Closing A Chapter With Gary Numan At First Avenue


9 years ago I walked into the now closed Mill City Nights nervously clutching a camera to photograph not only one of my first concerts, but an artist who had been an influence since my early teens, Gary Numan. My first time in an actual photo pit, up close with one of my idols. The images that I got that night (more by pure luck than skill) are still among my favorites. Hooked on the experience we founded TCM a few weeks later. 

Last night I made my way to First Avenue to cover Gary Numan once again. A milestone of a different sort, this show would be my last spearheading TCM. Only fitting that DJ Jake Rudh would spin tunes before the show (I think he was there for the first show as well). 

Canada’s Front Line Assembly was up first with the unique blend of industrial and dance music. Many in the crowd had shown up early to catch their set. I had forgotten that FLA did a cover of Falco’s Amadeus so the sounds from my homeland came as a welcome surprise.


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In the 40+ years since Tubeway Army, Gary Numan’s stage presence has well evolved from the emotionless android we saw on the BBC. Numan brings drama and emotion to the stage from fashion (yay for bald band members sporting long men-skirts) to his movement. With the guitar and bass player joining his movements at times it felt like an art performance set to industrial music. Songs that have a few decades under their belt evolve. None more evident than “Metal” , one of my personal favorites.

In the years since we started TCM we have covered more than 2000 shows in the Twin Cities. We saw household names in their early days (Halsey in 2014, Billie Eilish at the Entry in 2018), musical heroes from my youth (Billy Idol, David Byrne) and bands where I needed to slap myself in the face to make sure I wasn’t dreaming (Iron Maiden, Rammstein). I saw young photographers and writers join our ranks and grow. I enjoyed the camaraderie of Minnesota music photographers  and the staff at music venues. Chatting outside the pit with other photographers and staff, respectfully nodding a greeting at Conrad as he walked by. Coming back and rebuilding the blog after COVID. But after 9 years it’s time to hand over the reins of TCM to our new editing team. Many of you know Langen and Andrew from countless shows. I feel that the future of our little blog is in good hands. So for now, I bid you farewell. 


Down in the Park / Halo / Pure / Everything Comes Down to This / Ghost Nation  / Metal  / The Gift  / Haunted  / Is This World Not Enough  / Cars  / The Chosen  / Love Hurt Bleed  / Pray for the Pain You Serve  / My Name Is Ruin  / A Prayer for the Unborn 

Encore: Here in the Black / Are ‘Friends’ Electric?