October 1, 2009
The Psychedelic Furs
Sometimes opportunities just drop into your lap. My colleague Howard & I were tasked with going up to Miami to pick up a car for our employer who was having his Mini-Cooper serviced. Key West doesn’t really have a great repair center for Minis and the car needed to be returned to Key West, so Howard & I went up to get it.
The Riverside Hotel
Howard is due to be married later this month and we thought the trip could be turned into a short getaway in the midst of his wedding planning. It just so happened that one of my favorite bands of the 80s, The Psychedelic Furs, was scheduled to play at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale and we decided to spend the night and check out the show.
We headed up Tuesday morning and checked into the beautiful Riverside Hotel on Las Olas in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. We had time to check out the stores & bars along Las Olas & the Riverwalk before walking down to grab dinner at a place called Tarpon Bend before heading into the club for the show.
The Happy Mondays
When we got there, the opening band Islands was on stage. Looking like they were on their way to a casting call for a remake of a John Hughes film, the band harkened back to the height of the 80s. Many of the crowd shared the same look and it wasn’t just nostalgia because they were in their 20s as was a surprisingly large number of the audience. The band was pretty good as well.
Next up was another blast from the past as the Happy Mondays took the stage. They were not nearly as memorable. Mostly because they just didn’t seem to be all that into playing and it came across as a pretty poor performance. It made me a little nervous about the Furs, even though I have seen them numerous times over the years and have never been disappointed.
Pretty In Pink
Somehow, through crowd attrition, Howard & I were in the front row by the time the Furs came out, though we relinquished our spots to some nice people, Tommy & Heather, from Miami who were a bit shorter than us.
Howard, Tommy & Heather
I have always felt that Richard Butler & the Psychedelic Furs are one of the most underrated and underappreciated acts that emerged in the 80s. They play the most original and unique blend of synthesizers layered with saxophone and the rich musical instrument that is Butler’s voice. The songwriting is top notch as well and from the opening strains of “Love My Way”, any doubts were quickly erased.
The show was really fantastic. The band seems to have actually improved with age and in sharp contrast to most of the Happy Mondays, they seemed to be having the time of their lives performing. Being up close it was easy to see the relaxed and smiling band members as they interacted with the crowd with a genuine and unforced affection.
I Don’t Want To Be Your Shadow