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Show Review: The Chuch/Psychedelic Furs at Royal Oak Music Theater

The recent package tour of The Church and The Psychedelic Furs had '80s music fans out in full force for a sold out show at the Royal Oak Music Theater this past Saturday night. Some may call this pairing of bands a nostalgia tour but can it really be considered a 'nostalgia' tour if one of the bands has continued to release music since their inception?

Celebrating their 35th anniversary as a band, the Australian psychedelic rock band The Church played first. They treated the packed house to a select set of songs from their 21 album career and highlighted  three songs off of their latest album, 2014's “Further/Deeper”. Their most recognizable hits, “Reptile”, “Metropolis,” and “Under The Milky Way” brought the biggest cheers of course, but the band's energy and enthusiasm was also duly noted on this night. The band's performance far outshined the headliners on this particular show. This was mentioned by more than one attendee I spoke to after the show. This was my first time seeing the band live and I was glad I had the chance to finally see them.

This is the first time the two post-punk, neo-psychedelic bands have shared a bill after an attempt at a dual tour in 1988 fell through. But while The Psychedelic Furs have continued to tour playing their hits, they have not released any new material since the 1991 album "The World Outside." Not content to rest on their laurels, The Church have not only produced a recent album but a video for the song "Laurel Canyon." 

The Psychedelic Furs have always been one of my all-time favorite bands. I have seen them live just about every time they have toured thru Detroit so this reviewer has seen enough shows to compare them!  The show started off strong with the one-two punch of “Heartbeat” and the rousing “Mr. Jones” off their second album (one of my favorite songs), followed by “Heaven,” seemed promising. The energy was there at the onset but they quickly changed pace, slowing it down and delivered mid-tempo songs from the “World Outside” album throughout the middle of the set. They featured two unreleased songs; “Little Miss World” and  “Wrong Train.” Only two songs from their debut album showed up in the set list, “Susan's Strange” and an encore of “Sister Europe.” The back half of the show they played the hits “Pretty in Pink,” “Love My Way,” and “Heartbreak Beat,” but by then the energy in the room diminished. The second encore was the song “Sleep Comes Down,” but sleep came down midway thru the show for this reviewer. It should be noted however that Mr. Butler's voice is still as strong as ever.

According to their website they have “hinted” at a new album but no new songs were introduced at this show, the latest being the 2012 unreleased “Little Miss World”. While I'm not giving up on the band and it is always nice to hear the hits, it would be nice to hear what new songs they could come up with now and I would love to hear them mix it up with a better paced set at the next show.

For more info on The Psychedelic Furs visit their website at
For more info on The Church visit their website at