Bauhaus Peter Murphy & David J 40th Anniversary Tour
January 30, 2019
Review by David N. Lindsay
Photos by JLyne Hanback
Gothic Heights And Flights
Forty Years ago Bauhaus released "Bela Lugosi's Dead" a 9 minute atmospheric moody single that stood in defiance to the punk ethos of the day. Their debut LP "In the Flat Field" cemented their standing as pioneers of the goth movement. Bauhaus members front man Peter Murphy and bassist David J (with hired hands Mark Slutsky on drums and Mark Gemini White on drums) brought their Bauhaus 40th anniversary tour to the Granada theater Wednesday night to an adoring crowd. They played "In the flat Fields" in its entirety to open and then played a full set of other Bauhaus classics.
Opening act Desert Mountain Tribe from the UK a three piece sounds like a five piece. They keep one foot in the punk gutter while the other in the land of dreamy soundscapes. With tribal drumming and ethereal guitar they create a unique sound best described as surf music for vampires.
Peter Murphy is a truly great front man all around. His ghostly baritone was in fine form. He brings a large theatrical presence onstage but without seeming pretentious. During "Spy in the Cab" he had the crowd mesmerized with a lone offstage white spotlight. He hypnotized the crowd with just his face and hand, moving in and out of the spotlight to great effect. David J got in on the action using the reflection of the beam off his bass to sweep the crowd like a searchlight. Murphy utilizes his entire body to enhance his performance, as well as his silhouette and even his wardrobe are used to great effect. One of the biggest cheers of the night was when he stood his collar up creating vampire like image at the start of "Bela Lugosi's Dead". His dance moves during "Kick in the Eye" were riveting.
Bauhaus classics like "She's in Parties" and "Passion of Lovers" were well received by the adoring crowd. The show ended with a pair of cover songs that Bauhaus recorded as singles. T.Rex's Telegram Sam" and David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust". During which Murphy declared "God bless you David Bowie". It wasn't as good a show as previous Bauhaus reunions in 1998 and 2000s, but short of a full on reunion its as good as one could expect.