Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ups and downs

Let him shout a rage so strong
A rage that knows no right or wrong
And take a little piece of you

~Peter Murphy, "A Strange Kind of Love", Deep

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My friend and I went for a fabulous dinner at Nami before the Peter Murphy show on Monday at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis.

I don't get out much lately. I got lucky and had a better than average day, health-speakingly-wise, and Peter Murphy is hands-down my favorite musician, so the evening had a celebratory feeling to it. And dinner was, in a word, splendid.

Even though I took it easy, I was a wreck the next day. But this was one of those events that was well worth it.

The audience was small but enthusiastic. The intimate setting allowed a lot of folks to be close to the stage without being squashed. There were people there from 18 to late middle age, in all sorts of modes of dress from goth to "just got off work at a 9-to-5", jeans & t-shirt, to miniskirt and combat boots. There were tables and chairs, dinner, cheesecake and drinks being served before the opening performer, Ali Eskandarian, started his set. Everyone watched from their tables or the bar while Eskandarian played, but abandoned their seats just before Peter took the stage.

When Peter performed "A Strange Kind of Love", there was nothing strange about the rapt expressions in the crowd.

The volume of the music overwhelmed Peter's voice just a bit from where I was standing, but it was wonderful being so close. And what a lovely voice he still has after all these years! We could easily see the blue of his eyes and his expressions as he sang.

The acoustics may have been better further back, but there's something more human about the experience up close. That said, I'm not one of those people who thinks celebrities owe it to everyone to be touchy-feely, probably because I'd hate being constantly grasped at by strangers. I know, price of fame, blah blah blah. IMHO, shaking hands upon being introduced is one thing, but just grabbing at a person who doesn't know you would be uncomfortable for me. And Peter Murphy is fairly well known by his long-time fans for being a private person. So I was impressed by how few people in the audience tried to take advantage of the lack of a barrier between us and Peter. One tall fellow pushed his way up in front of me, jumped up and down (squishing my toes - not my puffy foot, thankfully - a few times) spent some time trying to get Peter to touch his outstretched hand, and then drifted off to another spot after Peter finally did so. The few others who tried reaching for him were more willing to take the hint when Peter looked at them but did not reach back.

My favorite songs of the night: Huuvola, Crystal Wrists, and She's in Parties.

* * *

In other news I am scheduled for an MRI tomorrow evening. Results should be back from that on Friday afternoon or Monday.

1 comment:

Pockafwye said...

Posted on behalf of an anonymous friend on the Left Coast.

I tried to post to your blog but it doesn't allow anon posts (understandably). No time to investigate the options, so I thought I'd just copy it over here.


You described his San Diego show pretty much to a T, too, especially the part about the vocals being overwhelmed a bit by the music at the stage, but better further back. I made that same sacrifice, never having seen him so closely in such a small crowd. It's a little sad to see his audience shrinking (and aging) because he may take it as a cue to retire (at least from live performance) but I hope he continues on.