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Peter Murphy at Marquee Theatre, 11/3/11

Peter Murphy at Marquee Theatre, 11/3/11
Photos by Melissa Fossum

Peter Murphy and She Wants Revenge Marquee Theatre Thursday, November 3

Peter Murphy is a weird dude. Known as the "Godfather of Goth" for his work fronting Bauhaus, one of the pioneers of the genre. Murphy has released eight solo albums since Bauhaus broke up in 1983. He is a devout Muslim and vegan who has lived in Turkey for the past 20 years, but none of that is all that weird. Dude had a cameo in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as a vampire.

Taking Murphy's nature into consideration, everything went down last night as expected. Murphy took the stage with a three-piece band and hummed an odd version of "Three Shadows Part 1," as the red stage lights gradually grew brighter. Next was "Velocity Bird," and it was clear that Peter Murphy's still got it after all these years. His vocals sounded just as great on In the Flat Field, and he still has energy to boot. He looked genuinely happy to be on stage (not your typical goth expression) and danced around and told a few jokes.

Every time a fan yelled, "I love you," Murphy responded, "Oh, stop it," and later said, "You Mexicans are very emotional," then proceeded to apologize for the lack of a light show.

The sound was a much bigger issue than the lights. Murphy's mic was plagued by feedback issues, but aside from that, the band had a solid performance. It was remarkable what the group could do without a synthesizer; most of the new wave tones were produced by a violin and guitar.

Murphy's version of Nine Inch Nails/Johnny Cash's "Hurt" was creepy, yet absolutely stunning. Murphy was very expressive and passionate, he threw the mic stand over his shoulder as he sang the first chorus.

At the beginning of the encore, Murphy picked up a guitar and began singing "Strange Kind of Love", then ditched his out of tune guitar to sing "Cool, Cool Breeze" a cappella.

The band closed out with a fantastic "Ziggy Stardust" cover.

Last night was the start of Peter Murphy's tour with She Wants Revenge. Overall, the music was decent, but both acts were faced with a small crowd. If I had to guess, I'd say about 300 people were in attendance. Maybe everyone else was at the tUnE-YarDs show. Who knows?

Peter Murphy at Marquee Theatre, 11/3/11

She Wants Revenge had a decent crowd, but it was clear that fans came for Peter Murphy. She Wants Revenge was better than I expected, although their performance was somewhat underwhelming. What can I say? I can't help but agree with those "second-rate Joy Division/Interpol" jokes.

The band played a few songs from each album, including a lengthy piano solo. There was a lot of cross talk during the piano song, the crowd seemed antsy for older material.

Vocalist Justin Warfield was entertaining to watch because he was expressive, but the rest of the band was fairly boring due to static motions.

Not surprisingly, the band closed with "Tear You Apart," the highlight of their set. Couples danced close and followed most of the song's cues, with the exception of hair pulling, and literally tearing each other apart.

Peter Murphy at Marquee Theatre, 11/3/11

As much as I love Peachcake, I couldn't help wondering how they got added to this lineup, since they're essentially the opposite of darkwave/post-punk. It was pretty entertaining to see bewildered goth kids covered in confetti. In spite of that, the band put on a solid 30-minute set and even attracted a couple of dancing fans.

I missed Audra because the show started 30 minutes earlier than the time listed on my ticket. Oops.

Peter Murphy Setlist: Three Shadows Part 1 Velocity Bird Peace to Each Memory Go Disappearing I Spit Roses Silent Hedges Subway Gaslight Hurt (Nine Inch Nails cover) I'll Fall With Your Knife See Saw Sway All Night Long His Circle & Hers Meet In The Flat Field The Prince & Old Lady Uneven & Brittle Strange Kind of Love Marlene Cuts You Up

Encore: All We Ever Wanted Dark Entries Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover)

She Wants Revenge Setlist: Written in Blood Up in Flames Reasons Stars Sleep Black Liner Run These Things Red Flags This is the End Disconnect Take the World Out of Control Tear You Apart

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Peter Murphy and She Wants Revenge at Marquee Theatre.

Personal Bias: I know a few Bauhaus songs.

The Crowd: Aging goths, girls with bright red and/or purple hair, guys wearing Bauhaus shirts, and the coolest 70-year-old woman I have ever seen in my life.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Are you going to Morrissey? You whore, you bitch!"

Random Notebook Dump: Goth dancers are really fun to watch.

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Marquee Theatre

730 N. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-829-0707

www.luckymanonline.com


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