Bauhaus @ Toronto
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
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
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
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.