Peter Murphy

State Theatre | 4/23/16

By Jay Oakley

Peter Murphy has long been regarded as the "Godfather of Goth." A title that was established from his time in Bauhaus.

A rare tour of the US brought out a large and excited crowd and Peter did not disappoint. The "Stripped" tour gave fans as well as casual followers a look into Peter's soulful, dark writing, mixed with his baritone voice. Very much, a sound all his own.

Opening with "Cascade" from his solo album of the same name, set a nice tone and feel for the evening. Peter followed up with "The Secret," "Indigo Eyes" and "All Night Long." The show was set up with chairs for a intimate feel but that didn't stop fans from dancing and really connecting with Peter's lyrics.

David Bowie's "The Bewlay Brothers" was a really interesting choice as a tribute to the fallen hero but was nicely delivered and gave myself a new appreciation for the song. Of course, Peter did not skimp on a well chosen collection of Bauhaus songs and grouped a three song block to them. "King Volcano," "Kingdom's Coming" and "Silent Hedges" added a tone of excitement to the cheers that proceeded and the applause that followed each song.

Iggy Pop's "Sister Midnight" opened the encore and "I'll Fall With Your Knife" and "Your Face" closed out the evening. A raucous, standing ovation followed the sixteen song set and it was something to be behold. I spoke briefly, throughout the night, with fans attending of the show because I wanted to get a better understanding of what Peter's work means to them, being that I specialize in a harder style of music but have always enjoyed heavier written music like Bauhaus, The Cure and Sisters of Mercy. Two of the fans there told me about unfortunate experiences they've had and how Peter's music made them feel special and excepted. Others told me about the sense of community they feel with his writing and the poetic style of his song delivery.

The hardest part of the performance was a heavy, purple house light that made Peter a little difficult to photograph. However, it was a very special evening to be a part of and I was very grateful to be invited.