October 21, 2005 – Paramount Theatre – Seattle, WA
by Dagmar Patterson
The Paramount Theater was nearly silent. There was no recorded music blaring at the audience until about five minutes before Bauhaus took the stage, and even then it was a soft chamber piece. The crowd was excited but I have rarely seen such a reverential group of people to see a rock concert. It was impressive to be among the large number of Goths who have lived with or grew up with Bauhaus joined by younger fans, and in some cases what appeared to be children. I don’t imagine there were many people there not already Bauhaus fans—they were there not to hector but to partake.
When Bauhaus first arrived on the music scene some critics wrongly dismissed them. What was obvious about this performance is that they could never be called irrelevant or dated. They have never been either. Bauhaus is all elegance
The stark stage was lit with mostly white lights that sometimes flashed a bit too quickly. If you were seated towards the back of the venue the stage looked like a white canvas throughout most of the set. This was my only quibble with the show, which otherwise was a celebration of moody rhythm and possessive bass.
First off the guys in Bauhaus; singer Peter Murphy, guitarist Daniel Ash, bassist David J., and drummer Kevin Haskins, look stunning. David J., all in black, laid down what are some of the sexiest bass lines ever. Kevin Haskins was sheer dynamite and energy. Ash came across as a sultry guitar god, standing his ground beside the intense Murphy. Peter Murphy live is something to behold. With his spiky blonde hair, sparkling red and black pants and military jacket, he swayed, undulated and pierced audience members with his hypnotic gaze. When he played a flute-like instrument he looked every bit Pan.
The set, which included two encores, was highlighted by “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores” (cruel, violent and beautiful), “She’s in Parties” (infectious and got the audience in front dancing), “Slice of Life,” and “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” When Ash sang “Slice of Life” in a velvet top hat, the venerating audience screamed at the appropriate moment after he uttered “Burn out these eyes/ Rip up this place and scream.” Bauhaus is as blessed with Murphy’s growling vocals as they are with Ash’s softer hiss. Murphy casually and with emphasis fires out eerie vignettes such as, “Virgin Mary was tired/ So tired/ Tired of listening to gossip/ Gossip and complaints.” Last they performed “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” their piece de resistance. Bass took over the theater, slow, palpable and rumbling with its famous notes. It lingered and flew, dark and heavenly.