The Peter Murphy Show is an idea that I would like to see happen after watching the “Godfather of Goth” perform at Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola, Florida. As the legendary frontman reached the end of his encore, a few things were very apparent. Most noticeably being the fact that he still has the engaging presence that was documented in the 1983 film “The Hunger.”
Before Murphy made his presence known during his Vinyl Music Hall debut, opening act Livan made his way onto the blackness of the stage, casting his London “Industrial Punk Pop” shadow onto the Pensacola crowd. Supported by Will Crewdson (lead guitar), John Robertson (rhythm guitar), David Ryder (bass), and Seven Antonopoulos (drums), Livan skillfully continued the tradition of dark theatrics that headliner Murphy helped pioneer.
The lead singer of the goth pioneering band Bauhaus, stole the screen while singing the group’s signature single “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” as David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve played with their prey in the opening minutes of the Tony Scott directed 80’s vampire movie “The Hunger.”
Peter Murphy had the same hypnotic impact this night as the time had arrived for his headlining appearance. Preceded by his band and entering the stage in a cloud of smoke, Murphy circled the heart of the stage like a panther ready to pounce and devour.
With a set that showcased charisma, showmanship and amazing vocal presence, Murphy not only mesmerized the crowd but also entertained with a sense of humor worthy of prime-time television. If the “Prince of Darkness” can secure a successful MTV reality show, I see no reason that the “Godfather of Goth” shouldn’t be courted by television execs based on the intelligent execution and depth of his comedic savvy.
With a final wave of showmanship and having completed an encore set that included “Cuts You Up,” Murphy called upon the members of his band and all took a bow while the Pensacola crowd gave their applause in gratitude of a wonderfully dark evening.