The new wave and industrial music mastermind, Gary Numan, came to play the Windy City with a song set spanning his entire tenure.

On a brisk November night in the great midwestern metropolis that is Chicago, gothy denizens spanning multiple generations headed to the south side neighborhood of Pilsen, at the great cathedral of Thalia Hall. They arrived to see Gary Numan perform his songs of new and old: of new wave and of industrial sounds. They would not be disappointed.

Me Not You kicked off the show. Hailing from New York City, this four-piece combines several elements seamlessly into a well-rounded brew of all things analog rock and digital; of heart and haunt. They mix synthy, reverberating percussion with a fierce drummer. The beats of every track remain sustainingly catchy so that there be not a single audience member devoid of tapping toes or bobbing heads. Their one-to-sometimes-two guitarists declare the band’s firm footing in the rock sphere. Their designated synthesizer player stands to bridge their sonics right into the industrial sphere. And when lead singer Nikki Taylor takes to the mic, one can hear a fervent honesty that puts the final touch to the band’s authentic sound. All in all, they were a perfect start to the evening. Keep an ear out for their growth as a band.

The stage cleared. The fans refreshed their beverages. It was within this time that one could see the multifaceted picture that was painted within the demographic of just who comes to attend a Gary Numan performance. On display within the crowd itself, up to three generations of fans congregated – mothers with daughters and so forth. And socially there were many slices of rock subgenres present: metalheads mixed with goth rockers; old-school punks with modern Juggalos. It goes to show the realm of cross-cutting appeal that Numan’s influential career takes – now just shy of four complete decades of work.

With the flash of the strobes and the slamming crash of drums and synth, the man himself took to the stage, opening with, “Ghost Nation,” the premiere track from this year’s LP release of Savage (Songs from a Broken World). Numan and his band dominated the stage dressed in a post-apocalyptic drab of white clothes and boots. His band covered in what could only be described as a mystical makeup aesthetic. The ensemble stood as a declaration on the state of the union for Numan’s sound and mind: he’s come a long way since his 1970’s origins and continues to bring a fresh take to his industrial rock.

Immediately following, “Ghost Nation,” Numan swiftly ratcheted gears back to perform his staple hit, “Metal,” off his quintessential LP The Pleasure Principle (1979). Following this, Numan’s set went on to be peppered with songs off his latest album including the soft and meditative, “Bed of Thorns,” to the dismally serene nature of “When The World Comes Apart.” Numan also included some of his B-sides such as “A Prayer for the Unborn” from the Pure LP (2000) and “The Fall,” from the Dead Son Rising LP (2011). And yes, dear reader, one can be rest assured to hear the great, “Cars,” hit.

The band concluded the set and Numan proceeded to exit the stage. The fans beseeched for more. Moments later, Numan and company returned to oblige the masses with two more tracks. They went back in time to perform “M.E.” and finished with “Are Friends Electric?”

Though the crowd’s attendance was shockingly of a lesser quantity; leaving plenty of room on the floor for one to migrate, it was safe to say that the quality of the musical experience taken on by patrons superseded any and all expectations that one could have. After decades of work and progress, Gary Numan continues to deliver.

Gary Numan
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Me Not You
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Thalia Hall
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Event Date: 29-Nov-2017