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Review: Psychedelic Furs and Robyn Hitchcock at Majestic Theatre

by Mikel Pfeiffer

You know the saying, “you win some, you lose some”? Well, last night at Majestic Theatre, we lost a little with Robyn Hitchcock but the Psychedelic Furs more than made up for it with another one of their spectacular performances for Detroit.

Let’s start with the loss. Robyn Hitchcock, where have you been the past 20 odd years? Apparently expressing eccentricities on acoustic guitar and making the crowd pay dearly for it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a Robyn Hitchcock fan from way back, his albums ranked high for me during my college years. So it would have been nice to relive some of those memories instead of the weirdo, unidentifiable acoustic songs he played last night that no one could relate to. On the plus side, he did have some amusing banter between songs, so it wasn’t a total loss. Robyn made way for the always-exciting headliner, Psychedelic Furs.

I’ve seen the Psychedelic Furs a few times over the past 6 or 7 years and they never fail to impress me. I still continue discover new things about this band whose last album came out over 25 years ago. They opened the show with “Dumb Waiters,” an exhilarating track that just lays it all out. With jarring saxophone, angry vocals and shrieking guitar, it’s one of their most abrasive songs, and I loved every second of it. Singer Richard Butler still captivates the crowd with his charismatic moves and sublime vocals. On “The Ghost In You” Richard gets down in a crouch and sings to each person in the audience like it’s just him and each of them in their own conversation.

Sure the crowd has heard most of these songs countless times over the years, but the Furs manage to bring something special to each song with more sax here, or an extended ending there. Then they pull out real surprises like playing “Believe,” a Love Spit Love (R. Butler offshoot band) song that’s buried in their second release. It’s a song that creeps up on you, and then gives you a warm embrace like you knew about it all along.

Each person in the audience has their own Furs song that is surely special only to them. Mine is “All of the Law” which they perform with so much punch and drama you can’t help but be lost in the song hoping it never ends. They wrapped up their set with everybody’s favorite, “Pretty in Pink,” complete with band member introductions, shout-outs to Detroit, and extended banter at the end.   Yes, I’m gushing but it’s well deserved! I’m already calling this one of my favorite shows of 2017.

PHOTO ALBUM

Setlist
Dumb Waiters
Heartbeat
The Ghost in You
So Run Down
Heaven
No Tears
Believe (Love Spit Love cover)
Alice’s House
Love My Way
Angels Don’t Cry
All of the Law
Mr. Jones
All That Money Wants
House
Pretty in Pink

Encore:
President Gas
Heartbreak Beat

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