Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins played together in Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Love & Rockets and are currently on tour, playing songs from throughout their career, as POPTONE. (Diva Dompe, who is Haskins' daughter, rounds out the group on bass.) Dressed in white with splashes of paint that glowed bright in the black lights and strobes, POPTONE's show felt shockingly modern at Irving Plaza on Saturday night (8/5). Perhaps it was Dompe's presence on bass, or just that this material has aged especially well, or that Ash didn't do any "remember when" speeches on stage (I don't think he said a word to the audience, actually, apart from maybe "good night"). It also helped that they sounded great, and played most of the songs you'd want to hear (that Peter Murphy or David J didn't sing), including Tones on Tail classics "Go!," "Christian Says" and "Lions," and Love & Rockets' "Mirror People," "No Big Deal" and "Ball of Confusion" (by way of The Temptations). and Bauhaus' "Slice of Life."

The biggest surprise was maybe that they didn't play "So Alive," which was a #3 pop hit in the U.S. in 1989, but the packed house was full of dedicated fans -- I didn't hear a single person grumbling that it wasn't in the set. POPTONE also played covers of Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel," which opened the show, and Adam & The Ants' "Physical (You're So)." I went in a little skeptical, honestly, but left very glad to have been there. Check out the setlist and video below, and pictures from the night are in the gallery above.

California synth-punks POW! opened the show, and you can catch them tonight at Baby's All Right where they play with Kyp Malone's Ice Balloons and more (tickets).

SETLIST: POPTONE @ Irving Plaza 8/5/2017 (via)
Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley)
OK, This Is the Pops (Tones on Tail)
Mirror People (Love and Rockets)
Movement of Fear (Tones on Tail)
Happiness (Tones on Tail)
No Big Deal (Love and Rockets)
Lions (Tones on Tail)
Twist (Tones on Tail)
Love Me (Love and Rockets)
Performance (Tones on Tail)
An American Dream (Love and Rockets)
Christian Says (Tones on Tail)
There's Only One (Tones on Tail)
Ball of Confusion (Love & Rockets/Temptations)

Physical (You're So) (Adam and the Ants)
Flame On (Daniel Ash)
Go! (Tones on Tail)

Encore 2:
Slice of Life (Bauhaus)
Sweet F.A. (Love and Rockets)


photos by Ester Segretto

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