Gary Numan –3Olympia – Gig Review
by Fran Winston
Intruder Tour 2022
3Olympia Theatre, Dame Street, Dublin 2
Tuesday 24th May 2022
After much rescheduling of dates due to the pandemic, Gary Numan finally returned to the stage of Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Tuesday night. Well, actually it’s now the 3Olympia theatre, having undergone a name change since his last show there in September 2019. I was in the audience that evening and as wonderful as it was I probably would have appreciated it even more if I had realised that the world would shut down in a few months.
Gary seems to share the audience’s delight at yet again being able to gather for live shows. Bounding on stage at 8.45pm to the strains of Intruder, the title track from his excellent 2021 album, he looked like a man on a mission and was a bundle of nervous energy. Seemingly there were problems with the sound for the first few numbers at the Belfast show on the 21st but he encountered no such issues here other than being drowned out by the audience cheering. Bouncing around the stage, which resembled an electronica dystopia, he had the energy of a man half his age and he flew through his hits old and new. We are treated to high octane versions of Halo, Resurrection, A Black Sun, The Gift and Ghost Nation to name just a few. All are delivered with an intense energy as Numan focuses on the music eschewing crowd banter, which really is not his thing.
The Numan of 2022 is a far more confident and vibrant performer than his 80s incarnation. He is clearly very comfortable in his own skin and it shows. As soon as the first couple of notes of Cars played the crowd went wild. Numan has had a long and illustrious career but that song remains a perennial favourite. And he knows it, milking it for all it’s worth much to the crowd’s appreciation.
He followed this with a few more tracks including My Name is Ruin and by now he had the crowd eating out of his hand. He bid adieu after We Are Glass the audience became visibly despondent.
Not one to leave the fans hanging, he returned to the stage for an encore starting with the hugely popular Pray for the Pain You Serve from his fantastic 2017 album Savage before launching into another one of his signature tracks Are ‘Friends’ Electric. By now the crowd were completely under his spell and chanting along to its famous chorus until the closing notes rang out and he left the stage for the second and final time as the people in the circle seats leapt to their feet and gave him a standing ovation much to the chagrin of the venue staff.
He gave the crowd everything they wanted and still left them wanting more which is the sign of a great gig. As people left the venue they enthusiastically chattered about how amazing he was and they weren’t wrong. This was a fantastic gig from a performer at the height of his powers and hopefully, he’ll grace these shores again soon.
I Die: You Die
Is This World Not Enough
Down in the Park
Everyday I Die
Pray for the Pain You Serve
My Name Is Ruin
Love Hurt Bleed
We Are Glass
Are ‘Friends’ Electric?