Both last night and tonight I went to see Bauhaus play at The Vic. Originally it was supposed to be at The Riviera, but the venue was changed about a few weeks ago due to low advance ticket sales. I really wasn’t surprised at the low sales considering how much they were charging per ticket, and the fact that gas costs like 11 dollars a gallon these days (thank you Mr. President). In fact, if it wasn’t for my undying love for the band, in my current financial state (even back when the ex-Lady Combustion was still here paying half the bills) I never would have shelled out that kind of cash to see a show.
You are probably wondering where all the pictures are? Well, I’m sorry to report there are none. As soon as I found out they were playing, which was a few months ago now, I was on the case trying to get a photo pass to the shows. I emailed the contact info on the bands website, who put me in touch with their then-publicist. I was told they wouldn’t know how many tickets they’d have available for such a thing until closer to the show. Not wanted to risk a sell-out (because when I saw them in 1998 at the Riviera, both shows sold out), I bought a pair of tickets for each show. I emailed the publicist back and said that I really just need the photo pass, and I have my own tickets to the show that I purchased. I wanted to do a writeup on the show and take pix for this site. Now nearly everyone I’ve ever asked this of in recent history has always been happy to oblige, I mean come on, it is great publicity for the bands and a lot of people come to this site. I was again told they wouldn’t know until closer to the show.
So about a month prior to yesterday evening, I again email them and ask if there is any word on the pass, I get the same answer. “Fair enough,” I thought, so I waited until a week before the show. I email the publicity person again and get no response. A couple days later I email again and I get a response saying they no longer are handling the publicity for Bauhaus and gave me the email address of their management. I email them and was told they had no more passes to give away. I replied and informed them I had tickets, I just needed the sticker that says I can take photos, and lets me in that barricade to shoot and I have never heard of there ever being a limit for how many a band can get of those (guest list spots yeah, photo passes no). I offered to share the photos for free to them for the bands website. They never bothered to reply.
The day before the show, they post a bulletin on myspace wanting people to put the band in their top eight of friends in an effort to get more people to add the band as a friend, and thus I assume get more people to take notice and come to their shows. I replied and said I’d have been happy to if they could have gotten me a photo pass to the shows and again explain that I had tickets, so the band got my money, and just needed the pass. I got a response asking what they were for and to send a link to the site so I did. They didn’t get back to me in time for the first day but when I returned from the show, I had a message waiting for me informing me they couldn’t get me one.
I call bullshit on that! I counted about three or four people there with photo passes and there was a TON of room for more in that front area barricade, plus they only let you shoot from in there for the first few songs. I figure they didn’t think my site was worthy enough for their precious photo pass and just brushed me off with that lame excuse. I’m willing to bet more people would have seen those photos on this site and read about the band than in some of whatever publications it was that was granted the passes, plus I was willing to share the photos for their own website, which currently is lacking any substance. It was a huge letdown and really soured my experience. I love photographing shows, and at this point I really don’t even want to go to any that I can’t shoot because I want to share the stories with my readers and give them something to look at.
As for the shows? Despite the letdown stated above, I was still excited to see the band. I mean the fault really lies in their management and publicity folks, the band themselves really had little to nothing to do with this business. I’ll say this, if these people were any good at their jobs, you’d have thought that they would have at least sold out The Vic, which was a 1000 seat downgrade from the original venue they booked show at, but they didn’t even manage that. I’m sure the price had a lot to do with it, but I can’t help but think maybe if they were a little less elitist with who they view as “the press” they would be getting more of it and thus selling more tickets. The place wasn’t empty by a long shot, it was a good sized crowd, but it is shocking to me that neither show sold out.
For last night’s show I met up with Senor Citizen at his work and he drove us over to the club. After getting pulled over and getting a ticket for allegedly running a stop sign (which was bullshit, he stopped for sure), we found sweet parking and walked to the line to get in. I ran into Bill from Big’n and we cut in line with him. When we got in, we got sweet seats in the balcony with a perfect view, it was a real treat. There was no opening band and that was even more of a treat. Around 8pm Bauhaus took the stage. I don’t know the name of the song they opened with, it was one I never listened to much and was a little long and was a weird way to open the show. They kicked it into high gear with the second song though, “In the Flat Field” and it sounded great. They had a lot of really cool, and often blinding lights, but overall the band really was playing in a lot of darkness with these lights making weird shadows and flashing. I will say it would have been tough shooting photos sans-flash with the available light, but I could have pulled it off and gotten a few good ones. Compared to their 1998 tour, this stage show was kind of lacking. They played a good amount of different songs on this tour from the last one which I thought was pretty neat. I don’t’ recall the order of the songs but some of the ones they played was “She’s in Parties”, “Hair of the Dog”, “Dark Entries”, “Stigmata Martyr”, “Rose garden Funeral of Sores”, “Swing the Heartache”, “Kick in the Eye”, and “A God in an Alcove”. They did two encores, the first one was three songs; “Slice of Life”, “Telegram Sam”, and “Ziggy Stardust”. They then came back out once more and closed with “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”.
Tonight I ended up going alone, and having a ticket I purchased on my no-income go to waste. I decided that I never again will buy an extra ticket to a show unless I have the money from someone who will guarantee they will go with me. I got burned for the last time. The original person I purchased it for couldn’t make it, then someone else said last night that they would go only to have me find out at 3:30pm today they changed their mind. I was willing to take a loss on the cost and give it to a friend cheap but no one stepped up to the plate. I will say in this case, that nearly all my friends suck, and some of their excuses were pretty fucking lame. I mean I still love all my friends, but I was really let down. I hate going to shows by myself and I hate even more losing money on a ticket, especially when I have no money to begin with!. It would have been worth taking a loss on the ticket to have some company at the show but it was not to be.
After some of the worst traffic on every road my car touched, I managed to find a good parking spot with only about 5 minutes of driving around the area. I guess it was my consolation for the ass-raping that was traffic. The doors were already open so the line wasn’t very long to get in. I got felt on by the security and allowed to enter the venue. The one advantage of being there alone was there was single seats in good parts of the balcony here and there. I got a closer seat tonight than I did last night.
The band played the exact same set they did last night. I knew they pretty much would but I thought maybe they’d change something up in the encore. Nope! That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the show the first night was very good. I will say that they were not as good as their 1998 shows. Peter Murphy barely moved around this time at either show and actually not only looks a lot worse for wear than he did seven years ago, but almost bored at times. The songs sounded great, but there just was a sense of energy missing that was present on their last reunion tour. They also didn’t have any cool gimmicks like those hanging bulbs, the TV screen for the first song that showed Peter singing, and he did no costume change on stage like he did when they played, “Boys” on the last tour. He didn’t dance around at all, he mostly stood there. I’m still glad I got to see them, twice, and it was well worth checking out, but it just didn’t feel quite as special as it did in 1998.
They played around 90 minutes and I was home in no time. I can’t recall the last show that I went to that got out before 10pm at a club that size. I think more bands should consider that no opening band idea! The positives still outweighed the negatives by far for me for both of these shows and it was a real treat to be able to see them once more, even if it wasn’t as good as the last time I saw them.
They were selling CDs of the actual show that was recorded each night when it was over but at $25 bucks a piece, there was no way I could afford it! On my way out, I did get to see the lovely Miss Lis and chat with her for a few minutes, and its always nice to run into her.