It was a evening ripe for nostalgia and most of the older crowd at the Kool Haus were ready for an eighties/early nineties revival. On hand were two very popular UK bands from yesteryear. A friend mentioned how this would have been such a hot ticket back in the day. It was a hot enough ticket for the Kool Haus crowd on this chilly October night.
The Psychedelic furs started the crowd of right with one of their hits "Love my way" and proceded to play a long mix of hits with a couple lesser known songs sprinkled along the way. Frontman Richard Buttler remained energetic throuhout the set hopping along to the music. I certainly hope to have half his energy at his age. His enthusiasm was accented by the great sax solos by Mars Williams. Buttler as always entertained with his distinctive voice and expressive hand gestures/poses and the crowd sang happily along to the 80's melodies which included obvious hits "Heaven", "All Of This and Nothing", and "Pretty In Pink". The Furs played a solid set leaving most satisfied and happy to have had them back in Toronto.
Opening for the Furs were were the Happy Mondays a group who started off a bit later than the Furs but had some hits in the early nineties. They took the stage and the instant void was visible... no Bez. It seems he had some passport trouble and couldn't get in on the tour. It is a shame however the stage was taken over by of course Shaun Ryder and the wonderful Julie E Gordon. No she wasn't Bez however her singing dancing and posing made up for much of his absence. I may be mistaken but it seems like quite a few ladies have taken to Karen O type poses. Anyhow her movement was in stark contrast to Shaun's static style and she was a welcome addition.
The excitement in the crowd could be felt as soon as the intro to "Kinky Afro" could be heard and it was evident that even without many of the members present the music and the songs were enough for The Happy Mondays to take over the crowd. The bands set list included "Loose Fit", the newer "Jellybean" and by the time I heard the opening riff of their final number "Step On" a quick glance over the crowd gave me the impression that The Happy Mondays could have headlined this tour and maybe even larger events overseas. I'm reluctant to say that the over all feel was odd considering most of the band is gone, but the songs alone seem to stand the test of time and really made the show worthwhile.