"The lights converged on the stage. I raised my cloak on either side like bat wings. The screams fused into a great monolithic roar, "I am the Vampire Lestat!"
BAUHAUS AUGUST 24-Mammoth Events Center
"HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN"
After nearly a 15 year hiatus, the members of the undergound rock band Bauhaus have come together once again to tour with ghoulish splendor across the globe. They stopped by Denver at Mammoth's Events Center last night for a sold out concert.
The crowd is very excited and very packed into the auditorium with hardly move to breathe. The lights dim at 8:30 and suddenly the audience is assaulted by the sound and sight of a band that seems to have matured both in its talent and in its music. The first song is `Double Dare', which features the stark face of Peter Murphy projected from a TV screen center stage while the other band members casually emerge from the shadows. After this, the man himself appears, causing the entire crowd to surge forward in worship. Once onstage with the other band members they soar into "In the Flat Field',`God in an Alcove' and `In Fear of Fear', which features Daniel Ash and his otherwordly saxophone playing. Peter Murphy enacts each song with tremendous fury and ballet-like grace, swimming and undulating through `God in an Alcove' and hyperkinetically bouncing through `In Fear of Fear'. Peter Murphy still displays theatricality in his clothes, wearing first a short sleeved, purple pullover shirt with purple/velvet pants, later changing onstage to a long sleeved velvety purple shirt. Daniel Ash looks straight out of a Marc Bolan concert, with his tradecork, cork-screw spiked hair dyed jet-black, thick-heeled oon shoes, tight blue athletic pants (in which he looked quite curvaceous!)and a loose silver-tinted button down shirt, topped off with a purple feather boa. Davi J looks like the rest of the audience--simply dressed entirely in a black long sleeved shirt and black pants. Kevin uses the basic black principle as well for his wardrobe. `Hollow Hills' begins with Daniel Ash using a drum-stick to invoke haunting melodies and a heart-breaking lament from his guitar. Meanwhile Peter Murphy creeps with somber elegance past dangling light bulbs that have dropped down from overhead. The band continues its momentum with Terror Couple Killed Colonel', which features another splendid performance by Daniel Ash and his uniquely exceptional guitar work, while Peter moves to the very front of the stage and poses with the utmost arrogance and glamour--his eyes lined with makeup and his face regal and covered with sweat `Silent Hedges' is next, with Peter sitting at the back of the stage near the durmset, a bright spotlight streaming down on him..They also perform a beautiful rendition of `Severence' by Dead Can Dance. During all this, the crowd surges and slams into one another--people have to be plucked out of the crowd that cannot take the suffocation. Peter, at one point, comes forward and
starts to hand bottles of water to people in the front row. To our relief, the roadies get the hint and started grabbing out boxes of bottled water, passing them along the crowd for alleviation of this mass dehydration. Another interesting moment is when Peter Murphy comes to the front of the stage and lifts the trunk of a disabled fan (no arms or legs) onto the stage and asks him what he wants to hear. Peter seems quite moved by this, and the band seems to respond to all the hysterical suffering/ecstasy of the crowd.You could tell the Spirit of Bauhaus and the audience is really being conjured during this show. In fact it feels just like the Vampire Lestat Concert so vividly described in Anne Rice's book! This is as close as mythology is ever going to get to reality!! The theatrical highlight comes during the performance of `Boys'. Peter Murphy brings a large hand-held mirror out and stands regally in profile, gazing at his ownreflection, primping his hair, and performing with ideal mock-vanity. The befeathered and rouged Daniel Ash is Peter's next object for the second verse as he sidles up beside the aloof guitar-player, toying with his feather boa and proudly lifting Daniel's chin with his fingers, as if to announce Danny's beauty to the already enraptured crowd. Kevin Haskins is victim number two as Peter creeps behind the drum set for the final verse, peeking over Kevin's shoulder and touching Kevin's face. Peter is truly the Ringmaster during this performance. Next comes the racing `Sanity Assassin' , the moody `She's in Parties', and the seductive `Passion of Lovers' which features superb blue lighting. Peter reaches tauntingly out to the crowd during Passion of Lovers'--offering his hand to the outstretched arms of worshipppers, but never getting quite close enough to be touched--a purely coyish gesture. `Happy days are here again' Peter Murphy announces during the end of `She's in Parties', and he plays a small accordian during the performace. Daniel Ash projects a sultry sensuality during the entire show, glancing up infrequently and wistfully, completely immersed in his atmospheric and slicing guitar chords. David J is quietly contented and seems to be having fun just watching the frenzied audience, while Peter Murphy seems the most mature of all of them, confident, and smoothly at ease leading the songs and flaunting his dark, vampiric image to the hungry crowd. "Dark Entries' begins with Daniel Ash's vicious riff, and then strobe lights. Peter sings the machine-gun lyrics with appropriate venom and passion while Daniel Ash charges back and forth across the stage in desperate delirium. The song ends with Daniel's guitar echoing crazily as the other members of the band walk nonchalantly off the stage. The crowd goes insane with excitement and roars furiously for what is to be 3 encores.
Encore 1: Daniel Ash appears from the lurid haze wearing a leopard-spotted long-sleeved blouse and a black top-hat--decked out like a glitter Star from the 1970's. Therest of the band follows as Daniel cuts into the racing riff from `Telegram Sam'. PeterMurphy moves with lightening speed across the stage, taunting the audience and stirringup the mounting frenzy as the crowd jumps up and down to this fantastically taut classic. Then, without even a seconds hesitation, Daniel starts the first bar of `Ziggy Stardust'. This song gets the most tremendous shout of the entire show, helped mostly by Peter Murphy's camp performance.. Peter struts to the forefront of the stage, lips pouting, head tossed back, his slender neck utting back and forth like a serpent, completely exhalted by the magic of the band around him. With proud defiance Peter adopts the Ziggy persona for this song. He uses a Bowie-mime movement to create an imaginary glass wall with his hands, and then approaches Daniel and swipes his top hat. Perfectly embodying the Bauhaus mysticism, he stands with transcendent joy observing the crowd as we all scream-"Now Ziggy played....GUITAR!"
Encore 2: David J comes out on stage, creeping along with a flashlight shining it at the crowd. Then the heart-beat of Kevin's drums starts--the tell-tale drumbeat of `Bela Lugosi's Dead' , and the crowd is almost awed into a reverent dull roar. Peter comes onstage next, now dressed in a long black coat, his head even covered with a black velvet hood. Daniel is visually perhaps the most stunning of the band members.***that sexy devil!***He wears a knee-length black cloack with long sleeves that is open at the front, revealing his chest which glistens with sweat. He looks like he's dressed straight out of Interview with a Vampire. His downcast eyes and rouged lips beckon the audience with enticing sensuality. His manner of movement and aloof distance seem to indicate a kind of intoxication---an erotic intoxication with his guitar which he plays magically while creating all the echoes and rattling atmospherics of this haunting song . Daniel Ash kneels down on the stage, sweat streaming down his face, and transfixes the crowd as hishands clutch, finger and coax his guitar with a kind of sexual passion seemingly meant for a lover. David J inconspicously plays the ghoulish bass line made so infamous by the song, and Peter Murphy stands like a solemn priest in command of this hallowed landscape of music. "Poor Bela! Bela's undead! Undead...undead." As the song draws to a close, all the band members leave one by one---first Peter (baring his teeth and raising his arms above his head in a vampire-cape-like effect), then David slowly, then Kevin, untilonly Daniel is left on the darkened stage, still on his knees in a post-coital paroxysm with his screeching and aroused guitar-- the sounds coming from it now hollow and eerie as the climax of the song slowly fades off. Then darkness eclipses him, and the band retreats for yet another roar from the crowd, beckoning another encore.
Encore 3: The true finale of the show, and perhaps an extra song thrown in in honor of the crowd's enthusiasm. Peter comes onstage with a white shirt and an acoustic guitar, thanking the crowd. Daniel, Kevin and David reappear, and they start "All We Ever wanted", an emotional song that seems to reflect the past as well as the present of the band. The crowd is hushed into solemn appreciation during the song. The suddenly a Bubbleman appears in the crowd--a fan dressed from head to toe, antennas and all. The front part of the crowd shouts to Daniel. Daniel, always aloof and distant, looks up and sees everyone pointing at the Bubbleman. An expression between amusement and embarassment crosses his face as he wipes his forehead and smiles. He wasn't expecting that!
"Oh to be the cream!" The song ends with Peter's powerful voice as he strums his guitar, and the band comes up front to proudly thank the audience once again. What a magnificent show! BRAVO BAUHAUS!
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"Oh this is too divine. What mortal could withstand this indulgence, this worship?"
The Anne Rice connection?
All right all you Goths out there! It's time to grab out your well-worn copy of The Vampire Lestat and re-read the chapter Dionysis in San Francisco 1985 pages 519 to 546! Yes, it feels like this concert experience all over again! And I'm sure Peter Murphy (yes, even Peter has read this book, loved it and once expressed a desire to play good ol' Lestat himself on screen!) was struck by the similarities on stage. The Gathering of the Immortals? It wouldn't surpise me for a second! It was like seeing Lestat (Peter?) and Louis (Daniel?) reunited...so here are just a few quotes to ponder in light (or dark) of this mytologically spectacular Reunion concert experience!
"This was the human experience made vampiric, as the music itself was vampiric, as the images of the video film were the images of the blood swoon."
"We were the essence of that nineteenth-century conception---aristocratically aloof, unfailingly elegant, and invariably merciless....the perfect moment in history...the time when "Vampiric romance" born in my imagination amid the colorful brocades of the ancient regine should find its greatest enhancement in the flowing black cape, the black top hat..." (p,500 V Lestat)
"It was wonderful thet there existed still that handsome face, the poignant expression, that tender and faintly imploring voice. My beauitful Louis ...Louis was the sufferer...his soft unkempt black hair or the eternally troubled expression in his green eyes."
PETER MURPHY BIO BY DAVID J 1998!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Between the blue iris and the black of pupil is a perfect ring of white.
Peter Murphy is of all three colors, but at heart and burning harder
than the rest is that radiant pure non-color.
It finds its reflection and resonance in the stark intensity of German
expressionist chiaroscuro lighting, adopted and put to great effect by
that entity of which we both form a part, known as Bauhaus.
It radiates outwards from the stellar heat of the performance space
which holds an audience in thrall. It reverberates in union with the
walls of Mecca and the sanctified cloth of Muslim garb.
It is the color that obliterates all other color. Its scintillant flood
drowns out the dark. It is the first and the last. The very molten core.
Peter Murphy is a self contained pantheon of gods. He exhibits qualities
that are, in turn, Dionysian, Apollonian, and Mercurial. At times he
walks in step with angels, though on occasion a darker path is
traversed. Demons rise to draw his blood, a black panther licks at it's
This creature is his dream stalker, archetypal symbol of the nightside
of ego, a sensual monster who's nose blooms with the fragrance of
pungent floral aromas, the beguiling lure to ensnare its besotted prey.
When Murphy reads the boards, it is an act of possession. I have stood
next to him on stages of the world and felt the ferocity of psychic
demarcation. - Again a big cat comes to mind and the emission of a
potent territorial spray marking out the center of the stage (his
stage!) which, by definition, is wherever he happens to be at the time!
That space becomes a vortex of primal force, a black hole of impacted
energy into which one is either sucked, under violent protest; or
tenderly allowed to enter, in order to receive the blessed kiss of the
Byronic mutant king.
Living up to the popular mythic connotation of his family name, Mr.
Murphy has something of the roaring boy about him. Those eyes again,
full of Celtic spark and up the craik, and as close to lunacy as any
O'Toole or Wilde, though softened into sublimation now, in quest of sufi
Flowers and razors are conjured from the sleeves from his elegant
dandy's coat, and it is always down to the luck of the draw or lunar
phase, as to which of these you will get, often a mixture of both, but
for every cut there is the balm of song, delivered in that
extraordinarily sonorous voice. A voice which can purr, adrip with
emollient honeyed sights; then, in an instant, turn to curdle the life's
blood of the at endangered species known as the front row - the back
row, come to that! It is the type of voice that is seldom heard in these
electric days, a throwback to the gaslit era and the glory days of the
traditional actor/manager of Shakespearean line. The unamplified oration
that boomed from beneath the velvet slouch brimmed hat of Sir Edmond
Kean and his exalted ilk. It is a voice that demands attention and
always, always gets it. It is a Voice.
The first time I ever saw Peter, I was immediately struck by his
unselfconscious natural grace and charismatic charm.
"What do you think?" asked a young Daniel Ash, referring to this nascent
"He's solid gold!" I replied, "solid gold!"
Standing next to Peter over the four years that followed that initial
meeting, I was able to catch some of that gold dust and on occasion,
throw a little of it back, an inspiring transaction that has been
rekindled now in these halcyon days of resurrection, and so to the
future and the glittering promise of splendid things to come, like the
diamond fire glint in that harlequin's eye of blue and black and white.
New York, 1998
Great goth/industrial hangout out--good drink specials, close to Wax Trax , and THE best jukebox I have ever seen--everything from David Bowie to Sisters of Mercy.
613 E 13 Ave
Best available gothic/fetish clothes store in town. If you need boots or shoes, buy them here! Shiny shiny leather...and say hi to David, our friendly Rock Island DJ.
Wax Trax/Across the Trax
1143 13th St
The definitive used record/ CD / poster store in the city of Denver. Incredible rare vinyl will show up here periodically, and those hard to find Gothic CD's can usually be found here or ordered.
Twist and Shout
300 E Alameda Ave
Very comfortable, vast CD store, with some vinyl as well. Friendly staff and great variety of material. Industrial section is seperate.
Black and Read
7821 Wadsworth Blvd
Every dark soul must venture here. This store has everything from taror cards to used books, an entire wall of magazines, new and used CD's, rare vinyl and T-shirts. The store is about 70% dedicated to goth/post punk and industrial music and culture.
1160 Lincoln--Sunday Night
Rating? Probably a 7 out of 10 in my opinion. Just not enough dancing room, and the DJ seems to spin the same tunes over and over again, even though there is a request list. (Or perhaps I am just getting too old for this) Anyhow, I feel pangs for the Wreck Room and the Church does not match up. If only they would move it upstairs into the Gothic-vaulted, stained-glass splendor of the main church! Hint hint...
1614 15th St--Sunday Night
Yep, it's Sunday Night too--Usually pretty empty until very very late. Two floors and lots of dancing room--almost too much dancing room. Only complaint--not being able to make requests upstairs(and sometimes these DJ's could use some guidance), and terrible parking. Lo-Do problems abound and sometimes finding a parking spot is not worth the effort. Downstairs is kind of nice--pool tables, great DJ, lounge chairs...a good goth hangout when it gets going a bit.
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Last updated January 9, 1999