It’s Gary Numan’s Day on the third day of Moogfest 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Saturday, May 21, could have been Gary Numan Day in Durham, NC, as the Moogfest headliner had quite a day there. First, he received the 2016 Moog Innovation Award in an afternoon ceremony, and then he performed the third of three concerts a few hours later at Fletcher Hall in the Carolina Theatre.
Sadly, I couldn’t make Gary’s award ceremony as the 2pm time conflicted with a Moogfest show by Gwenno, who was high on my “to see” list for the synthesizer festival.
Toward the end of her show, Welsh songstress Gwenno apologized for the sad lyrics of songs on her debut solo album, Y Dydd Olaf, which after all was inspired by a Welsch dystopian science fiction novel of the same name from 1976. (The title translates as “the last day.”)
Art pop diva Grimes sings at Moogfest 2016 in Durham, NC, on Friday, May 20, 2016.
The sun was shining in Durham, NC, last weekend, and Moogfest 2016 was well underway! There were shows to review at this, the premiere music festival dedicated to the synthesizer, and I hopped straight to reviewing them.
I spent a lot of my time at Moogfest around what I guess would be the north end of the central downtown area in Durham, as Motorco Music Hall and its adjoining Motorco Park hosted a lot of the most interesting shows on the agenda. And it was well situated near other bars and the best downtown barbecue restaurant, The Pit.
While at Motorco Park on Friday, May 20, for the second day of Moogfest, I was introduced to Los Angeles noise rock trio HEALTH.
“Wow,” I said when I saw them. “That guy is playing his synthesizer ON THE GROUND.”
Gary Numan sings at the Carolina Theatre during Moogfest 2016 on May 20. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Whereas on the first night of his Moogfest residency Gary Numan played a lot of guitar, on the second night, he played a lot of synthesizer. With as much passion as ever, Gary threw himself across a Virus TI imbuing warmth into crystalline synthpop.
Hewing mostly to the tracklist order, Gary continued his Moogfest residency with a night dedicated to his album The Pleasure Principle at Fletcher Hall in the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC, on Friday, May 20. The Pleasure Principle, the second of three albums in Gary’s “Machine Trilogy,” is easily the most universally recognized of his early records in part because of the still-ubiquitous hit single “Cars,” which he performed with as much fervor as ever at the midpoint of his set.