Bauhaus Concert Review by James R. Clark, Photos by Famed Rock Photog Julz Finley

Bauhaus in Cleveland, Ohio at The Agora Theater 11/19/05

Bauhaus, the original gothfathers, performed on their Near the Atmosphere tour with their original lineup; Peter Murphy on vocals, Daniel Ash on Guitars and Saxophone, David J on Bass, and Kevin Haskins on Drums. While certainly not the largest venue in Cleveland, the highly anticipated concert was well attended. The audience was a mature group of both young and old and was somewhat reserved throughout most of the close to two hour concert, perhaps mesmerized by the very extraordinary and sophisticated light show, (but according to Julz Finley, it proved to be challenging to get a good shot with all the strobes and fog).

There were plenty of pale faces, black lipstick, and Doc Martens in the house, but strangely, the newly muscular Daniel Ash performed without his signature red lipstick. Thankfully, he did manage to provide the audience with the opening number in his trademark Jackie O sunglasses. Smoke emanated from all corners of the stage and Kevin Haskins on his elevated drum platform somewhat resembled ET emerging from the mothership. Kevin Haskins, of all the band members, seems to have actually reversed the aging process and appears younger than when the band emerged around 1979. Peter Murphy, sporting a villainous pencil thin moustache, was at his best and his unmistakable baritone voice showed no signs of aging. David J, with the familiar short strawberry blond hair, showed off his dexterous fingers, playing the bass guitar at times with only one hand. The bass levels inside the theater were simply ridiculously high as I could feel my heart and internal organs being massaged each time David J plucked the top string.

The set list included the favorites Double Dare, In the Flat Field, God in an Alcove, Passion of Lovers, She’s in Parties, Hollow Hills, Kick in the Eye, Dark Entries, Hair of a Dog, and Stigmata Martyr. Bela Lugosi’s Dead was demanded from the foot stomping audience and performed by a cloaked and metronome wielding Peter Murphy for the first encore. The second encore started with Daniel Ash performing the vocals and acoustic guitar for the precursor sound of Love and Rockets/Tones on Tail on Slice of Life. As the audience’s fervor built towards a climax, Peter Murphy finished off the crowd with the covers Telegram Sam and Ziggy Stardust.

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