THE CHURCH and PETER MURPHY in concert Tuesday night only at the Triad Amphitheater.
Few people were converted to The Church's flock Tuesday night at the Triad Amphitheater.
The Australian band The Church, did have its moments of glory during the concert. But the band's performance seemed bland and anti-climatic after a stunning performance by co-headliner Peter Murphy.
Murphy, the former Bauhaus frontman, put on a good show from the moment he walked on stage. He presented a visual and a musical message in each of his songs.
Dressed completely in black, (a color dominating at least half of the large concert crowd's wardrobe) Murphy emitted energy with his songs. Very seldom did he stand still. He would run, hop, jump, walk, slide and wriggle from one side of the stage to the other. His thin body weaved through the thick smoke and the dark-colored lights on stage while his hands and body contorted into unusual shapes and positions that made his antics as interesting as his songs.
Responding to requests for songs from his former group, which split up in 1983, Murphy replied, "Bauhaus is somewhere in England somewhere." Despite his comment, Murphy played the Bauhaus classic, "Kick in the Eye" to an appreciative crowd.
But the biggest audience response came during the opening song of his encore, "Indigo Eyes." The song, a second single from his new album "Love Hysteria," is a very pretty, serene song that needed no smoke, no flashy lighting and no dancing around on stage. Murphy seemed to step into an entirely different role as he performed it _ perhaps showing a more serious side of his musical repertoire that may eventually be shared with the rest of the world, and not just a cult gathering of former Bauhaus and alternative radio fans.
Murphy ended his encore with a frenzied "Final Solution," his first solo single, mixed with portions of "Bela Lugosi's Dead," another Bauhaus classic.
After nearly a half-hour wait, The Church opened its portion of the show. The band played a good mix of songs from both new and old albums but seemed to be lacking in enthusiasm and energy.
Even The Church's performance of the recent top-20 hit, "Under the Milky Way," sounded like a boring sermon. The audience generally appeared bored and passive. Simply put, the band sounded bland.
As The Church continued to play, however, the crowd did become more enthused. "Churchgoers" showed their greatest praise for the band's current single, "Reptile," from their new album "Starfish." But when the song ended, portions of the crowd began to head for home, leaving behind a smaller, but faithful following.
"Time to Rise," and "Spark" were two hard-driving songs that also received a more enthusiastic audience response. The Church returned for an encore and performed an old Neil Young song. The very talented Tom Verlaine, who opened the show with an acoustic set of songs, returned to play with The Church during the encore.