Photo by Eric Gossett
New Wave and nostalgia filled Manhattan’s Irving Plaza on Saturday night with performances by the Psychedelic Furs
. Sporting full-body ’90s jumpsuits, Spacehog opted to open with “Beautiful Girl,” off their 1998 effort The Chinese Album
. The band has been on hiatus for several years, which lead singer Royston Langdon made note of saying, “So we took a break…for about 12 years, but it’s good to be back, especially in NYC.” Spacehog played a set filled with fan favorites like “I Want To Live,” “Mungo City,” “Zeros” and “Try To Remember.”
Midway through the set, the band was joined by Psychedelic Furs’ pianist Amanda Kramer for a few songs. As the band closed out their show, guitarist Antony Langdon began the melodic riff to Spacehog’s massive hit “In The Meantime.” Elated fans roared in elation and sang along as Langdon led them in a unified chorus.
The Psychedelic Furs made their way onstage one at a time, with eccentric frontman Richard Butler filing out last to an amped up rendition of “Highwire Days.” Butler swayed, danced and played the tambourine while singing, putting his arm around his fellow bandmates as he stumbled in glorious rock ‘n’ roll fashion from one member to the next. The entire band was more animated than most reunion acts currently touring. No member was in the same place for more than one song. Bassist (and brother to Richard) Tim Butler, and saxophone player Mars Williams were constantly making rounds across the stage. Fans danced along joyfully to a set that included “All That Money Wants,” “Wedding Song” and “Heartbreak Beat.” After each song, Butler promptly took a bow, thanked the audience and reached out to shake hands with crowd members.
Although time has taken somewhat of a toll on Butler’s voice, it only works in his favor, and gives classic Psychedelic Furs tracks a refreshingly gritty sound. The set seemed to drag a little at times, but the band finished in tremendous style by ripping through tracks like “Here Come Cowboys,” “Danger” and “All Of This And Nothing.” Of course, everyone lost it when Psychedelic Furs jumped into their ’80s anthem “Pretty In Pink,” a song that would eventually be used by filmmaker John Hughes. All in all, a solid show from some post-punk/New Wave rockers from across the pond.