychedelic Furs at The Egg (6/2/2012)

12 Jun

At 7:41AM on Thursday May 31st I received a text message from my father:

“I’m sure you read that the Psychedelic Furs are at The Egg Saturday at 8PM?”

I hadn’t heard.  And so, this article is going to prove two things:1) I may be the worst musical journalist ever, and 2) The Psychedelic Furs are still sweet.

My father is by no means uninformed (he does things like listen to the radio and read newspapers), but one would think that I would have had a ticket weeks ago for a Psychedelic Furs show that was considerably cheap and at a cool venue ten minutes walking distance from my apartment.  I had considered driving to a venue two hours away to see them live on a weeknight not three months ago.  In any event, I was surprised to find tickets were still available two days prior to the show.

I arrived at The Egg located in Albany’s Empire State Plaza, a wonderful mid-sized theater that is large enough to house a crowd but maintains an intimate ambiance.  An usher kindly directed me to my row which I walked halfway down before I realized that I happened to be seated between two middle-aged couples.  As I leafed through the program, an older (than me) but attractive woman to my left (couple #2) nudged me and asked if I was a journalist.  I will attempt to recreate a loose rendering of the dialogue:

SHH:  “Well, I’m writing about the show for my blog.”

Attractive Older Woman:  “I could tell you were a journalist!”

SHH:  [flattered] “Oh, really?  I mean, I’m not really…”

AOW:  “Sure! I used to work for [very popular music magazine] years ago as a photo editor.  I would go to shows with the writers and they would always be by themselves.”

SHH:  “Oh.”

AOW:  “Well, good luck with the article and enjoy the show!”

As the lights faded, I looked behind me to discover that I was in one of the last full rows.  The Egg couldn’t have been more than half full!  I was worried about getting tickets…the attendance was sort of a shame.  Though, that didn’t stop the Psychedelic Furs from playing like it was a packed house.

Above: The Furs in the late 80’s.

First proof of my being a shitty journalist: I wasn’t smart enough to bring a pen. For this reason, I don’t have a setlist, although I can tell you that it was heavy in 1984’s Mirror Moves with scattered singles from their first three albums (their best work).  I also don’t have proper photographs.  The usher that was very helpful in directing me to my seat tapped my shoulder menacingly when I tried to take a picture of Richard Butler during “Imitation of Christ” (despite the fact that couples 1 & 2 were blatantly snapping away as the show went on).

The Psychedelic Furs played for about an hour and a half.  The crowd was on its feet for the second half of the set with head-bobbing forty-somethings flanking stage left and right.  I didn’t have much of a choice in standing because I had the one mid-90s punk relic with a spiked mohawk standing in front of me.  He kept yelling for “President Gas” between songs which they never played.  His moping at the end of the show gave me a strange satisfaction.

Richard Butler, whose voice hasn’t lost any if its gritty luster, manically clapped and bounced for the majority of the show; when he was standing at the microphone, his legs humorously trembled like Rodney Dangerfield’s in Caddyshack.  His brother Tim, wearing sunglasses as usual, waived his bass around suggestively and edged back and forth across the stage driving at least a dozen middle-aged women crazy.  The Butler brothers are the only remaining original members, but kudos to the rest of the band; their sonic contribution, particularly on the earlier material like 1980’s s/t album track “India,” sounded spot on.  Mars Williams’ powerful sax on songs like “Heartbeat” was impeccable and elicited the loudest cheers.  From my seat it was difficult to see Rich Good, Paul Garisto and Amanda Kramer, but I’m fairly certain I rode up in the elevator with Ms. Kramer.

As I told the Furs on their facebook page nearly a week ago, “Hearing ‘Love My Way’ live made my month.”  I meant it.

Oh, and the final reason why I am an awful journalist: this is posted over a week after the show.

One Response to “Psychedelic Furs at The Egg (6/2/2012)”

  1. clownonfire June 13, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Blasts from the past… And a good one when it comes to the Furs.
    Le Clown

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