Peter Murphy at the Mayan Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

March 14, 2011

Peter Murphy at the Mayan Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - March 14, 2011Last nights Peter Murphy concert proved to be a most exquisite night of old favorites and new musical flavors mixed into a one of kind Goth rock cocktail. The man, myth and legend known as the Godfather of Goth has never been one to disappoint live, it was true in 1981 and remains evident in 2011AD.

Taking the stage just after 10 pm to a theatre filled with haunting sounds blaring from his intro tape, Peter and his LA based backing band were welcomed by his legions of fans by deafening applause and more screams than Charles Manson and his followers could invoke on unsuspecting victims. The 1992 hit “Low Room” served as a perfect opener as its eerie Middle Eastern channeled acoustic guitars balanced themselves between the pounding drums and Peter shrieking vocal performance like only he can.

Peter has often paid live homage to other artists he’s collaborated with and last nights performance saw the inclusion of The Stooges “Raw Power” which brought the crowds energy to a fevering high. Being the master that he is, The Godfather dedicated his next number to his long time friend Trent Reznor of NIN acclaim and broke into a soulful rendition of “Hurt” that successfully sent shivers up and down the spines of all.

If the crowd thought that the night had peaked, Peter was there to prove everyone wrong, and being a solo artist who at one time fronted a band with a large cult following, he knew exactly what to do next. As the lights dimmed down to almost pitch black darkness, Mark Thwaite and Peter made their way center stage as a duo and broke into the eerie Bauhaus hit “Silent Hedges” from 1982’s “The Sky’s Gone Out“ lp. Seeing many Bela Lugosi shirts, ghostly faces, dark eyes and teased up hair through out the night made for an undeniably Gothy Punk crowd hungry for a dose of Bauhaus hits, and Peter made sure to deliver. The bass heavy trance like “Stigmata Martyr” had the crowd moving in a pogo like jester fashion mimicking Peters batty dance moves that he performed onstage; the most frightening being Peters verses spoken in Latin just like a scene out of the Exorcist.

The remainder of the concert saw the band firing on all cylinders giving the crowd 3 encores that consisted of fan favorites that have been live staples since their inception. The nights biggest surprise came about when the beautiful “A Strange Kind Of Love” ballad saw Peter pose center stage and start rehearsing the chorus to Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” over and over with a most sinister look on his face well lit with white light just like the accompanying music video made famous nearly 30 years ago. The following Bauhaus hit “She’s in Parties” found its way into the set and was a perfect companion to “Cuts You Up” which made for Peters highest peak of the night.

As the crowd exited the beautiful Mayan theatre it was clear that all expectations had been succeeded and Peter’s performance had won the hearts of all. The crowd of mostly 20-50 year olds knew that their trek to downtown LA on a Monday night was not in vain and that their hero delivered a special concert for the ever faithful Los Angeles crowd.
Peter comfortably owns the stage with such prestige and attitude that it’s hard to believe he isn’t headlining larger venues like the Hollywood Bowl or Universal Amphitheatre alongside contemporaries Morrissey or Nick Cave. His all black attire and natural vampiric stage presence is timeless and one of the many factors that make his concerts an unforgettable experience.

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-Louie Bones-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter


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