Musician Gary Numan performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC, Canada on May 14th 2023 © Jamie Taylor

Live Review: Gary Numan + A Place To Bury Strangers @ The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver – May 14th 2023

Last night, the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver was alive with music and energy as two incredible bands took the stage for a night of rock and roll. The evening’s opening act was none other than A Place To Bury Strangers, whose high energy and dynamic sound left the crowd buzzing. Reminiscent of a blend between Oh Sees and Brian Jonestown Massacre, A Place To Bury Strangers lit up the stage with their raucous set. Their lead singer was especially memorable, throwing his guitar up into the air and letting it smash into the stage, not once, but twice, before swinging it over his head again and smashing it down. Their lighting was dark, save for the constant strobes of pulsing light that added to the drama of their set. While not everyone in attendance was about their style, the band built a great wall of sound that was hard to ignore.

A Place To Bury Strangers performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC, Canada on May 14th 2023 © Jamie Taylor

When Gary Numan, the main artist of the night, took the stage, the entire feel of the venue shifted. It stayed dramatic, but in a theatrical way. Numan used his emotive performance to deliver a widely palatable set that was enjoyed by the majority of the crowd. He worked his butt off and served up a fun and captivating show that had everyone in the room moving to the beat. Numan never seemed to stop moving, dancing and jerking his body to every note of every song. He proved to be a true hard-working musician who gave his all to the performance.

Numan’s setlist was a crowd-pleaser, featuring some of his greatest hits like “Cars” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”. He started the night with “Resurrection”, followed by “Down in the Park” and “Halo”. “Pure” and “Everything Comes Down to This” came next, and the crowd went wild for “Ghost Nation” and “Metal”. “The Gift” and “Haunted” slowed things down a bit before the energy picked back up with “Is This World Not Enough”. Numan’s emotional performance of “Love Hurt Bleed” was a standout moment of the night. “Pray for the Pain You Serve”, “My Name Is Ruin”, and “Here in the Black” followed, before Numan closed out his set with “A Prayer for the Unborn”.

Gary Numan performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC, Canada on May 14th 2023 © Jamie Taylor

The encore was nothing short of spectacular, as Numan came back to the stage to perform “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” The crowd sang along to every word, and Numan’s energy was infectious.

Overall, the night was a perfect blend of two incredible bands. A Place To Bury Strangers brought the high energy, while Gary Numan delivered a more emotive, theatrical performance that was widely enjoyed. While not everyone in attendance may have been about A Place To Bury Strangers’ style, they built a great wall of sound that was hard to ignore. Gary Numan, on the other hand, was a true hard-working musician who never stopped moving and delivered a captivating show. It was a night that won’t soon be forgotten.

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Photos © Jamie Taylor

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