Thousands of Bauhaus fans filed into the Hollywood Palladium for the concert they never thought they would witness. Just three months after Peter Murphy suffered a heart attack before a New York performance, a series of Los Angeles shows were announced with the band’s original lineup of Murphy, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and David J, sending everyone dressed in all black into a flurry trying to score tickets for the first show. Those who were in attendance were treated to an inspired performance from the “grandfathers of goth,” in which Peter Murphy connected with the audience with brooding stares and constant movement.
Feedback rang into the crowd as Bauhaus took the stage for their first song, a cover of John Cale’s “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores.” Murphy, donned in a glittering blazer, highlighted cheekbones and a fedora, circled in a cat-like manner around the stage, making his way to the stage right and left so each side of the massive crowd could catch a good glimpse of him. Fans squealed with excitement as he approached them and took out their phones to snap pictures.
Those toward the front of the stage didn’t seem to mind that their personal space was non-existent, as they stared transfixed at Murphy holding onto his every move in anticipation. Strobe lights flashed into the crowd for “Double Dare,” and Murphy bellowed into the mic with a raspy growl, shaking the mic closer and farther to create an echoing effect. However, it didn’t seem to matter whether the mic was held close to his mouth or not – his voice filled up the grand palladium just fine.
The crowd cheered as soon as the intro for “She’s In Parties” started, and Murphy took to the back of the stage as he played the intro and outro on the melodica, and took to the percussion as well between verses. The song rolled into a dub jam with the punching bassline and delayed drums before going straight into “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” During probably their most famous song, Murphy came forward on the stage to sing directly over a shining light, giving the performance a downright eerie feeling as he shone through the yellow-lit fog. He directed the mic toward the crowd to join in song for the verse “Bela’s Undead/ oh Bela” and surprised everyone by tossing red rose petals in the air.
For the heavy “Stigmata Martyr,” Murphy utilized the mic stand as a cross, wrapping his arms around either end and leaning backward. “Kick In The Eye” had everyone dancing along to the funky bass line. They closed their set with “Dark Entries” and left the crowd wanting more. Their encore was a mini-set of inspired covers including Iggy Pop’s “Sister Midnight,” T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam,” and ending with a show-stopping, Bowie-channeling cover of “Ziggy Stardust.”‘
Post-punk trio Automatic opened for Bauhaus, and even though one of the members is a product of Bauhaus’ own Kevin Haskins, they seemed humbled to grace the stage before the goth legends. While it appeared that the majority of the audience hadn’t heard of them, the trio won everyone over with danceable krautrock-inspired post-punk songs like “Electrocution” and “Calling It” off their latest album Signal.
For those who missed Bauhaus’ first two performances, please do jump on the final opportunity to see them live on December 1st.
Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale cover)
In The Flat Field
A God in an Alcove
In Fear of Fear
Spy in the Cab
Terror Couple Kill Colonel
Swing the Heartache
She’s In Parties
Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Kick In The Eye
The Man With the X-Ray Eyes
The Three Shadows, Part II
Sister Midnight (Iggy Pop cover)
Telegram Sam (T. Rex cover)
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover)
All Photos: Ekaterina Gorbacheva