Live Review

Bauhaus @ Toronto

By Starblood

God, I was wrong. I'm gonna come completely clean and admit that I looked upon the prospect of a Bauhaus reunion tour with a whole lot of skepticism. That whatever magic they once had would be long gone. That this was a cynical exercise in cashflow generating. That they would be OLD. That they would be the Sex Pistols. That they might no longer be relevant...

A curious crowd gathered. Lots of jeans and t's oldsters on the obligatory nostalgia trip, interspersed with the goth n' manson kids who couldn't have been long out of diapers when Bela first reared its head.

Ok here we go...Ash, J and Kevin appear and unveil "Double Dare," and on a medium size black and white TV monitor center stage, the visage of Peter glares and growls. The four of them look amazingly well. Better than ever, in fact. Distinguished black suits, sunglasses, each with their own individual flourishes. The impossible cool exuded puts every "goth" in the audience to shame. This opener puts any fears to rest. I'm grinning and giggling like a 15 year old. Oops, not supposed to do that...

"In the Flat Field" literally explodes all around us. Peter Murphy hasn't lost any of the energy or enthusiasm. He bounds from side to side of the large stage...shaking, twirling, entrancing. All of the old favorites fly by..."A God in an Alcove," "Sanity Assasin," "She's in Parties," "The Passion of Lovers." I am amazed by how effortlessly they have assumed the old roles. This isn't forced in the least. This kicks like the old days, only MORESO.

Points of interest include:

The Dead Can Dance cover, "Severance," which is executed perfectly and blends nicely with the rest of the set...

Peter changing outfits behind a sheet, then reemerging, wearing a huge feather boa, with eyeliner and a mirror and doing his eyes for our pleasure...

Light bulbs hanging from strings are batted and played with during "Hollow Hills."

An absolutely blazing "Dark Entries" closes the set and they return for the famous covers, "Telegram Sam", "Ziggy Stardust" and a rather plodding version of Iggy's "The Passenger," which I could have done without.

They return one last time to play Bela...providing confirmation of the fact that there is only one person that exists, or ever will exist, that can prance and preen and pose around a stage in a batwing blouse, and carry it off. Effortlessly. Kids, please don't try this at home (or in a club)...

THIS is the stuff that they were made for. Forget solo tours with Jewel. Forget "So Alive" and ambient techno albums. Even forget the sometimes excellent Tones on Tail. These mediocrities are wiped away cleanly, completely and irrevocably by the sheer joy of seeing four artists do what they were meant to do.

Crossing the border back to the United States, the customs agent asked our purpose for visiting Canada: "Bow House?? What kind of music is that?" I had to pause for a moment, not quite knowing how to succinctly express, "The greatest fucking pretentious arty makeup whore, glam goth punk rock 'n roll icons that ever were and ever will be." Undead.