|Tour overview | Setlists overview | Interviews overview||
Only one setlist out of the four dates is known exactly, the Offenbach one. Here it is:
Other than this, only three concerts were played, with very similar setlists. The only song not included here is Under the Gun played only early in the tour.
Kiss the Carpet was moved to its original opener position (obligatory in 1982/83) in the final date of the tour -- it was there only few times in 1993 and it remained there until its final exclusion in 1998).
In the following chapters you will find out the outline how the setlists of this tour were different from previous ones, read about the novelties in more detail and finally get an opinionated evaluation of reworked songs introduced this tour.
What's new (and what's not)
Unsurprisingly, the base of the setlist was made from songs of the previous tour -- Overbombing (1993). Title-wise, the only three Overbombing songs not played this tour were More, Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger, both premiered in 1992 summer gigs, and Something Fast, premiered in first post-Hussey concert in 1990. Only Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger medley and Something Fast resurfaced in later tours.
11 songs of Overbombing tour soaked verbatim into Goldkill/Roadkill. Among these 11 were all six songs premiered (or reintroduced) in Overbombing -- On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire, Come Together, Train/Detonation Boulevard, Anaconda, Under the Gun, Kiss the Carpet; Giving Ground, premiered in summer 1993, was also kept.
Overbombing's sentiments were present in the long-time setlist veterans Alice, Flood II, This Corrosion and Ribbons, played in nearly every gig since their introduction (which in Alice case was 1982).
Roadkill/Goldkill repertoire consisted of 15 songs (although every concert (apparently) had only 14 songs: Kiss the Carpet was absent from the first two gigs, Under the Gun was skipped in the later two). The four "new" songs were Jolene, not played since 1991, and three refreshed all-time favorites Amphetamine Logic, Temple of Love and First and Last and Always, original versions of which relentlessly graced setlists (with exception of Temple of Love, which was only briefly played in 1983 and returned to permanent fame in 1990). These additions will be discussed in more detail in following chapters.
His man after midnight
Jolene, was the only real addition to Goldkill/Roadkill setlist since Overbombing times. The song was played in most 1983 gigs (later in 1984 its place as live I-love-my-man ditty was taken by ABBA's Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight), back after being dropped out in 1981). Jolene's first return took place when Vision Thing line-up started touring. Year and a half later, just before the disastrous 1991 USA tour with Public Enemy, Jolene slipped into oblivion as part of attempts to cut average song count per gig from 18-ish to 14-ish (other victims were 1969 and Valentine; 1969 briefly resurfaced after that tour, and Valentine was later performed only once in 1991/08/31 Winterthur gig, the last one with full Vision Thing line-up still present).
This was supposed to be the end of Jolene, and it was until 1996 when The Sisters of Mercy, now featuring totally different line-up, started playing it again and extended the saga to the end of Event Horizon tour in 1998. The last ever performance of the song is featured in "Visions at the Forum", so far the only widely available bootleg of Event Horizon tour.
Gimme Gimme Gimme's cry for "man after midnight" didn't follow Jolene's plea not to "take away my man" -- after its short 1984 comeback the song is only present in live tapes/CDs and memories of the lucky people who experienced gigs of The Sisters of Mercy in those early days.
The songs they are a-changing
This tour was unique in Sisters' willingness to rework old favorites of their setlist -- up until then songs were reworked rarely, and exclusively only when starting to play an old one once again. The level of changes was also unprecedented -- previously songs were given new form only by including them in various medleys, with sole exception being the 1993 version of Anaconda "on speed".
First and Last and Always, which debuted live together with the album in early 1985, during the last tour of the classic line-up, underwent the biggest change -- the glorious 1985 riff, was dropped out and replaced with the backing one, thereby highly diminishing song's similarity to Caucasian national music. The "new" First and Last and Always is barely recognizable to anybody only aware of the original one until Andrew Eldritch's vocal cuts in and makes the song what it is supposed to be. Due to Andrew's input, the song still sounds much more like Sisters than Red Skies Disappear, early demo version of FLA with the famous guitar licks and other instrumental parts already in place, but with Gary Marx singing totally different lyrics in pretty different vocal line (the singer's identity is unconfirmed but mostly undisputed assumption).
Amphetamine Logic, introduced live together with First and Last and Always, was renewed by speeding it up by one-fifth. This may not sound like a big difference in words, but it shows like mountain Everest in the song itself: due to the change Amphetamine Logic became raunchy rocker without any trace of its former depressing mood, the perfect icebreaker to get people on feet early in sets.
The least drastic changes were made to Temple of Love: the song was just shortened down by skipping its "normal" part and leaving only the "extended" one, without altering any music or lyrics (the extended part starts with Doktor Avalanche going crazy straight after the first "and the temple of love is falling down" line). Instead of the famous guitar riff the song now kicks in with drum solo and misses three fifths of its length together with third of the original lyrics not included in extended part -- and that famous guitar riff, too.
More aspects of the new versions of these songs are discussed in the following chapter.
The damage done
Personal tastes warning here: this chapter is nothing but one-sided opinion, and is not intended to be the Voice of God. You're encouraged to make up your own mind, and perhaps to write your own thoughts -- either for this site, or for Dominion or, if you can do it properly, for any fanzine.
The bad thing about the new First and Last and Always is that it changes the song beyond recognition, leaving out the sentimental value of the old hit from the halcyon days. The good thing about it is that it does not ruin the song, although obviously most would prefer to listen to the version they know and love.
Amphetamine Logic at the speed of provides much more opportunities for jumping and screaming and other ways of having good time in the concert than the slowish original, but it suffers from inherited problem: the subtlety of the slow version is lost in the process.
However, in my humble opinion, Amphetamine Logic didn't lose too much, and on either case suffered much less than Anaconda (which changed the calm terror of the early song for rock'n'roll attitude in 1993): though the previous loneliness atmosphere of Amphetamine Logic has left the house as surely as Spiggy, the paranoiac lyric makes perfect sense in the new tempo, the music loses all its potential boringness and simply sounds good -- the final result easily stands up to the original.
Probably even to greater extent than of the first two really reworked classics, skipping the greater part of Temple of Love and leaving only the coda of what was a song with the most interesting structure in Sisters catalogue took out nearly all magic of the song, and made it not much more than quick dumb rocker for cheering the crowd.
The coda used to work great as the final reprise but, as any reprise, can never replace the whole thing. Kicking in with the drums, going straight to refrain and quickly skipping through some verses is to the original song what a movie trailer is to the movie. The change was probably as good idea as deleting two thirds of This Corrosion and leaving audience with the endless "hey now hey now now" part -- which, while not a bad decision as such, is not nearly as good as playing the whole song. Bring back the build-up, the changes, the tension, even at the expense of some other song -- the full Temple of Love deserves it.
Will it last for years?
It did. All three refreshed songs, together with other setlist longtimers (bar Alice, which became very rare guest), and most of 1993 premieres -- nine songs in total -- were still played several tours later in 1999's To the Planet Edge making up nearly half of the setlists contents. Jolene was also performed during the next two tours. No songs were refreshed after this tour.
This tour was the final one with songs-per-gig factor at 15-ish: Distance Over Time raised the standard to 19-20, where it remained ever since.
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