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Guitar power

Alternative music exploded in the '80s, and much of it has proved to be lasting in its impact. In fact, for a while there, dark and multitextured post-punk pop music was crossing over into the mainstream without being dumbed down in the process. So the Psychedelic Furs had a bunch of pop hits, one of which wormed its way into millions of unsuspecting brains via the soundtrack to a slightly silly Molly Ringwald film ("Pretty in Pink").

Led by the lovable rasp of vocalist Richard Butler the Furs charted a memorable course that made the band easier to like than, say, Bauhaus, but no less interesting, musically speaking. Although its commercial profile declined a bit after its late-'80s heyday, the band never fully stopped touring and today is still one of the more dramatic live acts from that era.

The Psychedelic Furs have teamed up with the Alarm and the Fixx for what is sure to be one of the most expressive celebrations of post-modern electric guitar playing ever to be gathered together on one bill. The tour, dubbed "Rockin' the Colonies" (all the bands hail from different parts of the United Kingdom), comes to Gateway Park in the Tonawandas as part of the Molson Canal Concert series at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.Admission is free. Visit www.canalconcerts.com for additional information.

-- Jeff Miers

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