Last night’s show in Orlando marked the official end of the 40 years of Bauhaus Ruby Celebration Tour featuring Peter Murphy and David J. The extra day was added as a reschedule after Peter Murphy was unable to perform at the original Orlando date on February 7th due to to medical issues. And fans who traveled in from all over the state were treated to a repeat performance from Murphy.
In the now numerous posts on the Facebook page for the event, concert goers have thrown insults at Murphy and levied accusations of trickery, greed, and shady dealings at the venue, The Plaza Live. (Edit: In my attempt to capture audience frustration, it was not my intent to imply that these accusations have merit. The venue is often the first target of frustrated and unfounded abuse when something goes wrong. The Plaza Live staff did the best they could in a situation no one could have planned or predicted.)The visitor posts on Peter Murphy’s page aren’t much kinder. Many commentors also pointed out that they had a feeling Murphy was going to be a no show again after the pre-show meet and greet was cancelled. What seems to have fans most upset is that Murphy wasn’t announced as a no show until after the opening act, SINE, finished their set around 9:30pm.
At the February date, David J stalled for time before announcing that Murphy was unable to perform. This time, the stage manager announced that Peter Murphy would not be performing, promised a full refund, and announced David J who insisted the show go on. Despite the majority of those who remained booing at the cancellation announcement, the show did go on with what David J via Curse Mackay described as a “deconstructed / remixed Bauhaus “in dub” type of performance”.
There are numerous rumors circulating about the exact reasons why Murphy didn’t take the stage, and whether or not he even made it to Orlando. I’m not here talk about that. I’m here to talk about why David J is a goddamn hero and my new patron saint of goth. He did everything he could to make sure the audience didn’t go away without an experience.
Update: See Murphy’s official statement
According to Curse Mackey (Pigface, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult) who was performing guest vocals with Rona Rogueheart of SINE to help promote her debut album Insomniae, David J said to them after SINE’s opening set “I’m not leaving this audience hanging again, let’s try to conjure some magic for th[ese] wonderful people”. In the 20 minutes or so between the end of SINE’s set and the cancellation announcement, David J, guitarist Mark Thwaite, drummer Marc Slutsky, Rona, and Curse threw together a set list that Curse said “we felt we could take on an interesting trip”.
In the end, they managed to pull off a very unique and unrehearsed eight song improvised Bauhaus set with Rona on drums, Curse singing lead vocals on In The Flat Field and Stigmata Martyr, and backing David J with Rona on Bela Lugosi’s Dead. “David J was amazing and very determined to not let this audience down” says Curse, “ from my very close proximity to everything going on, David did everything he could to make the show work under extreme pressure and circumstance”
Curse, who has just announced his own solo album INSTANT EXORCISM out on Negative Gain Productions on 5/10, could have dialed it in with his performance, but he brought that big goth energy to flawlessly deliver the iconic song. Energetic, committed, and a true front-man. He even engages the crowd with a fun Florida riff, and the cheers at the end of the song are proof that who needs Murphy when you have musicians like these hellbent on making sure you still have a good time with Bauhaus. By the end of the improvised set, the crowd was reportedly chanting “Peter who?”.
Thank you to Fade In PR for providing us with a video of Curse on vocals for In The Flat Field.
I spoke with some people who stuck around to see the improvised set, and everything I have heard is just absolute praise for how well David J, Curse, and Rona performed despite the circumstances. One fan even asked if there’s a way to opt out of the auto-refund on tickets. Brittany W. who traveled from the panhandle to see the show said “I was impressed with their last minute improvising. It wasn’t perfect, but they sure damn tried, and it was a pretty interesting and unique show I have to admit”.
David J, Mark, Marc, Curse, Rona - thank you for stepping up and showing by example what true dedication and love mean.
Thank you to our friends at Fade In PR for providing all the photos and video used in this post!
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