Home / Bauhaus Totally Undead At Coachella

Bauhaus Totally Undead At Coachella

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So, seminal goth rockers Bauhaus re-united for Coachella this year. As a devoted Bauhaus maniac back in the day, I was excited that they were on the bill, but I didn’t take it too seriously. I was pretty certain it would be a somewhat sad case of dusting off the old codgers and rolling ’em out for one last trip down gothic nostalgia lane.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Bauhaus rocked ass. Their’s was easily the most convincing main stage performance of the weekend.

Here’s what happened. First, they went straight for the jugular, as it were, and opened with their biggest number, “Bela Lugosi Is Dead.” David J, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins slowly built the vibe of inky darkness, smoke rolling out over the stage, and the trademark white lights glared starkly out into the desert night. Then, Peter Murphy made his entrance, bringing the goth HARDCORE, suspended from the rafters by his feet, wrapped in black ribbons, his hair bleached white, arms crossed over his breast like a vampire, and performed the entire song, bellowing out that brilliant “Undead, undead, undead, undead” upside down like a bat.

I ask you, how pimp is that?

Just name me one band that would have the stones to freaking totally embrace their schtick and, without winking even a little bit, unflinchingly rock the high drama?

Gentle readers, there is none.

Peter Murphy, Undead

Maybe it was the dully perfect, no chances taken performance Weezer gave just before them, but personally, I like a little showmanship in my rock show, and Bauhaus brought it bigtime. They went on to roll out one classic number after another – “In The Flat Field”, “God In An Alcove”, “Silent Hedges”, “She’s In Parties”, “The Passion of Lovers”, “Rose Garden Funeral of Sores”, and “Stigmata Martyr” – without one single false note, or missed beat, and without breaking character for a second.

Peter Murphy, dressed in flowing black gaucho-style trousers and a form-fitting ruched black shirt, posed and vogued through every moment of the performance with totally ludicrous theatricality, climbing into a tower of gothitude at stage-right now and then, or posing with his bamboo staff (yes. A staff!) holding his arms up crucifixion-style. All the while delivering the creepy as if it were 1982. I know I’ve already gone all the way with the superlatives in this review, but I’m not kidding one bit when I say that it was absolutely brilliant.

As Peter Murphy left the stage like the diva he is, he tossed a huffy “Now you can say you were there” over his shoulder like he had just delivered the second coming of the Christ Child, or some shit.

He was kind of right.

David J, Kevin Haskins, and Peter Murphy in the tower

Peter Murphy with Staff and Daniel Ash

All photos by Jaime Nichols, 2005. Re-use by permission only.

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About Jaime Nichols

  • Scuse me anyone!….but i’m trying to look for the track 4 of that concert….i CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE….it goes from track 3 to 5…. hmm….i would like if anyone could help me find it please….i really love their music…got all the discography except that song…


  • Charles Shahan

    I saw Bauhaus last night in San Francisco. Best show I have ever seen in my life. WOW!!!!! If you get the chance go. BTW love the review and photos. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great pictures and review.

    I don’t know that I’d ever describe Bauhaus and Peter Murphy as “pimp,” though. I think mummy rock is sort of the antithesis of big pimpin.

    Coachella wasn’t worth going to this year, but I might check out Bauhaus if they’re doing a big tour. Peter better do the Dracula gymnastics or I’m going home.

    That is all.

  • Ooh, I am envious!

  • Naomi

    Just found out that Bauhaus are coming to my fair city of Toronto in November. Thanks for this review, and especially for the pictures; I will not even hesitate before buying my ticket, no matter what the price. Now if I can only find those damned fishnets…

  • Xibalba

    Well… Bauhaus Mexico City confirmed show!!!!

    October 16th

  • Carl Burgess

    I first saw bauhaus back in 1980 at a small venue in london, I was 14 and my best friend was 13. together we followed
    them till the end on july 5th 1983.
    I married in 1998 and moved to the US in time to catch them on their resurrection tour.
    My old friend now also lives in the US, so we decided to do it one more time…
    SO 25years, 37 bauhaus concerts and 7000
    miles away from where it all began for us, two old guys from london found themselfs witnessing what has to be one of thee finest bauhaus concerts.
    We hoped to hear their best work, their first 3 LP’S and the singles that surrounded them. and what followed was
    outstanding, we left as soon as the show was over and headed off into the night…stunned by what we had seen and heard. if you were not there then i feel very sorry for you.
    2 LP’S and the singles that

  • John Burnley

    I saw Bauhaus in ’98 at the Palladium in Hollywood, and I never thought I’d ever see them live. I wish and hope there is some video existing of this Cochella performance since I couldn’t make it. Seeing the pics of Peter upside down-WOW.

  • Andy

    It was Emazing.
    Great review of the show. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • ArgyleS

    That rules!

  • In the totally bitchin’ department, my photos are appearing, currently, on the Peter Murphy and Bauhaus websites, and I’m just not jaded enough not to admit that I totally love that!

  • Bryan

    C’mon, Jaime — what’s the good news Temple’s talking about???

  • Toby

    Damn, I’m seethingly envious. Excellent review, cool photos. Lucky, lucky you to have seen this kick ass concert.

  • You should tell people your good news here for people who find the site searchig for Bauhaus.

  • Thanks, Temple.

  • Jaime,

    I promoted this review to Advance.net. That means I put it here (and these places) where it could potentially be read by another few hundred thousand readers.

    – Thank you for the post. Temple Stark

  • yep – a g3 will do it ($700 last time I looked and likely much cheaper now). Looks like the band had great lighting

  • The camera I took these with is just a Canon G3. I really love the one with the tower. Thanks for the kind words!

  • Ral qulaity photos – um, without the question mark. They are.

  • Real quality photos?

    What’s your camera equipment?


    Another history lesson in action.
    Great review.

  • The most incredible part of it, I thought, though I failed to mention this in my review, is how their songs didn’t feel AT ALL dated. They roked, straight up, no excuses. It was SUCH a great show. They were the best at Coachella, and I saw some great shit out there. Also, I say that as someone who fully bought the Coachella ticket to see Nine Inch Nails. No other band at the festival rocked it harder than Bauhaus. They were masterful and brilliant.

  • Andrea

    I too am in complete agreement. The show defied words. Bauhaus really left it’s fans craving more, and I hope they reunite and continue to deliver jaw-dropping shows. I’m counting down the days until I see PM at HOB Orlando.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t like the PM solo material nearly as much as the Bauhaus material, however. Of course I can say the same about Love and Rockets, the Bubblemen, etc as well, although there are some great songs from all subsequent units

  • Keefer

    Amazing. I so wish I could have been there to witness that for myself. I saw Peter Murphy about a year or 2 ago at HOB LV and his voice is just as strong and potent as it was back then. I hope they do tour after this very successful performance. Thanks for this article.

  • Amy

    I tottally agree with this review. Bauhaus were stunning at Coachella and I hope that they tour together again. I am definately going to see Peter Murphy play later this month.

  • Eric Olsen

    another super review Jaime, and the pictures are priceless. Very glad to hear they did a good job, would love to have been there.

  • Kate

    The pictures are wonderful. Although I am not a Bauhaus lover, the pictures authenticate the tale you tell on what a fabulous show they gave. I love the tower pic.

    Despite my lack of real interest in Bauhaus, I like to read your reviews anyway and now great pics too. I hope to read and see more.