BEST SYNTH-POP O.G.: Gary Numan
At Elysium on Saturday night, Numan embraced the industrial world he helped inspire more than three decades ago. In his second SXSW performance of the evening, the U.K. singer behind the still-totally-genius hit "Cars" leaned hard against his mic stand as he delivered futuristic songs from the Seventies and Eighties plus brooding tracks from last year's Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), his first album of new material in seven years. At Elysium (where the pool tables were turned into a display of the latest Moog gear), he was overcome with gloom and intense emotion, feeling every throb of his synths. The inevitable message: Love will tear us apart. It was terrifically dark and intense, but at the end Numan finally stepped into the white light to wave his goodbyes at wildly cheering fans.