Peter Murphy and David J. – Worcester Palladium

I’m not going to waste my time going over the importance of the band Bauhaus or how many musicians, artists, and writers their music has influenced since they began in 1978, instead I will assume that either you are already aware of their impact or, at the very least, you have a device that can provide you with some much-needed knowledge. Perhaps a smartphone. You know, the rectangular shaped overpriced object you hold out in front of you at a concert and watch the entire show on instead of experiencing it as it happens right in front of you. If you were in fact, paying attention to the stage and not the lit up screen on your phone you were treated to two of the original members of Bauhaus, Peter Murphy and David J., along with Mark Slutsky on drums and Mark Gemini Thwaite on guitar, powering through the entire first Bauhaus album In The Flat Field  (4AD) followed by a healthy dose of classics from the bands catalog.

Commanding the stage with an austere elegance and grace few others can pull off, Murphy, strode confidently into view awash in blue light. Dressed in black leather pants and a sequined jacket he stood front and center, dramatically up-lit, staring into the crowd with his startlingly icy blue eyes as they went right into ‘Double Dare’. They thundered flawlessly through the album In the Flat Field stopping just once after the title track to address some idiot in the crowd who was seemingly antagonizing Peter by pelting him repeatedly with what looked like pieces of un-chewed gum(at least 4 or 5 buzzed over my head to meet their mark then land at his feet).

Although David kept mostly to the shadows, Peter worked the stage with his familiar theatrical flair, strutting back and forth from atop the drum riser then holding his mic stand above his head as if it was a sword, slowly slicing the air with it. Though his physical presence on the stage was captivating it could not overwhelm the power and decadence of his dark, brooding voice that has lost none of its original strength. Just amazing to hear live!

Two-thirds into the set, the familiar click of the drums and foreboding bass line of ‘Bella Lugosi’s Dead’ instantly electrified the crowd. They yell en masse with outstretched arms, beginning to dance, even hop, to the bands likely most well-known song. It is hard to deny the raw power of that minimalistic song, especially in a live setting. The dub like beats of ‘She’s in Parties’ immediately followed which was, not surprisingly, the apex of the evening for most.

The 17 song set ends with the Dead Can Dance cover ‘Severance’. It’s perfect. I leave feeling totally satisfied and truthfully elated. This was not some sad nostalgia tour with piss poor performances by artists phoning it in for a paycheck as I am sometimes subjected to. No! In fact, it was so good that I would have gone again if I could have found a way to make it to the next stop on the tour.

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY HILLARIE JASON