Aftermath first became familiar with Peter Murphy long after his musical heyday. By the time we began listening to him, Bauhaus had already disbanded, and it was only by chance that we came across his music.
While looking up Nine Inch Nails videos on YouTube, we happened upon a recording of Murphy performing "Reptile" with Trent Reznor and Twiggy. The song was already one of our favorites, but Murphy made it his own, and to this day when we hear it, we are reminded of his vocal prowess, all around range and those epic side burns he had in the video that seemed to have the sole purpose of accentuating his jaw line.
Though impressed, we held off on listening to much more of his music for fear that it wouldn't hold up to the image we had imprinted in our minds after hearing "Reptile." And how could it?
Monday night at House of Blues, our idea of Murphy as a lord in the Goth world was shattered. The performance itself was impressive, but everything else was far from it.
Ticket sales were disappointing, and the turnout reflected as much. Going in, we honestly thought he might have sold out House of Blues. After all, he played Numbers recently, and since he came back and was playing a larger venue, we assumed there must have been a large demand. Murphy's inability to sell out House of Blues just may have had something to do with ticket prices. ($40? Seriously?)
At 10:40 p.m., Murphy appeared onstage wearing a less-than-flattering deep v-necked hoodie, tight leather pants and a Shriner-esque hat. In front of a scattered crowd, much of which had left the building after She Wants Revenge's set, he belted out wavery, baritone vocal lines set to heavy drum beats, scratchy guitar riffs and bass lines that challenged his voice as the focal point of the performance.
At most shows, we figure out how to have a good time in some way, either by light-heartedly getting into it all or by laughing at fans who are off the walls, but last night's show was just...Sad, really.
Murphy was trying his hardest, but the crowd just didn't seem to care. Obviously, there were a few outliers at the front of the stage, singing along, but the overall feel of the crowd was one of apathy. And try as me might, Aftermath can't figure out why so many people in this city willingly pay for concert tickets only to talk loudly and ruin the experience for everyone else.
Even when it was supposed to be an intimate moment, the crowd was rowdy and didn't ever seem to be swept up in it all.
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Before Murphy, She Wants Revenge performed, and from what we saw, they were the primary pull for the evening. The crowd was tightly packed for their performance, and having seen the group a few times before, we can honestly say that the band sounded as good if not better than we've ever heard from them before.
New York City's The Hustle Club were onstage first. The young four-piece sounded like Manson light, both lyrically and with much of their musicianship. "You can't kill us," they sang, "Because we're already dead."
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Considering the show's low attendance, Aftermath wonders if we were the only ones who chuckled at the above lyric.
Personal Bias: Is the purpose of tight pants to draw attention to the bulge of your crotch? Do ladies like that? #confused
Overheard in the Crowd: "May I draw you?"
Random Notebook Dump: Our coworker, @breakfastontour, tweeted this just before Murphy went onstage: "Most inappropriate house music: Dr Dre and Eminem during a Peter Murphy show." We couldn't have agreed more.