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The Psychedelic Furs at the Iron Horse Music Hall (Northampton, MA), 5/29/2012

Psychedelic Furs Live at the Iron Horse
2 June 2012

Richard Butler stormed the Iron Horse stage with only his bassist brother Tim Butler left from the original Psychedelic Furs, but so what? The rest of his ensemble were awesome, including Mars Williams on sax (The Waitresses), Information Society’s Amanda Kramer on keyboards, drummer Paul Garisto, and guitarist Richard Good. Without pause, they opened the show with the frenetic “Into You Like a Train”, pleasing old and new fans equally. The energy didn’t let up the entire time, and the group sounded like one who’d played together for years. Mars was especially lively, trading off between sax, trumpet, and soprano sax without breaking a beat. He and Richard have a penchant for jumping around like Tigger, and seemed to get on very well. Amanda was relegated to one corner, but she contributed a great deal to the overall sound with her excellent keyboard playing. And let’s not forget the amazing rhythm section of Tim and Paul. Tim kept it pretty cool, and even mugged for one of the many fans taping the show. Butler was in fine, raspy voice and was physically animated, and seemed genuinely grateful and happy to be there. But he is not one to banter with the crowd, so only “Thank you” was uttered after each song.

The Iron Horse is a small, intimate space that is more akin to a bedroom loft, but the sound is excellent. The band scaled down their usual lights and the sound was not ear splitting, saving my ears from the usual tinnitus I get at these shows. They ran through what amounts to their greatest hits, performing “Ghost in You”, “Pretty in Pink”, “Heaven”, “Heartbeat”, “Imitation of Christ”, “Love My Way”, and many others with casual excellence. Butler’s David Bowie influenced sound might be vintage 80s music, but it was greatly appreciated by an enthusiastic crowd at this sold out show.

The Furs closed the show with my all time favorite song “India”, and their perfect sonic storm faded away even as the tornadic maelstrom kicked up outside. This first time ever Furs concert for me was a wonderful way to unwind and reconnect with old friends. We all agreed it was a great night, and you should see them if you get a chance.


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