1. Have the goths have all grown up? I expected waves of black clothing and makeup for Peter Murphy's 35th-anniversary-of-Bauhaus tour, but the crowd looks pretty conventional—lots of shorts and T-shirts and even a few flip-flops making the rounds. Maybe they were worried tonight’s warm weather would run their eyeliner.
2. There’s no delicate way to put it: The sound sucks tonight. From opening warm-ups “King Volcano” and “Kingdom’s Coming” through to an encore-capping cover of “Ziggy Stardust,” Murphy’s famous, icy baritone is buried beneath his non-famous bandmates’ loud instrumentation. The mix is especially cruddy early in the set (“Double Dare” and “In a Flat Field”), then gets a little better for “A God in an Alcove” and “Spy in the Cab,” but never really gets close to where I want it.
3. Still, Bauhaus’ greatest greatest hit, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead," manages to transcend. Gloriously slow-building and speckled with dark, atmospheric effects, the 1979 underground-rock classic finds the 56-year-old Murphy revving up the tension with soft/loud/louder vocals and theatrical body language. Bravo.
4. File under only on Fremont. As Murphy and his band bash through the night’s noisiest number, “Stigmata Marytr,” I glance out the window—at the Heart Attack Grill’s glowing “Over 350 lbs eats free” sign. A big man steps on: 362. Congratulations?
5. The all-Bauhaus concept is cool, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a few Murphy solo faves, like “Cuts You Up” and “Indigo Eyes.” Also, the omission of Bauhaus single “She’s in Parties” seems curious. Maybe on the 40-year tour ...