There are some shows at Amoeba that get the staff tickled to pieces, and Gary Numan's show at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 16 was one of them. Employees turned into starstruck kids when Numan showed up, looking vampiric in a black vest, red tie and dyed black hair.
He took the stage with his band to promote his recent release Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), which portrays a harder edge to the new-wave star. I was listening to it on the way to the store and found myself driving really aggressively along to the music (well, that and the Waze app was yelling at me from my phone, but that's another story).
He opened with Splinter's "I Am Dust," the industrial rage of which could have started those who showed up expecting the synthy sounds of "Cars." But the sizable crowd that showed up seemed to dig the new tunes, bobbing their heads along when the drums and distorted guitars came in hard and enjoying the new ride one of their musical heroes was taking them on.
By the second song, I felt a little hot from the noise, a sexy, noisy blend of guitar and synth more akin to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Smashing Pumpkins than Numan's early records. His gothy howl was occasionally muffled by the overdriven guitars. This wasn't a problem when he broke into a couple of classics—"Are Friends Electric?" and "Cars," which had everyone cheering and uncontrollably singing along.