40 Years of Bauhaus – Ruby Celebration featuring David J.
Soundstage, Baltimore MD – February 11th
Union Transfer, Philadelphia – February 12th
Many miles were travelled over two nights to witness this 40th Anniversary celebration of Bauhaus music. Growing up in the 80’s with their music, they are ingrained into so many memories that I knew these nights would send me on a real nostalgia trip. Not only was that true but there was the added bonus of seeing two new acts that can be counted as favorites; Desert Mountain Tribe and Vinsantos.
Desert Mountain Tribe hail from the U.K. and Europe (let’s face it, we have to separate the two now) and inject vibrancy into psych-rock. What Loop did in the 80’s and The Verve did in the 90/00’s, DMT now hold the mantle. Bass player Matthew Holt and drummer Frank van der Ploeg nail down bombastic rhythm for guitarist/vocalist Jonty Balls to wail over, both vocally and with dazzling solos. Their 40 minute set flew by so quickly because the music draws you in and makes you so euphoric, space and time mean nothing. Quite a few tracks came from their debut album but their new album, Om Parvat Mystery was well represented.
Vinsantos had a short set but crammed so much humor, warmth and feeling into that space. She is a drag/musician/visual artist currently living in New Orleans who is most definitely ready for her time in the spotlight. Stories were told of growing up in California and being teased for her sexuality but as she said, “Look at me now bitches!” She played songs from her new album, A Light Awake Inside, plus an amazing interpretation of the classic Bauhaus track, “Crowds”. The reception she received both nights was receptive and enthusiastic. She has won the hearts of many and will no doubt continue to do so.
When the house lights went down for the main act, they waste no time launching into the first track of what is to be a run through, track by track, of the iconoclastic first Bauhaus album, In the Flat Field. David J. belting out those fuzz intoned opening bass notes of Double Dare, leading drummer Mark Slutzky and guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite into the frenzy. Then…the voice. Peter Murphy has always had the ability to turn bone into jelly with that baritone. The only thing missing these days are the magic shoulder shimmy but he still strikes so many classic poses and commands the stage so elegantly that anything else is a mere afterthought.
Following the album run, they begin to play some other classics from the canon. The six songs were the same each night; Burning From the Inside, Silent Hedges, Bela Lugosi’s Dead, She’s in Parties, Kick in the Eye and The Passion of Lovers. There was some sort of miscommunication in Baltimore that “Dive” was missed in the album flow. At the final encore the mistake was caught and the errant song was sung along with a rousing “Ziggy Stardust”. In Philadelphia though, the show ended after “Passion”. People seemed pretty mystified and some quite angry. It was shortly after the show that it circulated that David J. was sick. Recall that Peter had to cancel his show in Orlando Florida on February 7th because he was sick and tour buses aren’t exactly a place you can escape each others cooties.
Memory Lane seemed shorter compared to the setlists of some other cities but the trip was so worth it. The photo selection is quite paired down but is very representative of the mood and energy of the nights. Enjoy!
Desert Mountain Tribe
Copyright © 2019 by Judy Lyon/Torched Magazine
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