Gary Numan, Big Black Delta conquer the Mayan

Back to Article
Back to Article

Gary Numan, Big Black Delta conquer the Mayan

Jake Tully

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Gary Numan takes the stage at the Mayan on March 6. | Photo by Jake Tully/Contributor

Gary Numan takes the stage at the Mayan on March 6. | Photo by Jake Tully/Contributor

One of the seminal figures of the new wave and electronic music movements, Gary Numan has been a musical pioneer since his tenure with Tubeway Army. Of course, in many respects Gary Numan needs no introduction – only one’s attention. Attention was exactly what Numan commanded at The Mayan in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 6. Those lucky enough to catch Numan saw what is not exactly the comeback tour of Numan and his illustrious career, but rather a full-fledged renaissance of the most ambiguous and dedicated performer of his class.

The Mayan could not have been a more appropriate venue for Numan in Los Angeles. With the aesthetics of a Central American crypt infused with an electrical deity, the stage was set for the new wave legend to rise.

Roman Remains graced took the stage, an electronic-industrial group currently on tour with fellow openers Big Black Delta. In their short set, Roman Remains set the tone for the night – invigorating electronic noise with sheer tenacity. However, it was Big Black Delta that stole the show in terms of opening. With a wildly manic performance that would perfectly warm up the crowd for Gary Numan, Delta could easily stand on their own bill.

Let the distinction stand now – industrial-electronic, industrial-rock, electronic- cosmic-industrial-dance-zydeco – all genre assignments essentially boil down to one musical aspect, a pulsating electronically driven beat that gets “heavy” at one point or another. It’s a not a complicated formula, just one that either gets appropriated well or comes off as a Nine Inch Nails studio scrap.

I digress. After Big Black Delta and Roman Remains had warmed up the crowd, a strange mysticism filled the air. It was genuinely eerie to think that I would soon behold Gary Numan. Part excitement, part doubt in exactly what to expect, part anticipation of seeing a new wave god – I was, as we say in the business, twitterpated.

Suddenly, Gary Numan appeared. Flitting on stage with the dexterity and energy of a man half his age, Numan immediately threw himself into a wrought-iron set. The energy and showmanship from Gary Numan and his band is rarely paralleled for his status and age, much less for performances in general. Primarily playing songs from 2013‘s Splinter and Dead Son Rising, Numan sprinkled in classics “Are Friends Electric?” and the effervescent “Cars.

Being young and flexible, I can accept Numan’s multifarious set. However, a fair amount of the older folks in the crowd – 98% of the crowd – seemed a little mystified at Numan’s song choice. Despite the confusion or otherwise mild discontent, the crowd was ever-increasing in enthusiasm. Numan’s natural charisma is the crux of his talent in live form, and boy does he have a never-ending supply. Numan’s career certainly isn’t suffering, and a well-deserved renaissance is Numan’s indeed.