Saturday, December 3, 2011
PETER MURPHY AND SHE WANTS REVENGE
Pleasant evening temperatures made for a fun ride, having dinner in the bar across the street from the theater. I arrived early enough to get a spot one person from the stage, this individual being relatively short, giving me an unobstructed view of the stage. During the shows I could have reached out and polished the shoes of the performers.
The highlight of last night's show came during the encore, when Peter Murphy came back on stage wearing a short fuzzy hat that looked like a Fez, playing a twelve-string acoustic. After creating an impressionistic soundscape, all four members of the band went into a haunting and powerful rendition of "Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem," a delicately beautiful song that served as the perfect segue.
The show started with no preamble. When one of the stage hands flashed his flashlight at the sound board, Peter Murphy and his bandmates took the stage and immediately went into "All Night Long." Throughout the show, Murphy displayed his mastery of subtle theatrical gestures as though he got his training to star in German expressionist films--slightly exaggerated moves done with graceful gestures.
The band didn't really play material from Murphy's previous two albums, but it did play liberally from Ninth, which has more of a rock feel on songs like "Velocity Bird." During "Strange Kind of Love," incensed by the incidental chatter, one person shouted for people to shut up.
You could see Murphy taking mental note of this, and as a private joke perhaps, he switched to the lyrics to "Bela Lugosi's Dead" to kind of nudge some of the crowd back into the show, and it actually worked -- a stroke of genius, if ever there was one, that required no overt and melodramatic act.
Murphy and company also played some Bauhaus material with fairly well reworked versions of "Silent Hedges" and "Too Much 21st Century." But it was Murphy's originals that got the crowd singing along with classic Deep cuts like "Deep Ocean Vast Sea." Right before that song, the guys played a newer song called "Gaslit," and it was an atmospherically rich song with minimal instrumentation that was smoky and gorgeous like a fog-accented sunset.
The main set ended with "Uneven & Brittle," and the foursome came returned for a four song encore. At one point, Murphy spotted a girl in the audience who was dressed up like the character Darryl Hannah played in Blade Runner and brought her up on stage. For a few songs, she stood in the wings before Murphy brought her back up for the final number, a rousing cover of "Ziggy Stardust." As he ended the set, Murphy prowled the stage like Mick Jagger, displaying more poise than machismo as he jumped up and down in spinning circles. The guy's still got it, and his newest material proved he's not out of ideas.
Read it all here: