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Gary Numan @ El Rey Theatre 11/04/10

Photo of Gary Numan taken by Jason Persse
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If there is any burden that comes with being a seminal artist, it’s the slavish obsession and attention perpetually paid to the seminal art. For pioneering UK electronic artist Gary Numan in America, it all revolves around his timeless hit song, “Cars.” Taken from his 1979 album “The Pleasure Principle,” it’s one of the first songs to introduce electronic music to the American masses, reaching #9 on the US charts in early 1980.

All of which made Numan’s stop at the El Rey Theatre on his current “Pleasure Principle Tour 2010” tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of his groundbreaking release a blast of retro nostalgia as well as a celebration of Numan’s storied career. Most Americans and casual music listeners only know him for “Cars.” But Numan’s continued popularity in Europe coupled with a younger audience derived from his close association with disciple Trent Reznor pulled an impressive crowd of hardcore fans ranging from pre-teens to white-haired couples in their 60s. He made a point to play to them all over the course of a nearly 2-hour set.