Friday, January 17, 2014

Peter Murphy @ The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA 5/9/13

A few years back I was on a cruise.  When we came back to Tampa we stayed an extra night before flying home.  There was a concert venue right next to our hotel and that night Peter Murphy was playing.  I so wanted to see him but we were on a family vacation and we had an early start the next morning.  I swore to myself if I ever had the opportunity to go again I would.

Fast forward a couple years and the announcement was made that Peter Murphy would be touring again in support of the 35th Anniversary of Bauhaus.  To celebrate his shows the setlists would be made up entirely of Bauhaus songs. Since they broke up in 1983 they have managed to get back together once and it was short lived.  If I wanted to see him sing Bauhaus music this would be perhaps my only chance.

I discovered Peter Murphy before I discovered Bauhaus.  I mean I knew of Bauhaus but I was not that familiar with their catalog.  It was right after my high school graduation that Love Hysteria was released and MTV was playing that crap out of it.

The song was haunting, the video noir, the bass line could start the heart of the dead.  I hadn't a lot of money at that point so I convinced a friend that had less money that he wanted to sell me his cassette. Yes...cassette.  It quickly became my summer soundtrack.  Shortly after that I was in a pawn shop where someone was pawning their collection of British Import CD's.  I was picking them up for 2 bucks a piece.  SCORE!!!  Along with the Smith's 'Hatful of Hollow' I picked up Peter Murphy's 'Should the World Fail to Fall Apart'.  Not as strong of a disc but his cover of Pere Ubu's 'Final Solution was killer.

His next release, Deep, was his pinnacle in my opinion.  Sweet sounds, sublime lyrics, and deep beautiful follow through.

After this he kind of lost me.  It was kind to follow up Deep.  I don't doubt that there is good material after this.  I just didn't care anymore.  Shortly after this I was at Shadow Night Club in King of Prussia and I heard 'Largartija Nick'.  I asked the DJ which Peter Murphy album it was off of.  He said that it was Bauhaus.  BAUHAUS!  Why hadn't I explored them yet?!?!?

I went crazy with Bauhaus.  Especially their cover of Ziggy Stardust.

I bought both greatest hits compilations and was kicking myself for not exploring them earlier.  I especially liked their last album which gave glimpses of what were to become Love and Rockets.  Another favorite of mine.

I was checking the internet to find out the date when the tickets would go on sale and the prices and I learned that there were going to be a limited amount of VIP tickets sold.  The Trocadero is standing room only so regular tickets were priced at $25.00 and VIP at $50.  The VIP tickets included a Special Tour Shirt (which I would have bought for $25.00 anyway), A tour poster, and a meet and great.  Hell Yeah!!!  No Brainer.  But I had to make sure that I could get the tickets.  I joined a pre-sale password club for $10.00, found a password, and before I knew it I had VIP tickets!  I was going to meet Peter Murphy.

Maybe.  About two months before the show it was reported that Peter Murphy was charged with misdemeanor DUI, hit-and-run driving, and methamphetamine possession in Los Angeles.

This is not the disturbing part.  It was what he was driving.

A Suburu Forestor.  Great fuel economy...not very Goth.

I feared that the show would be cancelled.  Fortunately, he was due back in court May 17th, a week after the concert.  He was later sentenced with 3 years of probation.

So when the show came we were running late and missed the first act, Ours, and caught the tail end of the second, Crush Distance.  To be honest they mad no impact on me.  I really can't remember them.  I was excited for Peter Murphy.

The Trocadero is a small but interesting venue.  The stage is high so even if you are in the back there is a good line of sight.  There is also a balcony which makes it tough for sound mastery.  I've seen good shows here and I've seen bad shows here.

While chasing the glory of some of these performances I do worry about age.  Peter Murphy did not disappoint me.  He was everything that I expected.  The first song was King volcano.

The setlist was a Bauhaus greatest hits.  The feel was that he was saving the best for last.

The end of the set was loaded.  Gearing up with 'The Passion of Lovers' and 'She's in Parties'.

 One thing that I did learn about the Gothfather was that he likes to wear CK thong underwear.  I did not learn that from personal experience.  You could see it sticking out of his pants when he bent over.  Nonetheless...He was Goth!!!

I do not believe his live shows were as energetic as they had been in the past. Though at 56 I was happy that he sounded as good as he did.  Although it wasn't Bauhaus it sounded like it.  He finished with Ziggy Stardust and threw the mic to the stage and walked off.  The lights were off and the stage hands encouraged us to cheer for an encore.  After 5 minutes the lights came on.  It was a little disappointing but I am not sure how he could have finished it that would have made it any better.

We lined up afterwards for our meet and greet.  They set up a table where Peter talked to us and personally autographed a tour poster.

I also got him to autograph the cover from my Bauhaus Greatest Hits Volume 1.

I asked to have my picture with him but he refused.  We were not allowed on his side of the table.  That was a disappointment.  All in all it was a great show.  We were given our shirts and off we went.

What a great experience.  I love the meet and greets.  I am glad I took the opportunity when I had it.  I always recommend them.  Unless its Courtney Love and she charges $75.  Now that is a ripoff.

See you at the next show.



  1. My friend, i hate to tell you the but the reason why he refused the photo with you is because you are a DUDE!!! ;) xoxo your bff call you every 5 mins J9


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