Psychedelic Furs, Stubb's, August 8

Live Shots

Psychedelic Furs

Stubb's, August 8

One day, every young American who ever owned a pair of parachute pants or had a poster of Molly Ringwald on his or her bedroom wall is going to have to face up to the fact that the Eighties are over and they're never, ever, ever coming back. (Ever.) That day was not Tuesday, however, as the reconstituted Psychedelic Furs held forth in front of an awe-inspiring killing moon like Charles was still in charge. This was a choicer brand of nostalgia than that on display at the handful of "Retro Nights" at assorted local discotheques, since the crowd came for the music, not the meet market. Okay, maybe a little. Head Fur Richard Butler was a picture of Bret Easton elegance, prowling the stage like a black-clad puma, vigorously slapping hands with appreciative fans in the front row, and twirling his hips enough to make the Fame dancers envious. His liquid, velvety cachet worked as a perfect visual complement to the band's violet tableau of fuzzy guitars and precise rhythms; not for nothing did Butler graciously bow before the drummer more than once. And without the awkwardness of trying to wedge new material into a cultural moment that passed into history around the time of the Furs' swan-song album World Outside, everyone was free to luxuriate in the good old days. And good old days they were, days of horrible styling-gel accidents and unrequited crushes, of "Love My Way" and "Heartbreak Beat," when life was as cut-and-dried as doodlings on a notebook cover and the complications of adulthood had yet to intrude. Now that they have, and Butler has reconvened the Furs after Love Spit Love went nowhere, it's good he realizes there's no shame in looking back. The Furs have fixed one eye on the past since their Pistols-cum-Velvets brand of New Wave appeared on the scene, anyway, and here sounded a little incomplete without that delicious saxophone. Once they came out for an encore of "India" and "Pretty in Pink," however, those insistent guitar strokes, that nonchalantly swinging bass, and the hormone-charging drums united with Butler's still MTV-handsome charisma, those adolescent Eighties descended like a blanket, and we were all lost in emotion.

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