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Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen

Delicious news for fans of the Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen: this Wednesday night, both bands are playing on one bill at The Fillmore. Generally speaking, writing previews for such shows usually involves a lot of guesswork. One never knows how to sell an act that has yet to perform, particularly when the bands enjoyed their heyday almost twenty years ago. In this case, however, I am writing from recent experience. Both bands came around separately earlier this year and in my eternal devotion and homage the good music that came out of the '80s, I made sure to attend both shows. Initially, I feared seeing the acts that defined the post-punk era at this late date, but as it turned out, I was more than pleasantly surprised.

First, the Furs emerged with as much energy as one might have expected during their mid-'80s peak. Richard Butler's voice retains its signature sound--at once gravelly and smooth, and the band delivered a respectable assortment of their most beloved tunes. The show never felt like a reunion tour cashing in on the '80s revival, nor did the Furs attempt to unleash a slew of unkown songs on the audience they knew came to hear their classic material.

The same was true of the Echo and the Bunnymen show, also at the Fillmore, a few months back. While they did play some new selections from their recent album Flowers, the new material holds up their high standards of musical and lyrical integrity. And there was no lack of attention given their timeless pieces, either. Pristine versions of "The Killing Moon" and "Do It Clean" as well as the reliable segue into The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" brought the show full circle, streamlining the best of the old and new. McCullough's voice is still haunting and deliberate, and the music still as sparkly and charged as when the band exploded on the scene in the late '70s.

After seeing both these bands re-emerge and take the stage with such conviction and energy, I felt blessed for the opportunity to have seen them each one last time, and even more pleased that both shows delivered more than I thought possible. The fact that they're coming around again--and together this time--is just icing. Both acts were among the only bands worth following in the '80s and neither gave in to late career half-assed resuscitation. To see them now is to remember their genius and revel in their music, knowing it lives on.