Monday, September 26, 2011


Wednesday night in downtown Denver.  After darting through traffic, I meet up with The Beat Girl and The Bean Counter for a sumptuous dinner at a restaurant less than a block from the theater. We killed a little time before we joined a dozen other people standing at The Summit’s entry door. A light rain began to fall minutes before they opened up. We grabbed our spot at the very front, left of center.  Alot of waiting is involved if you want a front row position.

On tap this evening were the Tom Tom Club and the Psychedelic Furs, two bands that peaked back in the 1980's and are now on the road satisfying people with nostalgia for the good old days.Tom Tom Club is an American new wave band founded in 1981 by husband-and-wife team Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, both also known for being bandmembers of Talking Heads, enjoying early success in the dance club culture of the early 1980s with the hits "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood."

The Psychedelic Furs are an English rock band founded in 1977.  Led by singer Richard Butler and his brother Tim on bass guitar, the Psychedelic Furs are one of the many acts spawned from the British post-punk scene. Their music went through several phases, from an initially austere art rock sound, later touching on new wave and hard rock.  They scored several hits in their early career, but were launched to international attention in 1986 when the film director John Hughes borrowed their song title "Pretty in Pink" for his movie of the same name.  The band has spent most of 2011 on the road, celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of their first studio album release Talk Talk Talk.

The three of us enjoyed both shows, recalling hit after hit that was played repeatedly on the radio way back when.  The crowd reacted in a very positive way, their music proving that "Who needs to think when your feet just go?"  I just wish I hadn't noticed the wrinkles gracing Tina's and Victoria's faces, time taking its toll on all of us.

Download their show here:

The Psychedelic Furs were the reason why we were here tonight. At 54, Richard Butler was more active on stage than people half his age. He and his brother, bassist Tim Butler, are the only ones who remain from the initial group, but this current six-piece has been touring together for well over a decade, so all the songs came off as good as the originals, although Richard's voice was described as "a little rough around the edges."

Age had nothing on Richard Butler Wednesday night. In front of his lifelong band the Psychedelic Furs, Butler gleefully bounced, danced (even preened) as they played a 90-minute set at Summit Music Hall. Under a pair of hip, thick-rimmed glasses, he and brother Tim (on bass) and Mars Williams (on a particularly satisfying saxophone) filled the hall with energy throughout the set, and a largely older crowd responded in kind.

The band, rounded out by three other musicians on keys, drums and guitar, traveled through a history of their post-punk material that included seminal hits like “Pretty In Pink,” “Heaven,” “Heartbreak Beat” and “Love My Way” to name a few. When the band played “Easy Street” it felt as if they’d reached a turning point, after which the rest of the set relaxed into a long release. They followed with an encore that unleashed a strong, heartbreaking “All of This and Nothing” and a rousing “Only You and I,” after which they begrudgingly left the stage for good.

Read it all here: here

What they were like back in the day:

Download the entire show here:

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