Live Review: The Psychedelic Furs w/ X @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 7/17/22

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The Psychedelic Furs perform at The Fillmore Silver Spring on July 17, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

The music of The Psychedelic Furs is the haze of a muggy summer day. It hangs in the air, and you can see wafting up it as you move through it. Their music is the gentle breeze that breaks through that haze, and it’s the downpour that happens when the humidity becomes too much to bear. The cool air that follows is also the music of The Psychedelic Furs — crisp and refreshing.

The sweet relief does not come without a bit of unpleasantness, and that is a key ingredient of The Psychedelic Furs’ compositions. We were reminded of such on a particular muggy day recently when The Psychedelic Furs showered The Fillmore Silver Spring with fuzzy earworms, wrought in extraordinary confidence and competence.

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Live Review: Sigur Rós @ The Anthem — 6/6/22

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Sigur Rós performs at The Anthem on June 6, 2022. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

An emotional journey through a breathtaking musical soundscape.

Sigur Rós appeared on the stage at The Anthem recently, taking their audience on a 21-song two-set spiritual journey and a roller coaster of emotions entwined in a musical soundscape complimented by stunning lighting. The show was dark, brilliant, moody, joyful, inspirational, just a few of the adjectives that match the tableau of their homeland Iceland.

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Live Review: The Who @ Capital One Arena — 5/23/22

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The Who perform at Capital One Arena on May 23, 2022. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

The Who were in top form at the Capital One Arena in DC, capturing some of their best-known hits spanning their nearly 60-year career during their The Who Hits Back! Tour.

On Monday, the storied English band opened with the Overture from the rock opera Tommy and finished with the magnum opus “Baba O’Riley” from Who’s Next.

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Live Review: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ Lincoln Theatre — 4/26/22

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Andy McCluskey fronts OMD at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on April 26, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

The most extraordinary musical acts in modern pop history have emerged from groundbreaking scenes that imbue them with mythic powers. And so it was wholly satisfying to witness Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, one of the very finest UK bands, fully embrace their own mythology in a pandemic-delayed 40th-anniversary celebration of hits at DC’s Lincoln Theatre this week, when frontman Andy McCluskey and company smartly acknowledged the creative ground that forged OMD in late ’70s England.

In the concert’s most extraordinary moment, OMD reset their positions during the show’s midpoint to place the four band members at the lip of the stage in a Kraftwerk formation, whereupon Andy dedicated the live rarity “Statues” to the group’s long-departed friend Ian Curtis.

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Live Review: Sparks @ Lincoln Theatre — 3/26/22

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Sparks perform at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on March 26, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Russell and Ron Mael are the quintessential two-fisted auteurs of art rock. You say go one way, they choose their own path. As Sparks, Russell and Ron now celebrate 50 years of being pop pioneers — forging and changing course in unique and surprising ways while still managing to cultivate a tremendous following.

Sparks had a remarkably successful year in which they received recognition for their movie musical Annette and they gained enhanced public exposure from a very good and very thorough documentary about their band directed by Edgar Wright. On this highest of highs, Sparks descended upon the Lincoln Theatre in DC recently to share their idiosyncratic talents with a happily sold-out venue.

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Live Review: Gary Numan @ Lincoln Theatre — 3/15/22

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Gary Numan performs at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on March 15, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

You can be forgiven if you think of Gary Numan as “merely” a musician, and maybe even forgiven if you associate him only with his ’80s-era hit songs. But in truth, Gary transcends those qualifiers. He is a true *performer* in every sense of the word, giving his body and mind over to vigorous and unflagging achievement every night he takes the stage.

He held a very robust audience in his thrall with that commitment to performance at the Lincoln Theatre in DC recently, and in so doing drew a very straight line from the man he is today to the youth he was in the late ’70s when he took the United Kingdom by storm.

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Live Review: Gang of Four @ Black Cat — 3/9/22

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Gang of Four perform at Black Cat on March 9, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Before he died in 2020, guitarist Andy Gill undertook several tours of the United States with a Gang of Four lineup that included no other original members. Since 2012, that version of the band appeared several times in DC, performing songs from two newly recorded albums as well as legacy Gang of Four selections.

With Gill’s passing, the other original members have reunited to tour behind a remastered box set, Gang of Four: 77-81, released last year by Matador Records. Original frontman Jon King and company recently burned through the Black Cat in a scorching show that gave powerful new life to the band’s post-punk classics first recorded in that period.

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