Peter Murphy Residency
Greatest Hits Show
(Le) Poisson Rouge , NYC
“I’m not being very iconic tonight,” joked Peter Murphy to the crowd at his sold out Residency Show at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. The eagerly anticipated and excitedly attended show was the first of four rescheduled shows at LPR, originally set for last August but interrupted when he suffered a heart attack mid-run. An angioplasty that required two stents to free up his right coronary artery saved his life. Last night, he was determined not to let a nasty cold sideline his Greatest Hits show one more time.
His longtime tour collaborators joined Murphy for this run, including Emilio Zef China on bass and violin, Mark Gemini Thwaite on guitar and Marc Slutsky on drums. A very special guest, his daughter Hurihan, appeared on stage with the band to provide backup vocals for select songs. Ever the trooper, Murphy soldiered on through a two hour set of hits and favorites, working to keep his voice and energy up.
Wasting no time, Murphy and company kicked off the show with a haunting version of “Cascade” followed by “All Night Long” and “Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem.” The 62 year old lanky singer engaged with the crowd, assuring them that he felt better, post-heart attack, swaying and swooning at the edge of the stage, in signature Murphy fashion. The shoulder to shoulder crowd could not get any closer to the band, leaning in to high-five Murphy whenever he approached their direction. The sheer energy of the fans was palpable, a full on sense of catharsis that Murphy was back after his near death experience. Even when the mic sporadically cut out as he chatted with the audience, the fans who couldn’t hear would just shout “I love you, Peter!”
Highlights of the show included “Socrates the Python,” “Gaslit,” “The Prince and Old Lady Shade” and “His Circle and Hers Meet.” A high energy version of “Low Room” absolutely electrified, with Murphy explaining that the low room can be a sense of depression and reflected on the line in the song that sometimes you don’t know what to say, so “repeating the holy names” is the thing to do.
The band was tight, as always, but with an even higher level of energy and purpose. China, the master of the violin and bass, was amazing to watch as he commanded and enraptured, at one with his instruments. Thwaite took over the opposite side of the stage, full of power and precision. Slutsky drove the beat with purpose and force.
The first encore was “Huuvola” a gem not normally found in rotation at Murphy shows. His daughter Hurihan sang backup on this one, fitting as he wrote the song for his two children. Finishing the show with a raucous version of “Hang Up,” the crowd left pumped up and thankful for another evening with a beloved icon, even if he wasn’t feeling quite as iconic as he normally does.
Photos: Christine Connallon
Additional Article Contributions by Mike Perciaccante