Monday, July 7, 2008


w/ Special guest Ali Eskandarian
Live @ The Trocadero Theater, Philadelphia, PA
Sunday, June 29th, 2008

It took me a little longer than I had hoped to bring you this story of my time in Philadelphia with my good pal Rick, and one of our favorite artists of all time...Peter Murphy (Bauhaus/Dali's Car/etc.)
And the reason for that, is simple. I could not find a listing of the set list. Instead I took a risk and shared what seems, based on the other concert set lists on this tour, and my sometimes fantastic memory, the right list of songs Peter played that night. 
So, Rick and I headed down to Philadelphia to catch the show. We were not sure how a sunday night show featuring a legendary singer would be as far as audience attendance. Luckily for us, the place was dead when we went in. We made our way to the balcony section, thinking we wanted to sit and enjoy the show. Sure enough, the attendance grew with the time, and became a modest sunday night crowd, just before the first performer came onstage. The opener at this show was a singer by the name of Ali Eskandarian. I hated this guy's show. I don't normally blog about the bands I do not care for, but this guy was asking for it. Rick and I wanted to find this guy after his show and just beat his face in. Him, and that idiot sitting there, dressed like he was in the middle of a blizzard, pushing buttons, making monotonous drum sounds and drinking beer. 

Ali, impressing absolutely nobody.

Ali came out, dancing, literally, like a belly dancer, or some sort of seductive stripper. He looked like the singer of Mars Volta. Big afro, skinny figure. Tight black clothes. Dark complexion. The entire balcony just looked around and held back laughter for this guy. Occasionally playing guitar, while his goofy friend made noises, Ali just rambled on with political poetry, that brought to mind a really bad episode of Def Poetry. Luckily for us, he did not play very long, and he acted quite normal in between songs, giving us hope that he might know he is a goof ball, and we didn't have to find him and let him know ourselves. 

Once Ali finished up, it did not take too long until the lights went down and Peter Murphy  took the stage. It was dark, and he walked out with a sinister stillness, one he is well known for. Dressed in a nice suit, and with a single light shining down onto his face, he started singing, with the band building up to the first song, the Bauhaus classic "Burning From The Inside"
We decided to move down to the main floor, and try and get closer, considering that most of the people in attendance are over age, and were in the balcony, while the floor attendance was full but not packed. Peter's band was tight (well everyone but the drummer). I was impressed with the guitarist for this tour, Mark Thwaite. He beefed up the guitar sound, without changing the elements that were used on the records. Peter focused primarily on the records Deep, Cascade, with a few Bauhaus songs to boot. We got quite close to the front of the stage, and were about 10 feet from Peter. We were on the far right of the stage, and the way the lights were, and the way everyone was positioned, we were apparently quite visible from the stage. I know this because Peter, on several occasion made it known to us, by waving to us from stage, making eye contact with us as we sang along to the songs, etc. It was weird. As I sang out loud the lyrics to several of his songs, he noticed us and would lean out to us and stare, while singing, making us sing harder and louder of course. At one point in the show Rick was singing along, and anybody who knows Rick, knows his mouth resonates over any sound system. Peter saw and perhaps heard him, and pointed right at him and nodded. It was a highlight. Another highlight was when Peter "opened up the floor, for questions", and everyone was yelling questions out to him. Some of the questions that he picked up and asked were "Why did you move to Turkey, and Do you miss Europe"?
He took his time talking back to several of the members of the audience, and when he could not hear the responses, he would say to them "What was that"? So there were a few one on one conversations taking place. I was impressed that he was so personable and took time to acknowledge his audience. It really is a beautiful thing, when you think about the cost of the concert experience. Gas, tolls, parking (outragious btw) surcharges on tickets, and of course, the ticket prices. All of this going up in price, going to see a $20 show, cannot cost any less than $50. I don't know if Peter was thinking about these things (we certainly were) but for whatever reason, it was impressive that he took the time to respect his audience and see them as people who came out to support him and hear his wonderful songs. This point convicts me, being a musician myself, and knowing how important it is to always listen to, and appreciate those who make it possible for me to have a life in music, whatever that means. Peter and the band picked some great songs to play, and most of my faves were delivered, with energy, and fun. Peter even tripped at one point and just laughed to himself, and just didn't miss a beat. At one point,a fan handed him a hat, and he wore it for several songs. Strangely it matched his suit. He eventually returned the hat to the fan. The musical aspect of the show was fantastic, but the added bonus of having contact with Peter Murphy and the fact that he showed his appreciation for the audience, made all the pathetic concert going fees well worth it.
Being only 30 years old, I have never "grown up" on Murphy's music, in this case Bauhaus. It was all out there...his solo albums, Bauhaus albums, Dali's Car, etc. I love everything PM does, but my favorite albums from him is Deep, Dali's Car, Cascade, and Mask. I am not sold, soley on his work in Bauhaus. I love the pop singles too, and sometimes more so, than Bauhaus. I like a little of everything, and that is, for the most part, what this show was. Almost, my own personal concert, with most of my requests :)  :)  :)

and, thank YOU were excellent.

 Set List:
Burning From The Inside
Line Between The Devil's Teeth
Gliding Like A Whale
Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem
I'll Fall With Your Knife
Sweetest Drop
Black Stone Heart
Crystal Wrists
Deep Ocean, Vast Sea
Idle Flow

Encore 1:
The Three Shadows, Part 1
A Strange Kind Of Love/Bela Legosi's Dead (Medley)
Cuts You Up

Encore 2:
She's In Parties/Be My Wife (Bowie cover) (Medley)

Encore 3:
Transmission (Joy Division cover)

Set Highlights:
Burning From The Inside
The Line Between The Devil's Teeth
Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem
Crystal Wrists
Deep Ocean, Vast Sea
The entire Encore 1 (Cuts You Up is my all time fave)

Worthy mentions:
*Peter Murphy's onstage antics and
singing along with him face to face.

*No more smoking indoors.

* drinking Guinness on tap.

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