PHOTOS: 40 years of Bauhaus

Peter Murphy and David J. teamed up for a ferocious resurrection in Heaven at the Masquerade

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Photo credit: Mike White
WHITE ON WHITE TRANSLUCENT BLACK CAPES: Peter Murphy celebrating 40 years of Bauhaus at the Masquerade Friday, February 8.

WHO: Peter Murphy & David J played Bauhaus' In the Flat Field and more, with Vinsantos and Desert Mountain Tribe.

WHAT: Peter Murphy brought the 40 Years of Bauhaus: A Ruby Celebration tour to the Masquerade to perform the group’s 1980 debut album In the Flat Field in its entirety. Co-founder and bass player David J joined the group on the club’s Heaven stage, backed by guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite (the Mission U.K., Tricky) and drummer Marc Slutsky. In the Flat Field was followed by a short set of greatest hits including “Silent Hedges,” “The Passion of Lovers,” and, of course, a hair-raising performance of Bauhaus’ debut single, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Guitarist Thwaite and drummer Slutsky did a fine job; their playing lacked the jagged flair of absent co-founding members Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins respectively, but those are awfully big shoes to fill. Still, they held the music together alongside the powerhouse combination of Murphy and David J, tearing through such monumental numbers as “Double Dare,” “A God In An Alcove,” and “Stigmata Martyr.”

Murphy is the one member of Bauhaus who has kept the group’s material alive in recent years, including his Mr. Moonlight tour in 2013. Bringing David J into the fold upped the ante with a roaring bass that set the tone for a thunderous show from the opening chords of “Double Dare.” The stark white and deep blue lights, and flashing strobes were perfectly calibrated to highlight pivotal moments throughout both J and Murphy’s performances.

Traipsing across the stage amid this scene of shadows, light, and fog, Murphy performed like a man possessed, striking a crucifixion pose during “Stigmata Martyr.” Just one night prior to the Atlanta show, Murphy canceled his appearance on stage in Orlando due to an injury. At the Masquerade, however, he showed no sign of anything holding back his empowered presence.

Murphy and Co. moved the packed-out Masquerade with one propulsive song after another, each one resonating with everyone who’d gathered in Heaven, young and old. Wrenching performances of “Kick In the Eye” and “She’s In Parties,” the latter of which morphed into an extended dub jam with Murphy playing percussion and melodica, and an encore covering Dead Can Dance’s “Severence,” were the emotional climax for the evening. Murphy, David J, and Co. resurrected the songs that launched Bauhaus’ career to reveal that after four decades they remain timeless and indeed ferocious.

WHEN / WHERE: In Heaven at the Masquerade, Friday, February 8.

See a gallery of Mike White’s photos from the show below.


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