BY DEAN BIRKHEIMER | Go Venue Magazine
“I just didn’t make music that you could sing with a big grin, still don’t.” – Gary Numan
Calendars were circled and alarms were set and those of us that attend concerts on a regular basis, September 10th was a date that nearly everybody in the Omaha area waited for eagerly. The original show scheduled for September 28th, 2021 was postponed due to Covid concerns. Numan and the INTRUDER TOUR finally made it to The Waiting Room Lounge just under a year later, and the place was sold out. Even Dave Campbell, The Waiting Room production manager, told me when he took over the duties and saw this on the schedule, he knew he would have to give it a little more attention. To accommodate the 500 plus capacity crowd, The Waiting Room Lounge removed all the seating, including the bar stools. Before the opening act even hit the stage, the joint was two thirds full.
Kicking it off was experimental music act I Speak Machine. Tara Busch makes up the entire act. Electric fury is the best way to describe her style. Tara’s set list was 35 minutes of pure darkness. Several songs off her recently released War album were presented and showcased her banshee like howls. Her music was greatly appreciated by the crowd, and she thanked us in a soft child like voice. Totally opposite of her singing style.
For the most part, the audience leaned toward the mature side of the age scale. It was made up of goths, rockers, alt-pop fans, and metal heads. For this one night, they all came together to see a true icon. The stage darkens, but as the band members start to take the stage, the synth loops kick in and a bright pulsating white light fills the venue. The band members flank the stage, and Numan makes his way front and center and surveys the crowd. As we are all chanting, “Gary, Gary, Gary,” the band rips into “Intruder.” The music is masterfully composed, and the instrumentation is perfect. His connection with the audience is genuine and the way he commands a stage cannot be duplicated. The perfect relationship between sound and light was in full display. The space is constantly filled with strobes, probes and colors. With 19 albums under his belt, it’s easy to believe that Numan is relevant even today and is still inspiring bands. In the end, all of us Numanoids were sent back to the past and then shown the future. Whether it’s the timeless classic “Are Friends Electric” or a current song, like “The Gift,” it’s clear old and new make great bedfellows.
I Speak Machine