Peter Murphy with Air Waves, Small Black, and Crystal Stilts at The Well in Bushwick, Brooklyn for only $25! This was a fun show with some impressive opening acts. The Well is an outdoor venue; there were booths set up for food, beer, and band/concert memorabilia. The concert felt more like a mini-music festival than a bar in Bushwick, actually.
Unfortunately, I missed the opening band, Air Waves. And judging by the two following acts, I sorely missed out. Small Black was great, a synth-pop band that would appeal to the lighter side of goth. The music is standard fare for those into a heavy use of synthesizers and effects-laden vocals, but done right. Their performance was so electronic that I’d expect their album to sound exactly like their live performance—that’s not a bad thing, mind you. Crystal Stilts hearkens back to the punk era of the ‘70s, with an otherworldly sound owed mostly to Brad Hargett whose vocals are reminiscent of the late Ian Curtis of Joy Division.
Twilight fell. The throngs of fans gathered to listen for the songs of Peter Murphy grew. If you don;t know Peter Murphy, a good description of his songs is ‘like fairy tales set to music.’ Looking as debonair as ever, Peter Murphy walked on stage. Opening with Bauhaus’s “Zikir” (from the album Go Away White) that quickly transitions into “Velocity Bird.” With a healthy dose of Bauhaus material rounding out the playlist, Peter mostly played songs from his latest album, Ninth, all done with his signature dance moves and swagger that only Mr. Murphy can pull off. He added a bit of fun to the concert by playfully interacting with the audience and bandmates.
With a brief intermission and quick wardrobe change, Peter Murphy played an encore (just one?). Playing a chilling rendition of “Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Poem,” then “All Night Long,” he closed with “Ziggy Stardust.” Bottom line: Peter Murphy still has it!
The Well, located at 272 Meserole St. in Brooklyn, is right down the street from Bushwick’s other music venue The Acheron. Unfortunately, I did not see the main hall, which boasts a 4,000 square foot interior and a bar with 60 beers on tap from local breweries.
I went to see Peter Murphy in The Well’s 11,000 square foot private outdoor space. The outdoor space is a pit. There is a wall to the actual club on one side, a stage on another, and chain link fences on the other two sides complete with a view of the neighboring storage facility of masonry blocks; there are literally pallets of bricks stacked twenty feet high over the top of the fence. This space has no endearing qualities; it is a slab of concrete whose pavement is sloppy, and clearly meant for the brewery that used to inhabit the club. There were only two beers on tap—Negra Modelo and Pacifico. I like those beers, but come on!
*-review by Rob McCormack