Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lonely are The Mainstreamers Who Should Shut-up and Listen to Peter Murphy's Wisdom

Tonight at the Fillmore, waiting for a quiet moment, "To the people who know only two Bauhaus songs, go home!" I didn't really scream it, but I wanted to. Peter Murphy's show of songs from the Bauhaus catalog (the 35th anniversary of Bauhaus) also gave us moments of him telling us stories in between songs, but the sound engineer was too lazy to remove the reverb on Murphy's mic so his voice was not too clear. Murphy began to tell a story about the song lyric "Now the ultra violet's violent" and how he and David (paraphrasing) didn't agree on that lyric and that David didn't like the words "ultra violet". This woman near me says loudly, "He's playing 'Ziggy Stardust', I told you," to her friend. The song is called "Endless Summer of the Damned," for the record and this girl just didn't get it. Peter Murphy is talking about David J, yeah, that David, if she could just listen to what he's saying and stop shouting ridiculous crap.

I move around to find myself closer to the front, thinking maybe I'll find some true fans up there. The guy in the trucker hat at about the time the band is 30 bars into "Bela Lugosi's Dead" says "I think this is 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'." It was surprising that "Bela" shows up in the middle. There's quite a stark contrast to seeing Murphy in reading glasses as he's knob-twirling during the early part of "Bela" and then he removes them and performs brilliantly without missing a beat.

Murphy mentions the show poster that the Fillmore commissioned for the show. The Fillmore gives out free posters at the end. He says that they gave him bat wings and a bald head. "I've still got hair on my head, for one thing...Someone said that I should be glad that they put a poster with my name on it up on the wall, yeah, okay... anyways, the poster doesn't make the show, it's the people that make the show!"

When a stagehand was setting his mic stand in position, Murphy quickly gestured a swat in his direction with his melodica. Spontaneous moments like this made me nostalgic for the original members of Bauhaus.

Murphy has a real drummer unlike solo shows he's done in smaller venues where it was not so electric. I wondered if the drummer ever imagined playing a goth dance beat every night when he answered the ad "Drummer Wanted". The bassist also plays violin, which I think was during "Severance," the Dead Can Dance cover. The guitarist sounded best during melodic parts, but I found the overall instrument mix with Murphy's vocals to be too muddy. His vocal reverb with the baritone is overdone to the point that it sounds underproduced and amateur mixing-wise.

Visually compelling is Murphy's use of a portable light during "Boys," much like the stripped down live sets back when Bauhaus would perform within darkness and shadows contrasted with bright light effects; lights shown up from the floor or from the side of the stage. Murphy played a gorgeous, rich sounding acoustic guitar on "A Strange Kind of Love" from his solo album Love Hysteria. He did two encores, ending the first with "Ziggy Stardust" and the second with "She's in Parties." The exiting crowd was surprised as probably was the Fillmore lighting engineer because house chandeliers lit for a second and then quickly went dark as he took the stage once more. His set included "King Volcano," "Kingdom's Coming," "Double Dare," "In the Flat Field," "Silent Hedges," "Dark Entries," "Spy in the Cab," "The Passion of Lovers," "Stigmata Martyr," "Hollow Hills," "Spirit," covers "Telegram Sam," "Ziggy Stardust," and, on of my favorites, "Kick in the Eye."