Nine Inch Nails / Not The Actual Events

Not The Actual Events

Nine Inch Nails is the name of a music project by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as the name of the band hired by them to perform songs while on tour. It is an industrial rock band, and the most recognized one since the genre was introduced. Before Ross’s inclusion in 2016, Nine Inch Nails was solely under the creative direction of Trent Reznor.

Nine Inch Nails (commonly abbreviated as NIN) was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1988, and has so far released eight full-length studio albums, twenty singles and EPs, a number of remix albums, and some live material. Reznor is the only official member and has always been solely responsible for the musical direction of the band. His lyrics are largely concerned with the exploration of the self, but with albums such as Year Zero and The Slip, the lyrical focus shifted somewhat to extrospection. Earlier NIN material was created almost entirely by Reznor, but starting with The Fragile, he began to allow for a more collaborative writing process involving other players.

After recording a new album, the assembly of a new band usually follows, along with extensive touring; the live component of Nine Inch Nails is largely considered a separate entity from NIN in the recording studio. NIN’s live shows often involve visually spectacular elements such as screens and lighting rigs, which have been used on the Self Destruct, Fragility, With Teeth Arena Tours (Fall & Spring), Performance 2007, Lights In The Sky and NIN 2013-2014 tours, and would sometimes culminate with the destruction of musical instruments.

Not The Actual Events (also known as Halo 29) is the second proper EP from Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on December 23, 2016, though pre-orders through nin.com allowed for a download one day early. This is the first release to include Atticus Ross as an official member of NIN.

The Analysis—-

Branches/Bones—-Beautifully noisy, it is a welcome joy to hear Trent back and sounding so driven. The music is layered upon layer, at times dissolving into just the bass synth that drives the track. Trent sounds more pissed off than I have heard him in a long tome….I can only imagine how this will play live with the visuals the band is famous for. Just brilliant….and the track quickly dissolves into…..

Dear World,—-Kicking off with a huge and familiar bass line, this has classic NIN all over it. The vocal….if it can be construed as such is mostly a spoken word rant that seems a bit nonsensical to me. It is the music and the intermittent sing song vocal from Trent that makes this a classic track that is quickly becoming a favorite track of mine. This is fantastic….abrasive yet beautiful.

She’s Gone Away—-Fully engaged in a apocalyptic musical delivery, this track is muddled and ugly. I love it. The deep intonation of Reznor’s vocal is broken by a melodic sense at times making you hurt, feel angry and impossibly alive inside. This is remarkable…I could not ask for more from this mini-offering…..giving me so much hope and joy when contemplating the future of a band I thought had lost the drive to continue. The layers and layers of sound combine to create a huge desolate, gray landscape that makes me feel incredibly comfortable.

The Idea Of You—-You can literally feel the static and anger burst through your headphones when this track begins. again with the odd spoken word ravings of a pissed off baby boomer, perhaps Trent has once again tapped into the feeling of a nation. when the ‘chorus’ kicks in. i can feel the mosh pit going berserk and bursting apart with kept up energy. Leaving me feeling energized and hopeful despite the darkness….I can’t wait for more.

Burning Bright [Field On Fire]—-Crashing keyboards and layers upon layers of dark noise, this is pure beautiful static. Trent is way at the back of the mix of things…allowing the huge aggressive sounds to literally trample him into the ground. This is energy……that needed to be let out of the bag. Remarkably ugly…..but exquisite in beauty, when Trent allows for a ‘clean’ vocal, it is as if he re-captures that idealistic energy he found when he first began. This is just brilliant.

***** out of 5

 

Gary Numan / Here In The Black- Live At Hollywood Forever Cemetery 2016

Everything Comes Down to This (Live at Hollywood Forever Cemetery)

Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), better known as Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he first entered the music industry as the lead singer of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979.

Most widely known for his chart-topping hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars“, Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a loyal cult following. His signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, and he is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.

The Analysis—-

I Am Dust—-To have the chance to see Numan live is a pure joy and indescribable experience. On the stage, Numan sheds his Asperger’s and becomes a type of human monster…flailing around on the stage and delivering his darkest sounds possible thanks to new technology and mastery of years of experience. This release, recorded on Halloween, wrapped up the US jaunt of his Here In The Black tour…..it is fitting we begin with this track off Splinter. The crowd is jubilant, and the sound is impeccable…you catch every groan from the synth lines and every nuance that was captured in the studio. Numan sounds literally possessed by the music…..making you feel ice cold and incredibly excited at the same time. This is exquisite.

Metal—-A constant track in Numan’s live shows, this goes way back to the early days of his career. The amped up version plays so well live…you could never tell the date or the age of the song. The guitars are aggressive while still maintaining the irresistible synth line of the original. Numan delivers his trademark whine of a singing voice that brings a smile to my face no matter how many times I hear this.

Everything Comes Down To This—-My favorite track from the Splinter release, I was super excited to see that this was included in the live set. This is not a happy song…I think there were some problems going on during the recording of Splinter with his marriage. But live this is even more intense and devastating. The groans and effects that come from the synths are just amazing….the huge guitar burst make the song a huge masculine love song…Numan pleads for forgiveness and second chances. This is just fantastic.

The Fall—-A huge guitar intro brings out the crashing synth line and beefs up this track like you can’t believe. The aggressive Industrial style keyboards are better than Trent has managed in years. Numan enters with his ghost like vocal and the song settles into a damn catchy melodic affair. This is triumphant. I never gelled with the Jagged CD…but this track is awesome.

Here In The Black—-One of the most mysterious and majestic songs Numan has recorded in recent history, the escalating synth line drives the song and the crowd to near mania. The whispered delivery of the vocal is full of echo’s and a built in atmosphere all of its own. This is just brilliant….it plays so well live….that synth line is to die for.

Films—-Stepping way back in the Numan catalog, films is another track that always lands on my favorites list….along with M.E. The vocal delivery is what makes this song so fantastic….Numan’s whine and the updated synth lines making the song even more powerful. I guess you can tell….I love this man.The original feel of the song is firmly intact…but the added crash of the synths provide an update that makes it even more powerful.

The Calling—-Slowing down the tempo provides a bit of a cool down for the crowd and Numan delivers this incredibly dark rack with mastery. His vocal is so clear and powerful…rising over all of the effects to allow you to feel the loneliness…the despair and the pain. the stage literally swells with emotion as the song progresses…your headphones will literally sob with this delivery. A master!!!

Down In The Park—-It is hard to breathe new life into such an aged track that has been played literally thousands of times. It is always nice to hear this again…but due to overplay it looses some of the shine for me. Consider the age of the track and the story it told way back when, it is phenomenal it still plays so well. A true classic.

Splinter—-The slow and almost maddening build up to this track fills you with anticipation. the sound of this is odd…lots of chants going on in the backdrop of the song and a slight Oriental feel to the music. Numan turns towards his disdain for God for the basis of this song…it plays well and sounds incredibly fresh. The instrumentation that the live band brings to these songs are just incredible…..a fantastic dense depressing track.

Dead Son Rising—-Beginning with a higher tones synth line and a clear and distortion free vocal, Numan delivers this mundane track with a new and fresh approach live. I love this version….the mystery of the track seems to swirl around the stage as the synth becomes almost maddening with repetition. I like this…but sometimes skip over this during casual listening.

A Shadow Falls—-Returning to the deeper synth line, the surprise is when Numan opens his mouth and sings a note which you seldom hear. I am accustomed to the deeper baritone of his voice and to hear him stretch to catch these notes are mesmerizing. This is slow…melodic and full of intensity. Just about perfect.

Lost—-Quiet and introspective, I think this further solidifies the assumption of some personal problems going on in recent years with Gary and Gemma. This is so sad, touching and personal…I can’t imagine what it must be like to play this live and on display for everyone to hear and share. This is phenomenal….getting this piece of him seems like a treasure. The huge burst of energy at the end of the song further cements the urgency and the plea……just incredible.

When The Sky Bleeds—-This is not a favorite track of mine…but the melody line of the song is impossible to ignore. Numan delivers a vocal that is clear and soaring…begging for a reason to continue with life and needing hope. The aggression kicks in and then ebbs….causing you to almost sit on the edge of your seat the entire song. A masterful delivery.

Unforgiven—-Powerful guitars soar above the multi layered synth lines and give this an almost soundtrack feel. Numan enters with his plaintive and begging vocal that makes you pay attention to every single word that is uttered from his psyche. This is intense….dark and driving. A masterpiece of a song that plays better live then on record.

Love Hurt Bleed—-Another track from Splinter that is in the vein of driving NIN synth  lines and Industrial style rock. Numan fits in perfect….delivering his vocal between aggressive bursts of music…this has such a huge backbone…..and the recent trademark Numan sound is all over this track. A masterpiece.

A Prayer For The Unborn—-Sad and introspective with a horn effected synth line, the slight crunches from the other keyboards provide a stark landscape of music for Numan to muse over. This is intense….it has always touched me and made me somewhat sad. That Numan is willing to share such personal moments from his life seem like a privilege to me. This will always remain a favorite track of mine.

Cars—-Over thirty years on, and with major reworking, this track still plays well live. I can’t imagine how sick Numan must be of this song…but he delivers it like it was the first time he has ever preformed it. This is a classic…defining the 80’s….reworked and defining the new Numan generation.

I Die; You Die—-Delving way back in time once again, Numan again manages to stay true to a generation that adored him and still deliver to the generation that view him as a modern God. This has all the trademark synth lines of the original recording…but the huge driving drums add beef and masculinity Numan sounds in such clear voice…you can’t help but pull out old records and give them a re-listen.

Are ‘friends’ Electric?—-One of, if not the oldest track in this song list, this is essential Numan. The song still carries the same alienated feeling and the mastery of the emerging synth machines at the time…but are beefier and so much larger. This is a classic track….I can never tire of this ever……Numan does a great job re-working this.

My Last Day—-Ending this phenomenal show, Numan allows for a slower and darker tense track to say goodbye. This is a gentle ode to his children and perhaps to his fans as well. This is momentous and brilliant. Tender and leaving you walking to your transport shaking your head and whispering to yourself that you have viewed a God in his element.

***** out of 5

 

Gary Numan / Splinter [Songs From A Broken Mind]

Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)

Gary Anthony James Webb, better known professionally as Gary Numan (born 8 March 1958), is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he first entered the music industry as the lead singer of the new waveband Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979. Most widely known for his chart-topping hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars“, Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a loyal cult following.

Numan, whose signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.

Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) is the twentieth studio album by English musician Gary Numan, released on 9 October 2013 by Mortal Records and Cooking Vinyl. The album debuted at number twenty on the UK Albums Chart on sales of 6,187 copies, becoming Numan’s highest-charting album since 1983’s Warriors.

The Analysis—-

I Am Dust—-The Numan of the new century has a very distinctive sound….and from the first strains of this release, you hear it loud and clear. What has never changed is the remarkable sonic yet disassociated vocal.There is a warmth in the music…but a frigid sound to the voice…..full of distaste…pain and loneliness….this is all here in your face. The music is intense….dark and driven by crashing Industrial sounds…but it still has a humanity to it all. This is remarkable.

Here In The Black—-Deep and full of the mechanical effects you would expect, this song opens up with a brilliant synth line that just makes me melt. There is very little that this man could do to make myself distance from him and his music. The vocal is delivered in a manic whisper accompanied by a sparse beat that is full of trademark references to disdain for God and belief. It is that huge synth line that emerges to propel the song that makes it so remarkable. This is just incredible….I love this man.

Everything Comes Down To This—-Without a doubt, my favorite track from this release. The song has a huge actual human element to it….it speaks of difficulties in life and relationships….that despite how famous you may be, life has real problems that will never cease to be. Numan practically begs to be understood and given another chance. He begs for love and understanding. The dissonant vocal makes it even more emotional…while the driving synth on the chorus makes you realize the urgency of the matter at hand.

The Calling—-With a slight higher pitch to  the main keyboard line that runs through the song, this is alas, not much happier. At times, it plays like a soundtrack to a very sad movie. These are personal tales of love…..the danger of losing it….and the battles to keep it. There are magical Industrial sounds throughout the track…keeping everything slightly uneven….as is life. This is remarkable.

Splinter—-Giving off a slight tribal synth line at the onset of the song, the deep hum of sound still lies underneath all of the effects. The keyboard generated female vocal is eerie and flowing and soon Numan enters. Espousing once again on God and his dis-belief…his sense of abandonment and his staunch inability to believe in anything but himself. This is stark….dark and naked…yet full of a remarkable warmth that sucks you in somehow. This is brilliant.

Lost—-Stark…..naked and heartbreaking. There is such a sadness here…it makes me want to know every aspect of this man’s personal life…to know where this pain comes from. The lonely piano that lays the basis for the track is so beautiful that you feel tears in the back of your eyes. The surprise huge explosion of noise towards the end makes you feel the emotion and the pain. This is masterful. Dreadfully sad….but so incredibly real.

Love Hurt Bleed—-Deep at the onset with a creaking synth line that builds and builds until it conjures up early NIN. Numan enters with a more jaunty vocal that is none the less a bit desolate. This track has an incredible pace to it. The ups and downs and the lighter synth lines are a nice break after a few songs of such a personal and dark nature. This is stellar…I can see the flashing strobes from his show in my minds eye….this incredible!

A Shadow Falls On Me—-A very odd higher pitch vocal ushers in this track that has never set well with me. The music is stark and bleak…matching the odd vocal. I don’t really care for this…but I can say the lyrics are real and intense…perhaps that was the purpose all along.

Where I Can Never Be—-Returning to a melody that is very familiar throughout this release, you are welcomed back into the deep somewhat depressed nature of this album. I feel such hurt and sadness listening to this….it is as if the pain is mine….that is true connectivity. This is incredibly real.

We’re The Unforgiven—-Deep but jaunty, with distorted vocal lines at the onset, this reminds me of early Industrial sounds like Nitzer Ebb. The effects give way to a grand sweep that dives back into darkness just as quickly. The one constant is the whine of the pleading vocal…that belies all feeling and makes everything human. Loss….love…need…..pure and simple.The track ends quite noisy and pleading…..just masterful!

Who Are You—-Jaunty and delivered with a driving synth line, again,,,song placement is everything. The vocal is delivered straight forward and without effect….letting you feel all the questions that Numan continually asks that un for seen being we worship. This is brilliant in delivery…..but also in the pace of the incredible synth line.

My Last Day—-Ending the release on a very somber and sedate tone, you can’t….no matter how hard you try….erase the sadness and the difficulties that this record exposed. Taking a man who is so adored and putting such a human face to him made me love him even more. This is a  spectacular album.

***** out of 5

 

 

Assemblage 23 / Endure [Deluxe Edition]

Endure (Deluxe Edition)

Assemblage 23 is an electronic act from the United States, currently based in Seattle. It was founded in 1988 by Tom Shear who writes the music and lyrics and does the recording himself.

Endure is the 8th studio offering from the band.

The Analysis—-

Endure—-Beginning with a slight static, it is not long before the familiar strains of Tom Shear’s style emerge from the dark. The wait for this release only adds to the smile upon my face. The galloping synth is a welcome strain to my ears….it is nice to have this back in my ears.This opening instrumental track is only a promise of the things to come.

Afterglow—-Beginning almost like an Erasure track, the entrance of Shear’s hollow yet emotive vocal cast that aside. There is a sadness and pain…a loneliness….a longing for something we are not privy to. This is a wonderful opening single for the release.

Bravery—-Dark and melodious at the onset, the synth enters and brings a light to the track. The pace of the song is incredible…the galloping feel of the drum machine is fantastic. Tom tells tales that leave me feeling empty and sad…yet somehow happy and joyful at the same time…it is this contradiction that works so well for this style and sound. There is a brightness yet incredible darkness….leaving you with mixed feelings and to quote Tom…..introspection. I think this song is about addiction?

Salt The Earth—-Another galloping fast track, this has more of a heavier industrial sound than any songs thus far. Enclosed we seem to have another tale of struggle and hurt…challenges and failures. The synth has a much meatier sound to it…but under it all is that fast tempo ed feel that Tom is famous for these days. I love…..the idea of setting the clock back to zero and beginning again….I wish I could do just that.

Static—-With a sad, forlorn and heavy intro, the bass kicks in and the songs takes on an even darker edge. This lacks the speedy synth of previous songs…but instead offers an underlying melody that is almost addictive. The words are fraught with challenges of life and difficulties…but still does not leave me sad……how many songs contain the words ‘cognitive dissonance’….lol.

Call The Dawn—-With a synth line reminiscent of the Tom of the 90’s, this is catchy…..until the dead vocal pops up. This is a pretty heavy track for me….the entire release is not a happy tale. I sense something going on in his life….but it was not shared with me…lol. I love the new music though…even if it is much darker and heavy. The sun always comes back out and I think we will see the more upbeat Tom sometime in the future. I love his voice by the way…he needs no effects or manipulations…it is pure and heartfelt.

Butterfly Effect—-Stripped down and without tons of effects at the onset, we get just the voice. The synth begins and the track becomes alive and more energetic. The swirls and the sharp whips of sound are incredible…even if the vocal tale is a bit darker. The emotive lyrics almost paint a picture in your brain….you are able to actually feel what he is singing….remarkable!

Barren—-Very dark with the first few notes…but a brightness emerges and dunks your head under water as the track becomes alive….fast paced and full of energy. The speed that the music moves is remarkable and how Tom manages to match his vocal to the entire thing is an art. This is NOT a happy song….but the music makes you feel almost schizophrenic….should you cry or dance. Fuck it…..dance!

Grid—-Now this at the onset reminds me of classic Depeche Mode!!! But as usual, Tom adds his signature sound and reminds us whom we are listening to. With slight vocal manipulations, tempo changes and an unending galloping synth line, this is classic Assemblage. One of my favorite tracks from this release.

December—-With another intro that has an Erasure throwback sound….it does not last for long. The foot stomping bass makes the song huge….the swirls of the synth and the fast pace makes it yet another stand out track. The vocal is classic…..the tale not happy…yet not entirely sad. I love the contradiction….and the sentiment….because when December ends…we begin anew……hmmmm.

[Bonus Content]

Afterglow [Rain Within Mix]—-Now this really has an Erasure feel to it…..the swirls are incredible. I wish the vocal was left pure…but there is some manipulation and the remixers push it to the back of the song a bit too much for my taste. I love the purity of Tom’s voice and I wish they would have left it alone. Not that much different though. Just a bit more synth driven.

Bravery [Interface Mix]—-Very bass heavy and moving at an incredible pace, I love the intro to this track. Sill retaining the melody line of the original song, this has a much more dance friendly feel to it. Tom enters with his vocal…the word rhyming is a bit cheesy but it all fits in to make an epic remix…I prefer this over the original…just because of the energy.

December [Neuroticfish Remix]—-This is remixed very nicely for the dance club of Industrial means. The track takes on a bass heavy swirling synth that really made a big grin come upon my face when I first heard it. The vocal is left intact and the feeling of the original rack is very present. The feeling of rebirth and new beginnings allows the song to ebb….flow….swirl and open back up again and welcome you into the fold. This is fantastic….I love it!!

Ignorance—-I would gather this bonus track is considered a B-side…..but this is fantastic!!! Reminding me of some of the material from the last two previous releases, this has a much more synth blip and beep sound that was missing from the tracks offered on the proper release. This even sounds a bit happier and optimistic. I really like this…..

Salt The Earth [Angeltheory Mix]—-Traveling at a nice 120 BPM or so, this takes on a new life under this remix. The vocal…once again pushed to the back a bit is still present enough to feel the urgency that it conveys with this remix. I much prefer this over the original…it just feel so much more alive to me. Even of the lyrical content is not joyful….in this environment you make it as you wish.

December [Stereospread Remix]—-Beginning with a stark piano intro, the swirls lie in the back of the track waiting to happen……but the vocal moves up and the entire thing sounds a bit hollow to me. I don’t like the naked feel to the song….even when other effects are added….this naked version is not to my liking……

Bravery [Solitary Experiments Remix]—-Energetic and full of swirls and galloping synths, the vocal is much the same as it is on the original. I don’t notice to many differences with this version than the original….it is a bit more energetic…but one singular remix would have sufficed.

Goliath—Another B-side offering, this again is a throwback sound to the wonderful days when Tom seemed happier….not to say that the lyrics are joyful and full of optimism. The feel of the song has so much energy…it is damn contagious…the swirls and the speed of the song are fabulous….the vocal has some manipulation…but it only adds to the full body instrumentation of the track…..this is incredible!

Ignorance [Mr. Kitty Remix]—-With a swirling buildup of piano chords to the intro of the song, I am again disappointed with the pushing  of the vocal to the back of the mix…isn’t that why we are all here? This is a bit of a let=down for me…..I want the feel of the song to remain true despite the remix…and we lose all of the melancholy of the original. Still worth having though.

****1/2 out of 5

Gary Numan/ Decoder [Live In Australia]

Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), better known by his stage name Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he first entered the music industry as the lead singer of the new waveband Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979. Most widely known for his chart-topping hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars“, Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a loyal cult following.[1]

Numan, whose signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music

The Analysis—-

In A Dark Place—-Numan, who is a bona fide obsession with me, has honed his trademark sound in recent years. You know a Numan recording almost the moment it begins to play….this is no exception. The sounds are layered and replicated seamlessly in a live setting. Numan always gives a stellar performance, and this live entity is as expected. The sound that Gary produces now are much different than those many of you grew up with….he has taken many cues fro Trent Reznor and the Industrial Revolution. This intro is a it drug out….but sets up the rest of the disc nicely. There is no other voice like this man.

Blind—The intro to this track receives a stellar response from the audience. Numan tells further tales of desperation, alienation and disappointment….standard fair, and one I never tire of. The voice is a bit faded on this track….too much moving away from the direct line of the microphone…..but that is a minor complaint. The music is so muscular and beefy….I’m nearly in heaven.

Cars—-Many readers will be familiar with this #1 smash from 1979 that heralded in the synth movement of the 80’s. But the newly invigorated Numan gives this classic a crash course in huge sound and aggressive crashes and synth. This re-worked version sets with me much better than poorly recorded live renditions of the past decade. This is the sound of a man who has no intention of slowing down as he closes in on 60!

Haunted—-Returning to his darker sound and tales of alienation, this track has such an aggressive onset….almost smacking you in the face. Numan resurrects his tales of God alienation and his lack of outer faith in anything. The synths and bass on this track are huge and muscular…I sit here with a grin on my face as that familiar voice warms me and bathes me in comfort.

Films—-One of my favorite tracks from the ‘older’ Numan catalog, this song has also been re-worked and updated…but never loses any of the original harmony/melody lines which I adore so much. The voice is still as young as it ever was…Numan never strains for a note or sounds out of tune…..wonderfully classic!

RIP—-One of the tracks that helped to begin the re-resurgence of his career, Numan delivers a fantastic rendition of this pumped up, aggressive track. The whispered vocals that encompass much of the song only adds to the industrialized sound. When Gary does let lose with his howl, you find yourself easily swept up in the moment….I guarantee you that you will keep asking yourself Gary who? This is freakin’ brilliant!

The Fall—-Taken from the under-rated Jagged CD, this plays even better live…..how extraordinary. The guitars literally buzz with aggression and muscularity. Numan again sounds like he is stepping away too far from the mike at times…but it still retains all of the energy and punch you would expect.

Pure—-The title track from the Numan ‘comeback’ CD [it actually all began with the Sacrifice CD], this is not your childhood Numan. When Numan literally screams the line ‘Hey Bitch……’all you can say is holy fuck!!! This is incredible in this live setting…even more energized than the recorded version.

My Jesus—-A nice beefy track, but the content does become tiresome after a spell…..Numan grandisizes his God disdain a bit to much at this point in his career. We are all atune to how he feels about the matter…..must we continue to hear it? But when he literally screams the line ‘I’m praying for my soul’……you truly believe it.

Jagged—-With huge bursts of electric guitar to introduce this ‘new’ track, the sound is beefy and powerful. The song quickly quiets and loses much of its momentum…but comes back in ebbs and flows. Not a favorite track of mine, it still plays well with this song listing. I just feel like it needs more punch in the middle….I tend to lose interest…lol.

Down In The Park—-Another classic track from the early days that has been masterfully re-worked to bring it up to date with the new Numan sound. This plays really well live and is received by the audience with great fan-fare and acclaim. If the song was a bit dark before…this updated sound is even more so. The track is incredible…even if a bit over-played. The saving grace is that remarkable voice!

Halo—- Returning to alienation and God complexes, I do wish there was a bit more variety in this set. The sound is so much better than the recorded version though…the magic of ever changing machine capabilities. Numan sounds great and the audience seems to love the selection.

Prayer For The Unborn—-A bit quiet and introspective, this seems to find Numan at his most vulnerable….I wonder how it feels to expose yourself in such a public way? The instrumentation is a beautiful melody that bings a bit of lull and sadness….but this live version seems even more touching to me.

We Are So Fragile—-Another classic track that for the most part has been left in it’s original incarnation. The guitars are a bit beefier, but the synth plays like classic 80’s New Wave….which actually is really nice….I love this…reminds me of why I fell in love with the man and his music to begin with.

Pressure—-This track….also from the Jagged has ebbs, flows and an almost identical Reznor signature…..it really is a remarkable track….I love the back and forth trades between the synths and the guitars…..all the while leaving the voice to stand on it’s own. Really incredible….if you have not heard the Jagged release…you must check it out.

Noise Noise—-I was quite surprised to see this song listed on the Que it is seldom layed live….EVER. Really this goes way, way back in the catalog…but of course Numan has brought it into the new century with a beefier sound. The amazing thing is the voice…you think for sure you stepped right back into 1985 or something….his voice has not aged a centimeter…perhaps it has only gotten better!

I Can’t Breathe—-This is perhaps one of my favorite Numan compositions in the entire huge catalog this man has produced. This track has so much emotion…so much industry…so many huge noises. The voice is full of whispers…shouts…angst and incredible emotion. I love this…a fantastic way to end this show!

**** out of 5