Concert Review: Bauhaus in Minneapolis – November 7, 2005

Playlist

Main Set:

Burning from the Inside
In the Flat Field
A God in an Alcove
In Fear of Fear
Terror Couple Kill Colonel
Swing the Heartache
She’s in Parties
The Passion of Lovers
Silent Hedges
Kick in the eye
Hollow Hills
Rosegarden Funeral of Sores
Stigmata Martyr
Hair of the Dog
Dark Entries

First Encore:
Slice of Life
Telegram Sam
Ziggy Stardust

Second Encore:
Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Man, for a group that broke up in 1983, Bauhaus is sure getting around like KISS these days.

For the uninformed, Bauhaus is considered one of the “Big Three” from the first generation of the Gothic music genre, along with The Sisters of Mercy (although you couldn’t call them Goth to Mr. Eldritch’s face for quite some time), and Joy Division. And for the few of you who want to say, “What about Siouxsie and the Banshees?”, well they’ve never considered themselves Goth (reader the disc notes to Gothic Rock Volume 1 and their reasoning behind refusing to be on the disc), nor have they every been considered a Goth band by the major experts of the musical genre of the Gothic subculture, such as Mick Mercer.

Bauhaus is ALSO considered (albeit arguably, but not by me) the very first band in the genre itself. Mixing aspects from the Punk Scene of the 1970’s along with the glam rock of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust phase, and added some bits all their own, Bauhaus did what very few bands can ever lay claim to: starting an entirely new classification of music.

Bauhaus was one of those bands I assumed I’d never see live, considering they were broken up by the time I was six. But then, the Sisters of Mercy had broken up for a long time before I was old enough to know who they were, and yet I saw their reunion tour in Camden Town in 2003.

Bauhaus first reformed for the Gotham tour in 1998. It was a one shot deal that had a live tour album accompany it, and that was it. Many people, myself included, assumed it would be the only chance to see Peter Murphy and the crew together live. But we were wrong.

Fast forward to May of 2005 when the lineup for Coachella was announced. The first headliner was Nine Inch Nails. Not a shocker there, eh? The second was Bauhaus, making most people give out a collected “WTF?” and raising of the people’s eyebrow. But it was in fact so.

Post Coachella reports all seemed to indicate Bauhaus received one of the biggest ovations of the night and a lot of praise from critics about performing better than most of the other bands that were there over the two day festival. I personally thought they had some sound issues (electronic snafus, not playing), but if they hadn’t been there, I’d have probably given away my tickets to the show. They were the real reason I went.

So somewhere after Coachella, it was announced that Bauhaus would do one more tour across the US (with European dates to be added later). Was this due to the positive press and fan reaction from their performance? Most likely, but I can’t say for certain. Truthfully, it didn’t matter to me. I was getting to see Bauhaus more times this year than most people got to see in their lives. I sure as shit wasn’t going to complain.

The concert kicked off a little after 7:30 pm. Like most First-Gen goth bands I’ve seen live, there wasn’t an opening act. You paid for Bauhaus, and that’s all you got baby! The band ended up playing 20 songs in 2 hours. Now the 20 songs aspect of the playlist is a big deal IMO, considering Bauhaus only had 4 albums: In the Flat Field, Mask, Burning From the Inside, and The Sky’s Gone Out. Everything else was a live album or “Best Of” collection (Like Press Eject and Give me the Tape). The sole exception could be considered the “Swing the Heartache: The BBC sessions,” as that had songs not found on the other albums such as, “Party of the First Part” and “Ziggy Stardust.” It’s also my favorite of their albums. Go figure.

All twenty songs were performed amazingly well, with the loudest reactions (from my best judgement) being “She’s In Parties”, “Dark Entries”, “Ziggy Stardust”, and by far an away the MVP of the evening was the cliché gothic chestnut you can’t help put love to death, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Two things I noticed that were very noticeable about the band was that there was

1) Little to no interaction or eye contact by any members for almost the entire show. In fact, Peter Murphy, who I’ve seen play to the crowd before with his solo stuff, only responded to the crowd before the end of each set and during the last song of each encore. There was no conversation to the crowd either. None of this is bad per say or had any effect on my enjoyment of the show, but it was noticeable and not just to my eagle eye of critical cruelty that is normally reserved for awful video games.

2) Not a single song from the post Bauhaus era was played. For those of you unaware, once Bauhaus broke up, Peter Murphy went on with his own solo album, while the other members of the band formed Tones on Tail, which was another gothic style band, and then would later radically adjust their sound and their name to one many of you might recognize: Love N’ Rockets. Now I’m totally cool with them sticking to just Bauhaus songs, as it was a Bauhaus evening and I prefer their sound as a group to any of the post Bauhaus endeavors. But still, think about it for a second. What better way to open up a captive audience to what you’ve been doing for nearly 23 years and what you’ll be doing after this tour again unless something crazy happens and Bauhaus puts out a brand new album? Just a thought, but again this is merely conjecture on my part and none of this paragraph takes away from how great the show actually was.

Overall, this was the best concert I’ve seen in years, and Bauhaus’ performance in Minneapolis outshone their Coachella one. About 15 months ago I attended Curiosa, and as the Cure is often lumped in as one of the pioneers of the Gothic genre, I can say that although Bauhaus seemed pretty sterile towards each other and the audience, their music lacked none of the passion it held when it was originally written, whereas Fat Bob was the only original member of the Cure at Curiosa, and although he interacted with the audience, the rest of the band seemed more an afterthought than a nostalgia trip.

If you would like to see Bauhaus live, here are the remaining tour dates:

2005 American Tour Dates Left
11/11 New York, NY @ Nokia Live Time Square – on sale now
11/12 New York, NY @ Nokia Live Time Square – on sale now
11/13 Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre – on sale now
11/15 Montreal, QC @ Metropolis – on sale now – Ticketspro.ca
11/16 Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus – on sale now
11/18 Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Theatre – on sale now – Tickets.com
11/19 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre – on sale now
11/21 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom – on sale now
11/22 Bethesda, MD @ Strathmore – on sale now
11/24 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle – on sale now
11/25 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues – on sale now
11/26 Pompano Beach, FL @ Club Cinema – on sale now
11/29 Guadalajara, MX @ Teatro Diana – on sale now (10/17 tickets honored)
11/30 Mexico City, MX @ Palacio de los Deportes – on sale now (10/16 tickets honored)

2006 European Tour Schedule
1/28 Dublin, Ireland @ Ambassador – on sale now at ticketmaster.ie
1/29 Glasgow, Scotland @ ABC – on sale now at scotland. ticketmaster.co.uk
1/30 Newcastle, England @ Academy – on sale now at gigsandtours.com
2/1 Manchester, England @ Academy – on sale now at gigsandtours.com
2/2 Birmingham, England @ Academy – on sale now at gigsandtours.com
2/3 London, England @ Brixton Academy – on sale now at gigsandtours.com
2/5 Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique – on sale now at abconcerts.be
2/6 Paris, France @ Bataclan – on sale now at ticketnet.fr
2/7 Cologne, Germany @ Live Music Hall – on sale now at tickets.de
2/9 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega – on sale now at billetlugen.dk
2/10 Berlin, Germany @ Columbiahalle – on sale now at tickets.de
2/11 Haarlem, Netherlands @ Patronaat – on sale now at ticketmaster.nl
2/13 Milan, Italy @ Alcatraz – on sale now at ticketone.it
2/15 Barcelona, Spain @ Razzmatazz – on sale now at encoremusictours.com
2/16 Madrid, Spain @ La Riviera – on sale now at encoremusictours.com
2/17 Oporto, Portugal @ Colliseum – on sale now at plateia.iol.pt