Posted in Music, Personal, Uncategorized

The Psychedelic Furs at Emo’s East 9.23.12

Usually when I go to a show that I know I’m going to write a review about, I try to go in as neutral as possible. I stay focused, listening, watching, writing parts of it in my head and taking notes on my phone as the show progresses. Not this time. I was stoked to see The Furs. I had been waiting to see them for 20+ years. I have to admit, I loved the old Emo’s on Red River. I’ve been to some off the best shows of my life there and I loved the intimacy… you were right there in front of your band, face to face. The smaller the venue, the happier the Liz. The fist time I went to the new Riverside location was for the Flogging Molly and Frank Turner show and I went in skeptical. It tuned out to be an amazing time and I spent entirely too much money at the merch stand, then doted over Frank, getting pictures and autographs, and basically falling head over heels in love with him.
Back to The Furs…
What can I say? They rocked my socks off (had I been wearing socks. Instead, I wore my favorite black t-strap heels.) I was (naturally) front row, Grady side, directly in front of Richard Good. And God, he was good. (That’s the left side of the stage when you’re facing it, or the right side of the stage when you’re on it.) As soon as the lights went down, I was giddy. The mood was relaxed. Everyone was excited as we suddenly squeezed closer together. Richard Butler came out and the crowd went wild. They played all the expected songs and some not so expected. Their stage presence was awesome. Everyone was wearing all black from dress pants to jeans, but all black. It was so 80’s and I loved it. They were very active on stage, dancing and moving from one side to another, no doubt making it easier for photo ops. Obviously, Amanda Kramer (formerly of Information Society) couldn’t carry her keyboards around and that’s sucks because I would have loved to have seen her play more during the show. Tim Butler looked fantastic, moving about and singing along, wearing dark sunglasses and occasionally reaching out to the audience. When Richard looked directly at me and shook my hand I thought I would faint. Mars Williams may have been the highlight of the night. His saxophone skills are chilling. I was moved by his sounds and he looked incredible on stage. I was lucky to get some fantastic photos with a mediocre camera. I had visions of posting the videos on Youtube, but the audio came out terrible. It’s a shame, too, because I actually kept my arms still and the video came out fabulous. After the encore, I was sad to see the show end. I mosied over to the merch stand vowing not to not buy another black band tee or tank. My closet is overrun with those. I spent $22 for a vintage-inspired aged pretty-in-pink Psychedelic Furs babydoll tee that I adore. I proceeded to wait by their bus for them come out so I could get a few words and hopefully a picture or two. There were a few die hard fans waiting with me, albums and Sharpies in hand, hoping for an autograph. Time seemed to be crawling along and I was regretting not making a trip to the ladies room before going outside. Those Lone Stars were catching up with me and I wasn’t sure my bladder would hang in there. Most everyone had left and the crowd had dwindled to two other hopefuls next to me. I would not give up. I had waited this long, I could wait longer. Another 15 minutes had passed and a roadie walked backstage with bags of hot food for the band. It smelled like Thai. My stomach grumbled and my mouth salivated. Now I was starving on top of trying not to wet my pants and I was regretting the choice to wear my black t-strap heels. The door guy looked at me with pity in his eyes. Just when I was contemplating copping a squat behind the tour bus, (I wouldn’t really do that) Amanda walked out. I was the lone ranger, everyone else had given up. She was as beautiful as ever, her long blonde locks a stark contrast against her all black attire. Suddenly, I didn’t care about my stomach, my bladder, or my aching feet, I just wanted an autograph. She was friendly and accommodating. I got an autograph on my wristband and a photograph. We chatted a bit about the sound quality of the show. She seemed concerned, but I assured her it was amazing.

Amanda Kramer (formerly of 1980’s electronic band Information Society) and current keyboardist of The Psychedelic Furs.

Right on Amanda’s heels, Richard walked out. I had gotten two of his guitar picks at the show and a shit ton of great pictures, but I wanted more. He happily signed my wristband and made a point to leave room for the rest of the band. He was a genuinely nice guy and looked even better at eye level. (Don’t you agree?)


Richard Good (founding member of San Fransisco band The Pleased) and current guitar player for The Psychedelic Furs.

My next treat was Paul Garisto. I wanted to tell him I loved his glasses, they reminded me of Bono and his skills were fantastic, but along with Amanda, he was concerned about the audio. He said things didn’t sound right on stage. I don’t know what he heard, but it was the angels singing in my ears! (I didn’t have the gumption to tell him I’m partially hearing impaired and completely biased.) If he minded lingering to chat and take pics, he never let on. I really enjoyed the conversation with him and was a wee bit awestruck. This guy has played drums with some serious legends.

Paul Garisto (previously done work with Iggy Pop, David Gahan of Depeche Mode, Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, and many more) current drummer for The Psychedelic Furs.

By now, everyone had gone to the bus and I had only met half of the band! I knew I would be disappointed if I didn’t get to meet everyone else, so I stuck it out some more. The door guy retreated inside and for a moment, I thought I would just slip in unnoticed. Just as I was about to make my move, the door guy walks back out, looks at me and says, (smiling) “Here they come!” I could tell he was rooting for me. Mars Williams emerged through the door and I tried not to gasp. This guy is a musical genius and I didn’t feel worthy to share the same air as him. I gathered myself and asked for a picture. He agreed. I didn’t want to bother him for an autograph, but he spied the Sharpie in my hand and offered. What an incredible man! Again, he saved room on my wristband for everyone and I was falling even more in love with this band.

Mars Williams (formerly of The Waitresses as well as having performed with Billy Idol, Robert Palmer, Billy Squier, Massacre, Ministry, and Die Warzau among others) current saxophonist for The Psychedelic Furs.

I was almost there, all I had left was the Butler brothers, and I wanted to meet them so badly my heart was pounding through my dress so hard you could see it! The anticipation was mounting and finally, Richard Butler exited. He didn’t notice me at first and I timidly squeaked out, “Um, Mr. Butler, may I have a photo with you please?” He turned around and flashed me a genuine smile. He signed my wristband and posed for the picture. I could have listened to him talk about the weather with his accent sending chills up my spine. I had worshiped him as a teenage girl and suddenly I didn’t feel nearly 40 anymore. Of course he had aged, (hell, he’s 56 years old now) but he was as dashing and fit as he was when I first fell for him in the mid-eighties.

Richard Butler, founding member and lead singer of The Psychedelic Furs.

I managed to regain my composure and though I did blather a bit about being a long time admirer, we did have a nice conversation about the show. He seemed interested in my thoughts about the show overall… the set list (see pic), the lighting, the sound quality, the performance in general. Apparently the entire band kept hearing a “boom,” but I was front row and never heard anything like that. So, it happened. All that bladder holding and waiting paid off. I got to meet some of my favorite musicians, shake their hands, get their autographs, and sneak in a few photos. I was on cloud 9. As I waved good-bye to Richard, I practically danced to my truck. (The last vehicle left in the parking lot.) I think the entire Emo’s staff left before I did. I was still on my high, sitting in my truck reliving meeting the band. That’s when it hit me….
I had been so starstruck over meeting Richard Butler that I left without getting so much as a wave from Tim Butler! (the bassist) What an idiot I was! I could hardly believe myself, I was so disgusted. I started up the truck, still reeling when I felt the hand of God on my shoulder. I realized that I had just met 5 out of the 6 members of one my favorite bands. I was one of the lucky few and instead of focusing on the one thing I didn’t get, I should be appreciating the many things I did get.
I pulled into Whataburger, sprinted to the ladies room, got some food in my belly, and poured through the camera, impressed with some of the shots I got, feeling thankful and blessed for the many opportunities I have been given in life. I hope you enjoy these pictures….

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p.s. – I know this didn’t end up being a typical show review… it’s more like lengthy diary post from obsessed fan. So what? This is my blog and I can write what I want. Had I been writing for a publication, it would have been purely professional and not filled with stories about me. I admit it, I’m a fangirl. Whatever. I had a fantastic time at the show and I wanted to document for posterity. Maybe next time I’ll write a less biased review!


I'm a forty-something river goddess, music enthusiast, campground manager, wife, momma to nine, and doting grandmother to four... Mostly, I'm just a gal that has a lot to say.

4 thoughts on “The Psychedelic Furs at Emo’s East 9.23.12

  1. Nice report. Didn¨t experience any bad sound,though..Came from from Stockholm,Sweden to se the Furs for the first time! Growing up in a small village in Sweden they meant a lot to me in the years 83/84.Maybe not this much to today,but you know your first love etc…Still had a blast.
    Austin what a way to spend a holiday.Great food,drink & all kinds of different music.Had 9 nights of heaven.Thanks!


  2. Really great writeup – I felt like I lived vicariously through reading your experience. I just love this band, saw them twice in the 80’s and have seen them 7 times in the last 3 years and your descriptions were spot on. The closest I came to meeting any was standing in the unisex bathroom restroom line when Amanda got in line behind me at a tiny place in Northampton, MA in June 2012 and we chatted a bit. THANKS!


  3. We saw the Furs in Michigan just a couple of days ago (my firs titme), and I can totally relate! Unfortunately, we did not wait to get snap shots or autographs, instead opting for a beer at one of the local breweries. Loved your review and the pics, thanks!!


  4. Hey Liz,
    I am a former Carolinian and now an Oregonian who is closer to Richard B’s age than yours but who has appreciated him and the Furs all these years since college in ’81. Reading this review I felt like I was right there with you at the stage door getting cold as the night wore on waiting for the band to emerge. (Too many years waiting for Bono, Billy and Dave to exit college auditoriums…) My four kids are all through college and on their own now and only one truly gets into live music – front row center like me!
    Enjoy and never let go of your passion!


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