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Peter Murphy @ The Grand Ballroom at the Regency, 6/2/08

June 3, 2008

It’s June 2nd and it’s 50 degrees outside. As I walk into the venue with the too long name, the wind slaps me in the face as a harsh reminder that summer never comes to SF.

But that’s ok, because the sea of black and pale that awaits me looks like they live in a perpetual state of winter.

I’m running late to see Peter Murphy. I was skeptical that he would even perform tonight, as he canceled last night’s Portland show. I’m taken aback as I walk into the room when I see seats everywhere and the performer on the stage already. After last night, an 8pm start time seemed utterly ridiculous. But these are the slightly older goths, hence the seats and lack of a mosh pit.

Peter Murphy has a booming velvety voice that hasn’t seemed to age with time. As a solo artist, his music stands in contrast to the theatrics of his other band, Bauhaus. Peter Murphy the solo artist makes music that goths listen to on a good day. It’s poppier, cheerful, less avant-garde. When I saw Bauhaus with NIN in 2006, it was like seeing a different person- The Phantom of the Opera dressed as a rock star. Then, of course, there was the funny thing I can’t get out of my mind- he had a tag hanging off his shirt as he strutted around. But I digress.

Tonight, we are hearing a selection of his 20 year spanning solo career. The crowd is into it, hanging on his every word. Some are even singing along too loudly. The band is not impressing me, but it’s hard to compare to Daniel Ash. We get to hear a song from the last Bauhaus album- ‘Endless Summer of the Damned’. It’s too bad they broke up…again.

We are treated to two short encores. The first one was ‘Strange Kind of Love’ and- to my delight when I saw the melodica come out- ‘She’s In Parties’. Unfortunately the guitar was anticlimactic. The second encore summed the show up by ending with ‘Cuts You Up’ and ‘Final Solution’, which sound much more subversive than they actually are. After slightly over an hour of goth pop, he bids adieu for what could very well be the last time.

goldpost’s video from the show:

Peter Murphy performance: 7/10
venue (The Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center): 6.5/10
crowd/scene: 7/10
value ($32.50/ticket): 7/10
memorable: 6.5/10

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