Show Pics: Midge Ure @ 3ten (1/20)

As I mentioned in the preview, Midge Ure was last in town, almost exactly two years ago. Oh, those were much simpler times, weren’t they? Though not in name, the idea of the current climate was a subject of between song banter and related to several titles, even if just loosely. Fitting given the protest that night, call it a warmup for the women’s march. There were many songs that he could not do justice in the acoustic only set from The Cactus, in particular hearing “Reap the Wild Wind” was bucket list stuff for me.

Nite‘s set was a very pleasant surprise.

…so click through for show notes and plenty of photos.

Protesters arrived at 2nd and Lavaca as we were finishing up dinner with a freind at La Condesa (get the lamb barbacoa tacos). Orderly, several sections of chants, though “this is what democracy looks like” was a set list fave. There were some spicy messages shared via poster board. APD did a great of moving things along, managing traffic. Kudos to the protestors, well organized and on message.

Many young faces in the crowd, I hope the new fans weren’t all dragged there by parents. There were a few amateurs in the crowd; you don’t own a big section of the floor just cause you got there early, lady. Otherwise, 3ten is the best sounding room in Austin.

Nite hails form Dallas and the wife did confirm, they are twins. They told her after their set as I was waiting for Midge up front that their biggest inspiration right now is Empire of the Sun. I get that, but they also incorporate some great fuzzed out bass lines, ringing guitars that are signatures of post punk and no wave that I also love so much. Vocals are traded back and forth, distinctly different yet harmonizing well. They seem to know the history of much of the music I “grew up” with, mentioned a few times how honored they were to open the show. More to come from ATH on them, I reckon.

Midge was delightful as ever. “Dear God” was the opener and was intro’ed with its relevant theme to the current politics. The set list was heavy on Ultravox, though “Fade to Grey” from Visage made a cameo, as did a few solo songs, old and new. “Fade to Grey” was particularly interesting as it went from a guitar rock version to the pure synth midway through and back to the guitars and big driving bass. It made you think of the origin of the song, noodling around on guitars before the synths. “The Voice” was another synth-driven anthem scoring high marks. “New Europeans” and “All Stood Still” celebrated the new romantic sound.

You may notice a signature on his guitar. That is his own signature. He had signed three guitars to be auctioned off after a previous leg of the tour. They were sent back to the UK, three more to arrive and sign and also send back. Chagrin, the guitar people sent back the signed guitars. He had to explain that lest anyone think he is a complete megalomaniac.

“Reap the Wild Wind” was the first of two encore songs. It was a blissful spacy moment for all in attendance, those that had never heardit live like me or those that hadn’t heard it live in nearly thirty years. The crowd acted as backing vocal/echoes, unprompted. To close things, Midge spoke of the loss of talent in 2016. One artist’s passing affected him significantly, David Bowie. Bowie was thanked for making society deal open the discussion around trans and gay rights and other societal ills through his songs’ subject matter and his stylistic androgyny. Therefore, “Starman” finished the night. It was special and highlighted Midge’s musicianship on guitar and ability to own a song, not his own, but everybody’s now…

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