red lights

Concert Livewire
basement tapes concert reviews cd reviews interviewsticket swap music news

Even without theatrics,
goth god reigns supreme

Peter Murphy
House of Blues
Chicago, IL
June 17, 2008
Peter Murphy Peter Murphy Peter Murphy

Story and Photos by Andy Argyrakis

There was no coffin, no straightjacket, no upside down entrance, no Bauhaus, and surprisingly, not that large of a crowd, but after 90 uninterrupted minutes of glorious gloom, Peter Murphy remains gothic rock royalty. Despite the absence of pageantry in this bare bones presentation, the black sport coat clad singer and his three industrialized backers were bold, brooding and often times brilliant in executing both group and solo cuts. Though billed as a general retrospective tour of the headliner'sPeter Murphy entire career, it also comes on the heels of Bauhaus' fifth and final studio CD Go Away White, which released at the top of 2008.

While it would've been even better to see the full band support the project, unspecified behind the scenes friction, coupled with the regrouping of offshoot act Love and Rockets made that an impossible occurrence. Nonetheless the front man delivered "Black Stone Heart" with blood sucking urgency, along with the pummeling percussion romp "Endless Summer of the Dammed," intensified by the chorus' manta-filled mania. A handful of hat tips to the band's initial rise to cult acclaim went over with even more appreciation, including the menacing guitar growler "Burning From the Inside" and the seminally enduring "She's In Parties."

Those hoping for an evening of pure bred Bauhaus were left hanging to a certain extent, (especially with the glaring omission of the classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead"), but then again, this was clearly advertised as a solo show. Even so, Murphy's individual outpouring is generally a little less regarded than the medium in which he first found fame and it continues to straddle between avant-garde greatness and being way too cerebral for its own good. Thankfully his choices leaned more towards the former with the ominous "The Line Between the Devil's Teeth," the anthemic "I'll Fall With Your Knife" and the slight foray into funk "Idle Flow" as sure fire standouts. The two most glaring missteps came during the murky sleeper "Huuvola" and the stripped down "Strange Kind of Love" (with Murphy strapping on an acoustic guitar), but he more than made up for the blunders come "Cuts You Up."

Besides being his biggest commercial crest given its David Bowie-derived magnetism, it was yet another fine example of his pipes coming to life with renewed fervor, while an understated prowling of the stage allowed everyone to intimately lock eyes with the engaging entertainer. And while epic antics were certainly appropriate in Bauhaus' recent stadium settings alongside Nine Inch Nails, they were unneeded in this cozy club setting that had no trouble showcasing Murphy's mesmerizing appeal and his undisputed title as the "Godfather of Goth."

Related articles:

Bauhaus Go Away White CD review - Mar. 2008
Bauhaus Photo Gallery - Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI - July 2006
Peter Murphy Concert review - Chicago, IL - May 2002
Peter Murphy Dust CD review - May 2002
Bauhaus Concert review - Chicago, IL - Aug. 1998

What Do You Think?



City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!

Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.

Return to Reviews
Return to Menu