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Photos by Wild Don Lewis
The Count, his virginal brides; he’s dead, he’s not dead, he’s dead, he’s not
dead — okay, we got “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” out of the way. Yes, Bauhaus played
the ticking, tapping, and the foreboding bass line of the greatest post-punk
epic ever written, but true fans — all you lovely fairies, Count Choculas, Frankenberries
and heaving-bosomed mistresses — on this final night of the prototypical goth
band’s pre-’Ween shows were in awe way before the second encore. No crawling
like a rat or hanging like a bat this time: Singer Peter Murphy (white shirt,
black smoking jacket) merely appeared on the side of the stage, slowly paced
its length throughout with nary a boo between songs, and, thankfully, gave guitarist
Daniel Ash (bumblebee shades, sleeveless Matrix-style trenchcoat) the
glory. Murphy may have gone blond and bald, but Ash is still the sexiest man
to sport overplucked eyebrows, with a head of hair that deserves its own line
of products. And, boy, could he play guitar, especially on the band’s excellent
punk covers of Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam.”
Ash ripped through “Dark Entries,” a relentlessly ferocious piece that comes
screeching at you like something out of Wild Kingdom. And if you like
your Bauhaus spellbindingly slow, Ash slid a drum stick across his guitar strings
on “Hollow Hills,” taking it to even gloomier heights. How eerie was it to watch
the band’s shadows play on the Wiltern’s gilded walls? Or, during “The Passion
of Lovers” (yes, the passion of lovers is for death) when the stage lights
appropriately went bordello red and we inappropriately flung our “nut-painted
arms” into the air with girlish glee? Midway through “Hair of the Dog” the band
just simply stopped in worship me, my pretties pose for what seemed like
an eternity. The theatrics on the other side of the proscenium? Well, on a night
like this goths and vinyl went together like a pimp and chalice. Yawn. So we
gave our vote for best in show to the Björk/swan lady, or whoever was carrying
around Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death.

David J and shades
Daniel Ash and shades, hair, pensive allure

LA Weekly