The Psychedelic Furs Rock Orlando

by Zane Ewton

There's a generation of great British bands who grew up on David Bowie and Roxy Music, leaned into early punk sounds but developed into undeniable pop songwriters.

The Psychedelic Furs are one of those great bands. To run through the band's history indelicately and imprecisely:

*British post punk band lands some early '80s chart hits in the UK

*College radio airplay grows into mainstream radio airplay

*Filmmaker John Hughes uses your song as inspiration for one of the enduring teen movies of the decade (Pretty in Pink)

*Band leans into mainstream sound and only finds displeasure

*On hiatus through the 1990s

*Return to touring in 2000 and return to recording in 2020

The Psychedelic Furs Rock Orlando

That brings us to 2023 as the Psychedelic Furs are on the road in support of 2020's Made of Rain record, and this next to last show of their spring tour at Hard Rock Live in Orlando.

The upbeat crowd was ready for a party and the band arrived full of charm and a bag full of hits. Singer Richard Butler sounds exactly like you hope he would as the band launched into MTV-era hits like "Heaven," "Love My Way" and "Pretty in Pink."

The pleasant surprise was to hear how well the rest of the Furs' discography holds up with songs like "President Gas" reaching back to their punk roots, the atmospheric and heavy "Run and Run" and new album stand out "Wrong Train."

Butler and his brother, bassist Tim Butler, remain the only original members, but have surrounded themselves with a tight band who deftly delivers on the big pop-rock hooks as well as the romantic cynicism behind some of Butler's lyrics.

At a tight 17-song, the Psychedelic Furs were all killer, no filler for two hours with an enraptured audience.

The only misstep of the evening was special guest Evan Dando.

This pairing was an odd combination. Dando worked through an opening set of solo acoustic covers and Lemonheads songs while a crowd who were, at best, patient and indifferent, weren't interested in what he was offering. It was a tough spot for him.

The Psychedelic Furs wrapped up their spring tour with these Florida shows but will return to the U.S. in the fall for a co-headlining tour with British contemporary Squeeze.

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