Peter Murphy is touring to celebrate 40 years of Bauhaus and playing albums in their entirety. We caught his live show in Anaheim at The City National Grove on January 16th 2019.
Peter Murphy has been celebrating Bauhaus’ ruby anniversary with a series of tour dates featuring albums in their entirety. For the Anaheim, CA date he performed In the Flat Field along with David J. The show was really kind of magical, it reminded me of my teenage years, of the beauty and emotions I felt while listening to Bauhaus.
The City National Grove, is an intimate venue that seats around 1,700 people. It was originally a restaurant and later turned into a concert hall. The feel is aged art deco, with a huge bar and lounge area. Going with the purpose of photographing the show, I arrived early. It was crazy raining, one of the worst storms this year, which meant I had my umbrella in tow. I got my tickets from will call and then I grabbed a cocktail and wandered around a little. There was a small product stand in the corner, and quite a few people for it being so early. As soon as the doors opened, I made my way to the front and then watched as the venue began to fill.
The crowd was a mixture of death rock to classic goth looks mixed in with everyday jeans and button down tops. Mostly people were dressed pretty casual. The general aesthetic seemed to be comfort. It seemed like the majority of people were longtime fans. Desert Mountain Tribe opened and put on a great performance. Then Peter Murphy came on and the crowd became enthusiastic and loud.
Peter Murphy was energetic, his presence was commanding and saucy, his voice unmistakable. He was definitely the focal point of the show. It’s clear he’s a performer who puts his passion into his songs.
The show was very dark, with very hard lights. The In the Flat Field cover art was projected on the wall behind the band. Peter Murphy wore standout jackets, rhinestones and glitter, and black jeans with leather panels. He definitely sparkled! For “King Volcano” he brought out a crown that he held up above his head. For “Stigmata” he used his mic stand as a crucifix. When he sang “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” he flipped up his collar and presented as a sinister Dracula.
Peter Murphy interacted with some of the people near the stage, but his general demeanor was one of taunting arrogance. But to me it wasn’t a negative feeling. It felt like he was king and sharing his presence with us. The show ended with a Dead Can Dance cover of “Severance” as the second encore.
Photographing the show, I was able to have an up close and personal view and once I exited the photo pit, I was able to still watch from up close. I felt that I had gone back in time and got to experience Bauhaus, as I had always wanted to. It was interesting to contrast the picture I have in my head of Peter Murphy and the man he has become. He still has a magnetism that is undeniable.