1997/06/28, Dark Harvest festival, Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Distance Over Time 1997

March 28
 Birmingham (cancelled)

June 3
June 7
June 9
June 10
June 11
June 13
June 28
July 10
July 12
July 18
July 20

The announcement of the gig was met with mass hysteria -- the last American concert of The Sisters of Mercy was as far back as 1991/07/30 in Miami.

However, the scandalous aura that marked the whole event started showing as early as ticket sale start. The band's representative in Dominion mailing list dared to confirm the gig as happening ("Negotiations having now progressed to a satisfactory stage we can confirm an additional gig on The Sisters' summer agenda: 28th June, Philadelphia, US") on May 28. Tickets, however, went on sale as early as May 24. The main promoter of the festival, Dancing Ferret Concerts, claimed that "we were in receipt of signed contracts from TSOM's US agent with a full authorization to go on-sale prior to any tickets being sold". Smell of troubles was in the air.

Rumors that the show isn't happening spread like fire in fireworks factory, in part fuelled by Dancing Ferret troubles with unsatisfied acts of previous editions of Dark Harvest. To worsen things, four days before the gig Sisters used their veto right on and sacked all opening bands of the festival -- New Creatures, Sunshine Blind and Switchblade Symphony, apparently after seeing the visuals of them. Next day a new "compromise" lineup of Switchblade Symphony, Heavy Water Factory and Tapping The Vein was agreed upon. Ironic revenge came two years later 1999 Switchblade Symphony, used Sisters cover band The Sisters Of Murphy as a support for their gig in TSOM's original home town Leeds. During the next Sisters USA tour in 1998 Heavy Water Factory were supposed to open shows in Washington and Toronto, but failed due to reasons above Sisters' reach.

Waves of fury circled among American goths, and rumor mill was enhanced with stories that Andrew responded to question of how to compensate the sacked bands with "Put their heads on fucking pikes in front of the venue for all I care!", prophecies that the overarrogant Eldritch will end the show after one song and other know-all stuff. Click here for Dancing Ferret's side of the incident story, or, better yet, here for a list of bands which are much better than Sisters because they sound like Sisters and which you should listen instead of the naughty Eldritch. You should stop reading this site, too.

Another false prophecy came when Dancing Ferret (apparently after being advised by the band's management) promised that the band will play three brand new songs -- War on Drugs, plus one that has not been played before and then even one more new composition, "if the third is ready in time". The only two new songs were War on Drugs and previously heard Summer.

Philadelphia setlist did have interesting features though: Vision Thing left its imminent place in encores and was used as an opener for the first time in band's career -- apparently so to emphasize the band's attitude towards USA and its audience. And Alice was played for the first time in 1997.

The audience at the Electric Factory was definitely scary -- around 99% of it were goths with all appropriate clothing, makeup and attitudes. But then, it's always the case in USA. Dancing Ferret proudly announced that "tickets for Dark Harvest III have been sold to all four corners of the USA -- Washington State, California, Florida, and Rhode Island (as well as many states in between, obviously). There have also been sales to Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and Puerto Rico".

The 3000 tickets sold out, though not until few days before the event. The success of the show definitely helped the band to organize the all American To the Planet Edge tour in 1999. Its stop in Philadelphia was once again organized by Dancing Ferret Concerts.

The now famous episode of Dancing Ferret's work was having to fulfill Eldritch's requirement to let him smoke on his way to the New World. A ticket was bought for El Presidente on separate route from remaining crew through Copenhagen.

The show was co-promoted by Metropolis Records.

Setlist | Reviews | Links | Organizer's explanations | Pictures | Still movie

  • Intro: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola

  • Vision Thing
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Giving Ground
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Body Electric
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Under the Gun
  • Summer
  • Alice
  • Anaconda
  • War on Drugs
  • Flood II
  • Temple of Love
  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger
  • First and Last and Always (announced as Capricorn)
  • Something Fast
  • [Confide in Me] - not played
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Nik Cap (neptune@skyweb.net) and smeg_head@juno.com
    Setlist was scanned by Jessica Walters; other pictures of the show by Jessica are available here.

    Setlist | Reviews | Links | Organizer's explanations | Pictures | Still movie

    It's best to start getting acquainted with the gig from Glasperlenspiel review written by a fan who visited Philly with the band.

    Written by Scott Brown (danfouts@email.msn.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Goth is an odd entity in the States. It has this resilient ability to recycle itself from generation to generation. Evidence? The thousands of 13 year olds in attendance tonight who were attached to the tit when FALAA belched its way out of the studio, gruesomely presenting themselves to a disapproving Father in Philadelphia.

    Lyrical structure aside, the ultimate irony on Eldritch's shoulders is that the same American fans that butter his toast are the same that prevent him from becoming as massive as he deserves to be. Goth gets pigeon-holed---there's very little crossover with fans from other genres. It's apparent tonight that a 6 year absence from America hasn't done anything but create a new generation of horrifying teeny-goths, no different from the last batch. The alleged "scene," is continually relived by a new generation. Bauhaus t-shirts abound tonight. The bright side (sic) for the 1997 version of Eldritch's streamlined vehicle is that the kids are feasting their black teeth on the merchandise, funding new personal computer equipment by annihilating Eldo's backlog of posters with Tony James' top hat in broad display. The genius tour shirt is lapped up within an hour, featuring the newer Merciful Release logo and the tagline for the '97 tour, "Distance Over Time" (the mathematical equation for speed).

    But on the whole, the Eldritch joke is lost at this "Dark Harvest." Any attempt at understanding the Sisters' nuances traded in to attempt to outdo the next spig with an especially spikey collar. There's a smattering of yesteryear's goths, who have long since had to trade in the uniform for better jobs. One such curious little man is spotted in the crowd at about 9 o'clock. He's got bleached hair, high cheekbones, is disguised by an absence of shades at the moment, and can be found shaking his head in disgust just as Doctor Frankenstein did before he uttered the realization, "I've created a monster." The cliché manifests itself in eyeliner around him. His band goes on in a couple hours.

    Contrary to previous reviews on this site, Eldo was, in no uncertain terms, pissed off... Moments after he will take the stage, he'll be found breaking out his Reading Festival "Out Of The Sky" launch command, and the crowd will smile nervously in the way that people do when they hear a joke and badly want the joke teller to believe they understand it.

    The Sisters hit about 5 hours after the SRO audience pours through the gates. The venue, in an ideal world, should be perfect: It's a beautifully filthy warehouse... No seats, abundant liquor sales, and a crunchy name in The Electric Factory. But the crowd is weakened by the need to endure 3 crap, absolutely crap bands who use words like "flesh" and "dying" in their lyrics, and might have something to do with whatever goth is supposed to be in '97, but have nothing to do with any incarnation of the Sisters at any point of time. This lumping of stupidity with genious is understandably irritating to Eldritch. One tends to think after this that there's more than the current record contract that keeps him behind a computer monitor instead of a studio soundboard. Despite it all, some eerie computerized sitar and electronic "wind type noises" give way to Eldritch, sipping his glass of red wine side of stage, adorned in one of those groovy oriental shirts he increasingly fancies. The set list is of a noble design... A very strong attempt at getting a lifeless crowd into the action. The effort, despite wanting to think otherwise, will largely fall short by and large, but it's due only in small part to band performance. The Sisters aren't meant to be merely seen and heard live... Their impact is designed to be physically consumed and absorbed. With the exception of a few nice spots in the crowd, this conglomerate will sadly not be up to task tonight, and will not give the band what they need to intensely perform. There is no proverbial pit to speak of. None of that nice hopping thing the Brits do so well. Just a lot of shoulder-to-shoulder standing around, literally from the front row back, taking in the show as if it were on screen.

    Vision Thing starts it off. The single strobes, footlights and backlights in the Fog of '85 gave way to stadium pyrotechnics in '90... Not a criticism, just different: A lot brighter, more defined. Vision Thing is loud and powerful. Everyone stands and watches Him exhibit his unparalleled hunchback showmanship, shaking that index finger while the eyebrow works overtime. Pearson is a solid guitarist, and gets respect from Eldritch, who throughout the course of the night stalks over to his axeman and points an approving finger at him. Mike Varjak looks like Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, and seems to awkwardly provide any filler that Person can't handle by himself. He misses things, and looks confused when he's in charge of the few acoustic duties. Someone clear this up for me: Is Chris Sheehan out of the mix permanently, or is he in fact "helping out friends on a tour"? Varjak isn't going to cut it in the long term.

    Ribbons provides the necessary evil, but the crowd can't warm to it. Eldritch soon launches his pointed barbs a couple songs down the road before Come Together. "This is a song off our new album. I DON'T THINK SO! But you probably think so, don't you? DON'T YOU!!"

    A hyperdriven Amphetamine Logic sacrifices its natural menace by being played at a higher (you guessed it) speed, and serves as an unfortunate introduction to some harsh breaks in the sound system. A glimpse back to the early eighties with Train blends its way into Detonation Boulevard. This is a sign of things to come. It's the first of a series of twin song combinations. In a strange twist, the very recognizable Avalanche of Gimme Shelter begins, only to give way to the lyrics for On The Wire/Teachers. The Marx guitar-scaling of On The Wire is replaced by a series of grinding, low-end chords. Comfortably Numb will come into the encores later, and as always melts into Some Kind Of Stranger. The impact of each song as they have stood individually in the past, with the exception of Numb/Stranger, is arguably lessened... There is some time before the audience is able to recognize each transition, and the subsequent reaction that comes with everyone being on the same page at the same time is somewhat diminished.

    The massive, superbonusdeluxe prize of the night is "Summer," a brutal mix of electronic melancholy and cruelty structured above Pearson's grinding riff. "Maybe it's just Winter/And another shade of blue/Maybe it's just Summer/Or Maybe It's Just You." Inevitably heading towards brilliance. The War On Drugs features the Merciful Doktor pounding out a military march, which slowly escalates into a fierce percussionary assault. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but incorporates Eldritch's lyrical duplicity in an ominously funny way. It'll be genius after it's fleshed out over time.

    The live version of Under The Gun, in no uncertain terms, needs to find its way Under The Rock.

    Temple of Love begins during the infamous Doktor Avalanche "solo" halfway through. The sound is outstanding, but the traditionalist in some of us tells us that we would prefer, sir, the whole ball of wax.

    Alice (absent from the first leg of the tour, apparently) is a massive testimony to the timelessness of the Sister's music, and thunders along with the freshness of a modern day teeth grinder. Anaconda sheds its tinny studio backbone in favor of an all-out, guitar-driven sensory assault fortified by a seventeenth-generation Doktor dropping his bombs. The crowd reacts... barely.

    The encores feature the Comfortably Numb/Some Kind Of Stranger hybrid. The crowd begins to mouth the words, which prods Eldritch to repeatedly mouth the words "Shut the fuck up" to a few of the choice offenders. Something Fast follows, and here the defining moment of this "Dark Harvest" is realized... The lyric "I think He's still in Baltimore" is met with more applause than anything else throughout the evening, due to the close proximity of Baltimore to Philly. Eldritch turns toward the Doktor's nurse, and shakes his head in disgust. The nurse shrugs his shoulders and openly laughs. It's a realization that on this night, the connection has never been fully made.

    The encore set begins winding down with First And Last And Always. It's introduced as "a song called Capricorn." By now, Eldritch has stripped off his Far East gear, revealing his Motörhead t-shirt, and "Capricorn" is an allusion to the Motörhead live favorite. It's a joke, boys and girls, not a new song. The original Celtic riff, however, has been bastardized into something that sounds all too like the riff in All About Eve's "Candy Tree" (not to say by any means that this is a conscious attempt). Here's one vote saying that it might be a bit blasphemous to change the defining structure of this particular original: It has stood up well to time. But to see Eldritch merely do covers of his previous efforts I suppose would be futile -- Some reworking this major, although difficult to accept first off, is inevitably essential.

    The band exits. Pearson salutes the crowd, military style. Varjak is so happy to have a job, he has problems allowing himself to leave the stage. Eldritch, behind an ever-present pair of red lenses, has a grim smile on his face, but you tend to think it isn't a revelation of happiness.

    The crowd can be heard uttering words like "brilliant" and "genius." But although it's a large task to live up to the expectations of being the first live show in America in 6 years (and a one-off, at that), there have been far greater shows in the past. Pending some movement on the contractual side of things, we'll see better again. There is a massive bonus on Eldritch if he intends to succeed on a huge scale Stateside: It's probably going to take a piece of magic that can transcend the rigid boundaries of rock, metal, pop, dance, industrial, techno, and even just "mainstream alternative" markets in order to bypass the tendency for radio stations to avoid bands associated with the g-word, and in the process supplement a crowd of clones with a new market of diversified listeners. Perhaps this is what he's tried to do all along, and the relative lack of success in the grand scheme of things in trying to shed the piano strapped to his back is really what's keeping him home with the cats.

    Written by Aaron Bishop (abishop@ix.netcom.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    This summary of my experiences in Philadelphia aren't gospel, but they're close enough, so pay attention...

    A PRELUDE (skip this if you could care less about the preliminaries)

    To begin with, we flew in from Texas (that's right, Texas) to Newark on Thursday, killed the next two days in New York, and finally arrived in the City of Brotherly Love around noon on Saturday. We were staying in a spooky quasi 'hood which our host casually informed us was a full step above the REALLY scary places (thanks for the tour anyway, J.), but we were willing to brave such terrors, seeing as how all three of us had been waiting, impatiently, to see the Sisters since they cancelled their Vision Thing tour immediately prior to playing in Dallas. At any rate, we had sworn we would see them if they ever played the continental US again, so here we finally were. I shall spoil the anticipation at this point by saying that, to put it mildly, we were NOT disappointed.

    OPENING ACTS, et cetera

    A brief run down on the events immediately prior to the Sisters:

    1. I was ashamed for humanity when I saw the crowd. Although I went on to meet four or five genuinely cool people as the night wore on, I got a pretty good feel for why, exactly, Andy only comes here once every decade or so. My feelings on the embarrassing carnival troupe of weirdness were fairly crystallized when I deliberately trampled some idiot's WEDDING DRESS (yes, a full, white train) who was sitting on the steps outside. Call me crazy, but some degree of functionality is called for at a massive gathering of sweaty, crushing bodies, no? But, I suppose I'm not surprised - some people have absolutely NO clue.

    2. We missed 'Tapping the Vein', but did manage to buy the superb corporate-style tour shirts with the new MR logo (very nice).

    3. Heavy Water Factory were the ass end of awful. The appearance and sound of this band gave me the impression that I was watching a bunch of sophomore frat boys hoping against hope that they really did sound like Skinny Puppy. No way Chaz, just pursue your BA in business and be happy.

    4. I was pleasantly surprised by Switchblade Symphony. I must admit, I had serious doubts when I heard the name, but they played a tight set, and the singer was a pretty solid, rock yodeler. I think I'll buy the CD.


    All of that aside, here is the meat of my review. I had forced my way to within about three body thicknesses of the stage, dead center, when the band walked on. My first thoughts were something akin to insanity (probably like those screaming girls in the old Beatles' videos, but I digress...) and I pretty much lost my cool when Vision Thing exploded. I've heard maybe fifty live versions of this song on countless bootlegs, and I never thought it lived up to the album's ferocity, but this take surpassed it. The irony of being part of the American Nightmare while Von E brutally assaulted it's foundations with this as the opening number was not lost on me. Pretty funny.

    Ribbons was good, but I was really happy to hear Train. It was at this point that I first realized how much of a vast improvement Pearson and Sheehan (Seehan? The clash look alike...) were over Bruhn and Bricheno. The band was tight and played the entire shown flawlessly, and the sheer depth of the guitar sound they generated was truly awe inspiring.

    Come Together was basically like the versions off the 'Dark Christmas' and 'Mercyland' boots, but it was bolstered by a full-on drunken chorus-in-the-crowd supporting Eldritch's inter-verse wailing which gave me a good laugh. Very Californian.

    Logic. Thrash metal. Hee hee. I have always wanted to hear this song played ridiculously up-tempo, and I got my wish. I rather think the new guitarists are having some kind of juvenile cock-rock influence on the Sisters sound, and that's pretty damned cool.

    Giving Ground was perfect, and the bass/keyboards sang like sirens. Glad I'm not a Mission fan.

    My first real Sisters gestalt happened with On the Wire/Teachers. I wanted them to play this more than damn near anything else (along with Anaconda and Flood II) and I... was... amazed. I once heard a review of the studio version of OTW which spoke of it's "tense as tripwire guitars" and that description fit like the proverbial rubber glove. Teachers was, by turns, psychotic and bizarre. The drone and sway of the newer, truncated version is far superior to the early attempts, and my only regret is that they now only play three verses of the Cohen classic.

    Body Electric was pretty good. My friends liked it better than did I, but it was a fine version, still. I just miss the old descending bass line. ho-hum.

    Dominion was good, but not great. I have never felt the live versions quite had the punch of the epic 12" release, but the disco ending is FAR better than a radio-esque fade, so I guess it averages out.

    Under the Gun has significantly more balls live than on record. I have always liked this song a lot, and this live version was excellent. Sped up and with a more driving keyboard lead, the only thing I missed were the operatic backing vocals (no offense, Adam ;).

    Summer. Good God! I have finally heard a Sisters song, not only live, but which I HAVE NEVER PREVIOUSLY HEARD BEFORE! I can hardly put into words my elation at this tune. I really liked the massive and overpowering drumbeat the Doktor unleashed, and the guitars had a metal drone definitely compatible with the relentless drive of the newer material like Come Together and the second half of Under the Gun. Wish I could have made out some of the words.

    Alice; always a classic, always good. I'm glad it got included in the setlist, because I would have felt I'd missed a vital bit of Sisters history without it.

    Anaconda was absolutely fabulous. The new version is so much more intense than the old live attempts from the 80's, and the crowd once again joined in a semi-drunken chorus of "she wiiiiilll..." which reminded me of nothing so much as the catchy sing-along in "Bro-hymn" by Pennywise. Keep telling yourself - they are a rock band, they are a rock band...

    War on Drugs. Summer was really good, but this was better. The turkish-style tempo changes at the end made me think of the Pogues (now THAT'S strange...) and the lyrics made me wonder what sort of political satirist was hiding behind those rose colored glasses.

    Flood II was perfect. There are about four elements of this song which, when played live, cause it to far outstrip it's album counterpart (ie, the "going to drown" line, the explosive scream of "Flood!" after the second break, etc). No version I have ever heard contained all four, but this one did. If someone doesn't get a good CD copy of this show circulating soon, I'm going to be very cross with the world.

    I have always thought Temple of Love would be cool live if they started it at the drum solo and beefed up the second guitar. For the second (or third, or fourth, I can't remember) time, my wish was granted. The Sisters should tour with Motörhead. Lemmy should do guest basses on this song. Andy should grow a biker moustache to be more like Lemmy.

    Comfortably Numb was excellent. Much better than most of the other versions I've heard from various bootlegs. If I didn't know better, I'd swear I actually heard a note of unspoken respect in Andy's vocal on this song - don't tell Roger Waters, but I think Von Eldritch is going soft. Some Kind of Stranger was good as well, but I've always felt the ending was kind of abrupt, and they seem to have removed some of the cool double basses from previous years.

    Capricorn (ha!). I didn't recognize the music at first, but I kept thinking, "wow, the drums to First and Last got recycled well..." I love Marx's riff in the original version of this song, but the new music was damned cool - damned cool, indeed. Some other commentator said it was like First and Last filtered through Floodland, and I think that was a pretty fair description. Again, somebody damn well better make a CD of this show.

    Something Fast. A good closing number. Pearson's blistering solo was quite good, as well. I was shocked when the distorted guitar broke in on the otherwise melodic break with plenty of guitar-hero soul.

    This Corrosion. Hell yes. Much like Dominion, I often felt that this song didn't lend itself to a live arena. I now stand corrected. The music was total gonzo metal with plenty of palm muting and distortion, and Andy sang like he was born to: chock-full of ego and chemical wit, with a healthy dose of angry growling thrown in for good measure. The crowd actually made me quite happy with their supporting chorus on this one, and the roar of "hey now, hey now now" reverberated to the core of my being. Hot damn, but it's moments like this when a show really works and you know you've just seen something you'll likely never see again that make all the rest of it worthwhile.


    I have to say that my experiences with the Sisters were a resounding success, and far surpassed by wildest expectations. Everything I wanted to hear I heard and the band was better than I could have ever imagined. Again, I am definitely glad that Eldritch has finally got some musicians who can do full justice to the songs live, and not just on record. In addition, as songs like Come Together, War on Drugs, and Summer prove, they can contribute new material which stands with the best of the classic Sisters songs without missing a beat. Nay sayers can piss and moan and say nay all they like, but as for me, I have no complaints.

    Scratch that. I have one. A new album showcasing studio versions of these songs would be the sum of earthly bliss. I understand the insanity of the East/West contract negotiations, but here is a suggestion (are you listening Andrew?): release the Philadelphia show as a new live album. Call it something crass and offensive. Shove it down East/West's throat. Throw together something to kill the last record in the deal - hell, re-record songs like Anaconda and On the Wire for a 97 remix album. Part company with East West. Give us a new album and a new record label. Tour extensively (actually PLAY in Dallas this time, dammit). Sit back and watch the world wonder at the length of time between Sisters LPs (you're worse procrastinators than Neubauten, for Christ's sake). Laugh. End of story.

    Send comments to: abishop@ix.netcom.com


    Written by Brian Showers (bshowers@students.wisc.edu) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site


    Well, for starters, I drove my crap car for 14 crappy hours to a crap city to see one of my favorite bands. I know a lot of people were disappointed with the show, but I rather liked it. I'll go on to explain that.

    I arrived in Philly the day before to search each area comic book store for some elusive issues, but that's irrelevant. I arrived at the venue at 4pm to ask about parking etc. I could hear the Sisters soundcheck loud and clear though the open windows of the Electric Factory; it sounded promising. So anyhow, I went to one more comic book shop over on Sansom lane, and then parked to car, which means I got in line at about 5:30pm.

    I was pretty close to the front of the line (right inside the gate) standing next to some very nice folks with whom I chatted for a bit before the show. As mentioned in other reviews, there weren't too many MM kids as far as I could see, but it also did lack a beautiful goths. A little after 7pm the line moved forward and we entered a rather shabbily converted warehouse. Much to my surprise, there was no one even patting people down at the door. I suppose I should have brought along some sort of recording device or camera. I moved right to the right to buy a few t-shirts (for people back in Madison who wanted some). The booth was poorly attended, and there were no lines to speak of (luckily I got everything I needed because they sold out right after Tapping the Vein played... I think).

    After giving Uncle Andy my hard earned cash, I moved with my lady companion to the open doors on the right because I could tell this was going to be a long hot night, and I couldn't have been more right.


    Tapping the Vein came on stage and played their set. I thought they were pretty much mediocre, and too "distorted guitar" oriented for my tastes. All in all, I think they could be a pretty good live band if the lead singer took control of the stage a bit more... she looked as if she had that ability, but just didn't use it.


    Now between all the bands there was a rather boring DJ. He played a lot of mainstream goth/industrial (as far as I was concerned). The CD player wouldn't so he switched to vinyl (it was too humid). Instead of learning his lesson, he kept trying to use it throughout the night.


    Next up was Heavy Water Factory out of Detroit. Not only were they not able to set up their own equipment so that it worked, but they couldn't use their equipment to make music. They sucked, they were horrible, I loathed them the entire set. They kept throwing card thingies into the audience, and people kept throwing water bottle and firecrackers at them. The only response they got was when they announced their last song. Huge cheer! I can't believe they got rid of Sunshine Blind for them. Bad move.


    Around this time I moved more into the middle of the floor (I was pretty close to the front -- I'd say about 7 rows. Not that there were chairs). I ended up standing next to the guy and his girlfriend who were in line next to me before the show.* Well, it was dark by now, and the door was open and fans were blowing, and non-goths Switchblade Symphony made their appearance. Well... I wasn't impressed. They played well, they performed well, but I just don't like their music. I've got Serpentine Gallery, and it's just sorta bland.

    Intermission: RED RED WINE

    Around (fill in time) it was about time for the Sisters to play. I knew this because glasses of red wine were brought out on stage. The crown got pushed to the front, and my ladyfriend decided to use this time to go to the bathroom -- needless to say I didn't see her for the rest of the concert (she was having a hard time seeing). There were some rather rude jock boys with goth girlfriends (how odd) that wedged their way in front of me, and proceeded to scowl at me when I said "excuse me." Enough of my woes.


    He came out on stage, and for the first time in my life (and hopefully not the last) I saw one of my favorite rock (non-goth) icons. He was dressed in dark jeans (sneakers I think) and a Chinese jacket with a yellow liner, which was later stripped to reveal a Motörhead shirt. The set was kicked off with:

    Vision Thing Being as this was the first song I ever saw live, it made an impression on me, kinda like Wild Birds did when I saw Peter Murphy.

    Ribbons I've never really liked this song to begin with. It was kinda blah, but I was still in shock that I was at a Sisters concert (yeah, that's how us Americans are!)

    Come Together I only heard this song for the first time a few weeks ago, and I liked it from the start. It was great on the bootleg, and even better in concert!

    Train/Detonation Boulevard Another blah number... I never really liked Train that much either. Moved flawlessly into Detonation Boulevard, but was kinda short due to it's melding. (Still in shock).

    Giving Ground This was a treat! Sounded good, but I think it was at this point that there were some minor sound problems. It sounded like a speaker cracked!

    Amphetamine Logic Speeded up a little too much. Sounded pretty bad, I thought. I think it was around this time that Andy lit up another cig and offered his lighter to someone in the audience. Well, he didn't give it to him/her, but in the meantime someone threw something at Andy. Uncle calmly picked it up, negatively wagged his finger at the person, and put the object in his pocket.

    On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire Fairly good. You could really tell who was a Sisters fan when this song was played. Not too much to say about this song so I'll say that someone in front of the crowd was spraying water back at us (I think from a fire extinguisher or something) This was a good thing mainly because security was pulling dehydrating people out of the audience. It was wickedly hot at points.

    Body Electric Another treat! Sounded pretty good still, and a jock boy was trying to get body passed. <sigh> He tried it again later on in the show, and made it for a struggling moment before he was dropped flat on the floor! :)

    Dominon/Mother Russia A real crowd pleaser! People seemed to be responding to Floodland songs more than anything else. And so Eldy sang on through the night...

    Under the Gun Unlike most people, I think I like this song, but the live version was kind of a disappointment. Nice effort though.

    Summer This song was introduced as being "off the new album on Cleopatra entitled 'Butt Fuck Parlour Time'" I wasn't quite sure what to think of this song. I think I'd have to hear it again, and on top of that, a recorded version. But from what I could hear, it was a little bland, and might be one of the first Sisters songs I don't like.

    Alice Good song, good recorded, good live.

    Anaconda I like this song, and I like the new version too. I'd like to hear this recorded, but with female backing vocals instead of Adam's.

    War On Drugs I like this song, and don't think it sounds very industrial at all - it's just got a non-Sisters drum beat. The only problem I have with this song is that it's kind of repetitive. It is catchy. Please record this, Andy.

    Flood II Pretty.

    Temple of Love I'm glad they played it, and I was expecting them to. It just wouldn't be right if they didn't. It was kind of uninspired though... bland, unreal. His heart (or maybe it was the audience) wasn't really into it.

    [ENCORE 1]

    Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger I wanted to hear this one live too. Some people really don't like this song either, but it's very Sisters-ish. Good addition to the family. One this that bugs me though. Actually two. He can't hit some notes, and it doesn't flow well into SKOS.

    First and Last and Always Sounded good, feedback problems I think.

    [ENCORE 2]

    Something Fast I don't remember this song that much.

    This Corrosion "I know what you want to hear" was how Uncle introduced this song. I must say that this was one of the highlights of the night. For the first time the entire night, the crowd REALLY got into it. The crowd was singing, dancing, and even Andy got into it. "Got a song for me?" he gestured towards the audience as if to say that it was our turn now! This was a real highlight. Too bad it was the end of my first Sisters gig.


    I loved the concert. I've been waiting for years to see them, and it finally happened. It ranks up there with some of the best concerts I've ever been to simply because they were the Sisters. But sadly enough, here are my final words. When he first walked up on stage, I noticed his age. He' s getting old, and nothings really happening with the Sisters. The wheels are spinning. He's tearing himself apart. Yeah, he's goth, yeah, he's not goth. Should we and the media respect him for what he wants? He seemed a little sarcastic and not particularly enjoying where he was. Not that I was around for any concerts circa 1985, but I don't think things are they way they used to be. If he continued at the rate he was going at in 1985, he'd have the world at his feet, but he slipped up. Maybe it's just time to walk away: don't let a legendary band go on living the life of a vegetable, give it the dignity it deserves, and let it die.

    All comments are appreciated!

    * The guy who I was standing next to, I never caught your name, but if you happen to read this, drop my a line. I hope you found your group!

    Written by smeg_head@juno.com for Dominion mailing list

    The tension in the crowd was obvious, especially when the asshole DJ decided to make a funny and stop the record he was spinning and dim the lights to make everyone think that the show was starting. Smug git. More that a few lit cigarettes went for a flight in his direction! ;>

    Vision Thing was a bit of a disappointment for a starter. Although the lights and special effects were great from this first song onwards, I think this was a bad choice for an opener. Something more melodic would have been better, maybe Jolene or, even better, When You Don't See Me. Ribbons was great, the crowd was really into it, and Eldy was obviously enjoying himself.

    Everything was great until Amphetamine Logic. Blech! For some reason, this seemed like almost the worst version I have heard. It was sped up and seemed almost like it was purposely changed from the brooding eerie song it started as to a metal song. Then Giving Ground came on, and fortunately made up for the damage done by Amphetamine Logic. Halfway through the next song, a great mix of Teachers and On the Wire, Eldritch knelt down in the fog and mouthed something off that me and my friend both think was "hate this fucking place, fucking wackos all" or something to that effect.

    Body Electric and Dominion/Mother Russia were both done really well, and then we had to put up with Under the Gun. I don't like the studio version of UTG, and this was ten times worse. It lost all of the thrust and parry supplied by the Terri Nunn part, and came out something totally awful. Fortunately, Summer came on to drown that atrocity out and it rocked. I wanna hear what could be done with this in a studio, it's just too bad that EastWest is such a bitch about such things. Would be nice if, even if Eldy can't cut a deal with EastWest, it somehow escaped from a studio recording on a demo tape after a malicious sound engineer swiped it. Maybe I'm dreaming tho.

    Alice was, as always, great and the entire crowd was really into it. Anaconda has seen some modifications, and is sounding almost better that the original. Instead of the repeated "she will"'s in the chorus, a single drawn out and eerie "she will" was added in. It was at this point that I nearly caught one of Eldritch's cigarettes, except for the girl in front of me who grabbed it first. I have mixed feelings about War on Drugs. It was interesting, yet seemed somehow too much influenced by a fast monotone beat and loud guitar work.

    Only like three people threw confetti during Flood II, a real change from the 1991 tour where like everyone was throwing it. Not that it was a totally unwelcome absence. Having inhaled a piece of that shit and coughing on it last time, I really don't miss it. I don't know why Eldy even bothered to add the neutered version of Temple of Love after this. It was awful to hear a classic such as this torn apart, but hearing Pearson's goofy backup vocals was enough to make me want to retch. Sorry if I sound a bit pessimistic here, but I really thought it stunk.

    After this the band left the stage for a few minutes, but soon returned for the first of four encores. Comfortably Numb was beautifully done, it was so eerie it sent chills up my spine. I really thought Capricorn was an improvement over FALAA. A simple way to describe it would be FALAA put through a Floodland filter. This is probably what FALAA would have sounded like if done during the Floodland period as opposed to the FALAA period. Although the lyrics and some of the music were in fact taken from FALAA, if you noticed much of the music was a totally new song.

    After this, the band left the stage and the blue lights that had been on before the show came back on, and much of the crowd seemed to think it was over but cheered nonetheless. Two minutes later, Pearson led the band back on stage for a great performance of Something Fast. I really doubt this reappearance had anything to do with the moronic goth who was standing next to me drunkenly threatening to kill himself if the band didn't come out again to play another song, but he thought himself a hero when they reappeared and kept insisting after the show ended that he was the reason they had come back.

    Anyway, after a wonderfully done Something Fast was the inevitable This Corrosion, preceded by Eldritch's sarcastic statement "yeah, I know what you all want to hear. Wouldn't wanna make the goths unhappy for a change" or something to that effect. Finally the band left, after about an hour and a half of solid performing.

    I thought that, overall, the show was excellent but that some classic songs should have replaced such stinkbombs as Under the Gun and the four minute version of Temple of Love. Perhaps Eldy could have done a "cover version" of Garden of Delights. Well, maybe not, but still this gap could better be filled with one of the great live songs like Adrenochrome or something. Perhaps 1969 could even be resurrected - that would have rocked. Amphetamine Logic should have either been restored to its original form or taken out, to be replaced (I wish) with Afterhours, which I think could be really awesome live. Anyway, this is just my take on the whole affair, so no mail telling me I'm the Antichrist please.

    Written by Lilith (lilith@dorsai.org) for Dominion mailing list

    I got to the venue at about 7:15. The line moved along nice and prompt-like - because, regardless of the warnings about no cameras, possibly no spikes, etc. no one got searched AT ALL! Argh! So much for not bringing cameras, tape recorders, and liquor.

    First impression: the venue sucked. A lot. Just a large warehouse with open windows, some household fans, and a 50-foot long, 2-story high fake guitar hanging from the ceiling. Oh, and a PA and stage.

    Unwisely enough, the merchandise line was directly in front of the entrance. I got in it first thing. After it didn't move for a while, I considered leaving, but didn't - luckily, cause by the time I got to the front of the line, nearly everything was sold out. I did however, get the tour t-shirt (and it actually even has Philadelphia printed on it!) and the pin with the new logo (pretty much just like the old official pin, except it doesn't say "Reptile House", and obviously the logo's different).

    Tapping the Vein were nearly done by the time I got out of the line. So they didn't aggravate me quite as much as they might have. When they started, I said, "Well, they're not actually offensive." A while later, my friend said "Remember a while ago you said they weren't offensive? Well, they're beginning to get there." Basically, they played for way too long. It was obvious they hadn't had a soundcheck, but that wouldn't have rescued them out of generic, semi-goth blandness.

    By the time they were done, ALL the Sisters merchandise was sold out. Even the left over Vision Thing posters.

    I went to get drinks. Over-21 people had a segregated area. It was definitely annoying to not be able to walk around with one's drinks, but then it was pretty much the best area: perfect view both from the balcony and the floor, nice barrier keeping everyone from the crowd mush, the MM teenyboppers, and the jockorama concertgoers. Amazingly, pretty much everyone in the drinking area was nice, polite, and generally cool. The bouncers could've been less surly, but there were no major problems, and the bathrooms were lovely! It was so much fun to run around talking to everyone. I saw more people there I knew than I've ever seen at any single event. The drinks were pretty weak, but they were also pretty cheap, so...

    It was pretty hot. When Heavy Water Factory went on, we found an outside area, and hung out there for a while, which was lovely. Heavy Water Factory were distinctly non-memorable. They had your basic industry-boy look, and sounded... well, like your basic industry-rock band. The one bit that stood out was one song which bore a remarkable resemblance to a really really bad cover of a Ghosting song - but I sincerely doubt they've ever heard Ghosting. Then the bouncers said everyone had to go back inside, so we went to get more drinks. Whee!

    I don't know who the DJ was, but he was having some severe problems. CDs were skipping, awful segues, lack of volume adjustment, generic selections,etc. Yeeks! But it didn't really matter. Everyone was way too busy talking, mostly. I saw two girls dancing to just about anything, but that was about it. It was kinda too hot to dance, anyway.

    Switchblade Symphony came on. The first band to get any crowd response other than "this is the last song... Yay!!!!" I guess they took Eldritch's no-goth warning to heart, cause Tina was dressed in a little white top, & didn't look goth at ALL. The set was more in the "Serpentine Gallery" style than their new rumored trip-hop style, though that can definitely be heard in some of the songs. They sounded alright. Their sound was definitely better than the first two bands, and they kept the set mercifully short. An opening act is an opening act: no hour-long sets, please!!

    So we went and got a good position to watch from...

    And Eldritch came on...

    And I say... wow!

    First, I gotta say - I wasn't expecting much of this show. I saw the Sisters last time they were in NY, at Radio City Music hall, and I was severely disappointed then. It was a very lackluster show: the musicians were unimpressive, the sound so-so, Eldritch's voice and energy not up to expectations.

    But this time...

    With lights, smoke, and guitars in a blinding flash the band went into a blistering version of Vision Thing. Not my favorite song, and definitely not what I'd've pegged as an opener, but the power of it was amazing, and the whole presentation, musically, visually, technically, blew every other band I've seen in a few years out of the sky. Forget Radio City, this was it!

    Now, this definitely wasn't 1985. Eldritch has absolutely no interest in merely trotting out the classics for his adoring fans. Unfortunately, he'd rather come up with new versions of his old songs than simply stop playing them and write all new ones. But hey, I don't really mind that, either.

    Ribbons was done in a similar style to Vision Thing. Come Together sounded WAY better than 1993 bootlegs - but that's all I've got to compare it to, obviously. Giving Ground and Teachers were certainly songs I didn't expect to hear, and a real delight. Under the Gun was much improved without female vocals, though the heavily-accented band member should NOT have done backing vocals during Temple of Love. War on Drugs was Excellent! Not "industrial" sounding at all. It's lyrically clever, with a funky groovy backbeat that Jason compared to Wall of Voodoo. Very danceable, with that crazy tempo change at the end, it was great! Summer - I wished I could have heard more of the lyrics. It sounded good. I was just thinking, this CAN'T be a Kylie Minogue song, no matter what's been done to it! Sure enough, it wasn't.

    Now, as regards "attitude" and such. Sorry, but I like my rock stars to be rock stars. They're not my friends, and I don't expect anyone to cater to me. Bring back that eighties attitude, and remember, "you are what you take." Eldritch's stage persona was exquisite. In dark jeans, a black Chinese jacket with yellow silk lining, black Motörhead t-shirt, and styled platinum hair, his look and moves harked back to David Bowie, "Let's Dance" era, with a bit less formality. The lights and smoke were planned and executed amazingly. Eldritch's trademark dramatic posturing was livened up with a more energetic stage show, and even... smiles! He looked like he was having a damn good time. Nothing and no one was sacred - but he gave everyone his music, whether or not they liked it.

    The irony of saying, "I'm fed up with all this black" while he and most of his band are wearing mostly black? I dunno, I think it's hilarious. Insulting instead of kowtowing to record labels? (and yes, the two main guys from Cleopatra were there.) It's refreshing! Looking at all the criticism and the self-righteous outrage, I begin to see that the people who say that goths have no sense of humor, who are just PC bandwagon jumpers ready to be outraged at something - well they have a point. Don't you remember when rock stars were supposed to be outrageous, were supposed to smash shit up, to insult their audience, to walk off stage after one song (as I really expected him to do, and I really expected to laugh my ass off...) Well, I got a surprise. I got a damn good show. And I had an incredible time!

    "We're the Sisters Of Mercy - we're a rock and roll band." Yup. A rock and roll band (well, a rock and roll guy) who tends to have good fashion sense, uses a lot of smoke and atmospheric lighting, and who writes bass-heavy, dramatic songs which are lyrically romantic, politically incisive, and literarily clever. All the stuff I like. That's all I need. (But I want more...)


    Written by George Carless (kafka@dcs.qmw.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Right. I'm home from the Philly show. And, in true form, I found it a major disappointment.

    Maybe it's because I saw them at Joseph's Well, where I really enjoyed them. Maybe it's because I'm not American. Maybe it's because I no longer believe that everything they do is wonderful, regardless of the evidence. Who knows.

    I was so bored. Eldritch's attitude was bad, there was no moshpit to speak of, the audience was comprised solely of horrendously ugly goths, the sound was bad, Eldritch couldn't sing and appeared to be speeding his head off - he forgot the words more than once. In fact, Eldritch was the main (but certainly not the only) disappointment of the night. He was horrendously arrogant (in a bad way), untalented, and evidently not really wanting to be there - although the composition of the crowd served to mitigate that, IMO. Everything he said was rather petty and immature, although I did smile with the "We're The Sisters of Mercy - and we're a Rock and Roll band"...

    I could really have done without the unintentional feedback, the microphone boom, the ear-piercing wails. I could have done without Eldritch's Michael Jackson-esque Christ posturing. I could have done without his stupid, bad dancing; without his throwing his cigarette into the crowd; without his "And the idiot children.." (gestures to the audience). "Summer" was dull; "War on Drugs" was repetitive and predictable.

    Overall, I felt it was a case of "seen it all before - and far better". Most of the songs were reasonable enough, but I've seen them done live far better in the past. I got the feeling that the Sisters are past it - and, for perhaps the first time, I felt that Eldritch is an utter wanker. It was a shame; a gig I'd been looking forward to - a band I love - and a boring, insulting, bad concert.

    Oh, one more thing it did make me feel: I don't think I really want to be a goth any more; the gig also served to impress upon me why Eldritch is (to some extent) justified in his hatred of goths; these were the stupidest looking, dullest, least worthwhile-looking people I've seen for a long, long time. Unfortunately, I don't think I really want to be a Sisters fan for a while, either....

    Sorry to piss on your collective fire.

    David Yates :
    > who gives a shit what any of you think about the "production"...the point is YOU went and others didnt.
    > its been 6 fuckin years since most here in the States have seen SOM.
    > cant you be greatful for seeing the show and not ripping apart every thing AE does?
    > no wonder he dislikes most of the fans.

    Assuming this message was aimed at me, as I believe it was, I'll respond by saying that I couldn't give a damn how long it's been since the Sisters played the States; it's entirely idiotic to subscribe to the notion that the Sisters can do no wrong, and that we should be grateful to Eldritch for his deigning to grace us with a show, despite the fact that (in my opinion) it really wasn't very good. The fact that many people over here have never seen the Sisters live, or not for a very long time, was the reason for my comment in my original email that I'm not an American. I've seen the band recently, and I've seen them (in England) in the past. I had the feeling that we were being pissed on and asked to believe it was rain; the sad thing is that so many people believed it was, and opened their mouths readily to drink it in. I'll not say that the concert was great, when it wasn't.

    I'm not going to bother replying to the email from the previous fanatic; the person in question has made enough of a fool of him/herself without requiring my assistance.

    Written by Jordan Dourmashkin (dourmaj@rockvax.rockefeller.edu) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Hats off to Dancing Ferret for putting this one together, but for such an investment (so I've heard), and so much effort you might wonder about their choice of location.

    This show (Sisters) was POWERFUL to say the least. Everything about the performance seemed right on: lights, sound (with exception to the highly-talented-fool-DJ that couldn't get anything right), presence, etc... However, the crowd and venue left much to be desired. Just about everything close to a complaint that's already been said I have to agree with: merchandise lines, that stupid pseudo Hard Rock guitar, and the 'too goth' motto appearing on the occasional T-shirt being too true.

    If Mr E. spent five minutes touring the trenches, I wouldn't be surprised if the thought 'did I have anything to do with this?!' briefly streaked through those anglo-cerebro-gaskets of his. Maybe not, but for all those who wonder why he called the US a "psychopathic Disneyland", fashion shows like this one may have had something to do with it.

    Tapping the Vein was the only support act I could cope with, after them I got fairly drunk (given the scene: clove cigarettes--to boot, white make-up weighing in by the ton, and even an umbrella, I felt it was appropriate. However, I most certainly made a fool of myself in front of at least one wait staff (I'm sorry :) I was really talking about the drink!!). I pulled it together when it seemed time for the Sisters to come out, which turned out to be about an hour after that.

    Vision Thing as an opening was a jolt. Its not high on my personal list of favorites, but in this context... wow! As far as the high and mighty attitude so many love point out; I guess you should just expect it, its part of the show. Compared to past events I've seen, and in contrast to the idea put forth that the Sisters were not happy about being there, I thought the overall energy was incredible. Also, Adam Pearson and the other guy who's name escapes me, are much tighter guitarists than Andreas Bruhn, and Tim Bricheno, so the music itself was bigger.

    Except for that unparalleled excitement of seeing The Sisters for the first time, this was the best show I've seen yet.

    Written by Michael C. Sullivan (msulliv9@osf1.gmu.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    I can't add much more to the reams of reviews, but I will say that the goths present at the show made me feel disgusted and even embarrassed on their behalf. Of course, I was strolling around in a mostly-green Hawaiian shirt, long cutoff shorts, and sandals. Hey, at least I was comfortable outside waiting in line, while everyone else looked like they were about to burst into flames. Not much funnier than seeing two dozen Elvira and Edward Scissorhands clones run for the ice cream truck. Hehe.

    Tapping the Vein: not bad. eeire, hypnotic goth-ed out old pj harvey stuff.

    HWF: got cheers only when they announced that the next song would be their last.

    SS: not bad either, but Tiny should get some more clothes on.

    Sisters: played everything as if it had been written for Vision Thing. This appears to be what E. wants every song to sound like, and they are all migrating toward an identical sound. Damn it, Andrew, change it up a bit - hearing Amphetamine Logic right after Detonation Boulevard doesn't do anything, it doesn't change the pace, if they both sound the same. What was wrong with the more sparse guitar arrangements of FALAA?

    Anyway, in spite of all this, I loved the show and it was well worth a 3 hour drive and more. They sounded good when they weren't letting the guitars crash to the floor. E. looked great and had lots of energy, though I wouldn't say he "moved well." Thank you to the people who posted E.'s between-songs-commentary; every time a song ended someone was bothering me about shit. To the assholes that bought all the shirts, piss on you. I hope your zits get so big that the white face makeup will no longer cover them up. And I hope that Andrew has rigged the shirts so that they become Rainbow Brite fan club t-shirts when they are washed, although, from the smell in the club, this day could be a long time coming.

    Written by Karl W. Reinsch (kreinsch@radix.net) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    One other thing that I saw at the show that nobody has mentioned - I picked up a flyer from the condiment counter on the lower level.

    Inside the club there was a snackbar/concession stand. One part of the counter was where you ordered/paid/received your food. The other end of the counter was where napkins, salt, catsup, etc. were. There were 5 or more stacks of flyers on the second part of the counter. One of the stacks was made up of these. The other flyers were adverts for various goth dance clubs and whatnot. Apparently, someone brought the flyers inside and left them there on the counter. I didn't see anyone handing them out. I saved it, specifically to share with you lot.

    Sheesh. Surely, the British goths haven't pulled this one yet, have they?

    Written by Jessica Walters (jabby@eris.quintessential.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I was one of the 33 photographers at the Dark Harvest venue. I've never encountered such limitations on the press as I have at that show, and I've been in the photo business over ten years.

    We were only allowed to photograph during the second, third, and fourth songs, with flash use permitted only on the second song. 'Twas quite frustrating, and the frustration was compounded when it seemed like he was going out of his way to avoid the photographers by staying away from the edge of the stage and hiding behind copious amounts of dry ice. Not that he doesn't normally do that.

    Jessica's pictures are available at http://www.giant.net/~jabby.

    Written by Tony (frak@oracle.dsuper.net) for Dominion mailing list

    Well, we first got there around one in the afternoon, and meet Brian from SF who had been there from ten. We came back around two with a cooler and a lot of water.

    Everyone we meet was really nice and not at all pretentious, very refreshing. Then he showed up, in a cab.

    We were all just sitting around (no line yet) and the cab stops in front of us, he looks around, nods, and they drive around to the back entrance. The rest of the band showed up around a hour later in a big limo. So we got to here the sound check and get to know the bouncers, much fun all around.

    The event it self (aside from the heat): Incredible. I was not expecting Vision thing but it was great. The feeling was there. The crowd was a little un-enthusiastic, but that does not mean that they did not cheer and scream, just not a great lot. And they seemed to pick up after Giving Ground. In between the floor and the bar there was a long bench thing around five feet. Great seats - around 15 feet from the stage, and with air circulating.

    He seemed to be enjoying himself. And talking to the bouncers (at that diner around the corner after) They said that after he was in a good mood, they all had fun but were just too hot.

    All in all, a very good Rock N' Roll concert.

    Written by Rob Coolyo (RGCoolyo@aol.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I was down by the stage downstairs and during the first band my wondering eyes did see? Good Ole Andy standing 20 feet from me, checking out the show!

    He was to the side of the stage right by the stairs and the only stopping me from going over there was a 6' 400 pound bouncer. He had on a Motörhead t-shirt (not the one he came out on stage with) with cut off sleeves. Guess showing up early sort of paid off.

    Written by Rob Divine (RobDivine@aol.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Karl W. Reinsch (kreinsch@Radix.Net) writes:

    > Before "Summer" it was something along these lines: "This is from
    > our new album _Butt_Fuck_Parlour_Time_ on Cleopatra Records. I DON'T THINK
    > SO!! But some of you do. You wish it was true."

    EXACTLY. He was actually making fun of Switchblade Symphony who had made a similar comment during their set (non-jokingly): "this next song will be released on our forthcoming album on Cleopatra" or she said something to that effect. It was a joke. He was just being pompous. No new Cleopatra/Merciful Release record, I'm sorry - no such thing.

    Written by Gus Hartmann (hartmann@cs.wisc.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    Hollie Satterfield (Hollie_Satterfield@mail.amsinc.com) wrote:

    > Butt Fuck Parlo[u]r Time is the name of a legendary Nine Inch Nails
    > bootleg that doesn't really exist. As far as I know it began as a
    > practical joke over on alt.music.nin. BFPT is listed in the NIN FAQ
    > as a way for the humo[u]r-impaired to recognize joke information.
    > So you can't say Mr. Eldritch isn't net-literate.

    Close, but not quite; it's a legendary official album. It was conceived as an answer to the inevitable newbie question "what will the new album be called?", and has the eternal release date "next <season>". Of course, it has been in the works for a mere six years, not quite as long as the mythical new Sisters' album.

    Written by Paul Hahn (hahnpaul@acm.msu.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    What follows is the review I gave to the magazine I write for. I just didn't have the heart to tremendously slag him in print. It wasn't a bad show, just not a great one - ok great in the fact it gave a lot of people over here the ability to see him. I think he's finally realized if he doesn't want the goth label then maybe he shouldn't sound well quite so gothy. I thought it was a good rock and roll show, the lights were fabo, as was the sound. Maybe I'm not a big enough Sisters fan, but I was having trouble really figuring out songs, but then again VT and Floodland aren't heavy on my list of CDs to play. I enjoyed the show overall, the fans, well was nice to see how the split side lives.

    If EastWest or some big label ever decided to release a single, and really push it, I've no doubt it could catch on. Look at all the crap being played now. Oh yeah, is it me or does anyone else think the Sisters sound would be somewhat thicker with a live drummer?


    After a grueling 13 hour drive to a friend's place in New Jersey I was more then ready to again see the Sisters of Mercy, who have not graced this continent for the better part of 6 years. The expected black crowd was on hand - how some people can wear black leather in 90+ degree heat while standing like sardines in a can still confuses me.

    We got into The Electric Factory, and old renovated factory about 7:30, in time to fight to the front for a good view. Up first was Philadelphia's own Tapping the Vein. They played a rather boring, bland style of goth, sure to be a hit with the crowd, and it was. After about 30 minutes they bowed and up next was Motown's own, only Motown band energy supported, Heavy Water Factory. Unfortunately this was an opportunity which could/should have been one in a life time. Alas they failed. Their processors were majorly fucked up, to the point where the drum machine was cycling through beats mid-song. Shame as they usually are a really good band. Also they won't be making any friends from the fans there, who pretty much booed the away.

    Up next was Switchblade Symphony, I've never liked this band, never will. Then it was what everyone was there too see, Mr. Andrew Eldritch. Sure enough he was there wearing a black Motörhead England tee, and although he hasn't been to active in recent years, is still as vital to underground music as he was in the early 80's.

    Having not seen the Sisters over here since '91's Tour Thing, I was excited. Alas the sound was changed, he has totally redone all the songs, aking them from a harsh barren guitar driven band, into a more dancy drum driven band. It is a change for the better. This simply amazed me, because I'd thought the last time I'd seen them was one of the best shows ever, too bad because this one was far better.

    Starting off with Vision Thing, a lot of the old classics, all reworked, were played. The highlight of the night for me though was a cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. Some of the other notables played were Dominion, On The Wire, Damage Done, Body Electric, Kiss, and Anaconda.

    The outline of Mr. Eldritch is just as distinct now as it was 6 years ago. The light show they had going must have shorted out half of Philly. Strobes and lasers flashing everywhere, blinding you yet drawing you in with their intricate designs in the dense dry ice fog. This night however was tainted by an abysmal sound man, feedback ran rampant many a time.

    Tonight the Sisters finally have evolved beyond their following of black clad goths, into something that the goths are too pretentious to comprehend, a real honest to god rock and or roll band. This is a sound which hopefully could captivate one of the best British pop bands of all times into the American vocabulary. too bad no one wants to listen. A great show and one which I'll remember until the next one-off gig they do.

    Written by Brian Singerman (briansin@CS.Stanford.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    Hey all, Well, just got back to SF after the show. I wanted to just point out, from someone standing in the front row center, that the mood up there was VERY different than the mood around the rest of the club. We were all going crazy... never a dull moment. So, it wasn't the whole club that was just standing there in a daze. Bonding moment for us in the front.

    For those who commented that there was no mosh pit, if there was a mosh pit, people would have died. There was flat out no room in that club to do anything but stand where you were. It was packed.

    Waiting for the video to come out -- sure there will be some good scenes on there ;)

    Written by Jeremy Coffey (jerm@cais.com) for Dominion mailing list

    >I wanted to just point out,
    > from someone standing in the front row center, that the mood up there was
    > VERY different than the mood around the rest of the club. We were all
    > going crazy... never a dull moment. So, it wasn't the whole club that
    > was just standing there in a daze. Bonding moment for us in the front.

    Absolutely - in fact, I didn't think it was that dead a crowd until reading some of the reviews here. I was 3-4 rows back (as people tried to squeeze forward to the rail - or was it just to get closer to the hose? Thanks for whoever thought to bring that out!) and was psyched, my voice dampened only by heat, humidity and flesh in front of me - not by lack of enthusiasm, and most people around me were of similar disposition.

    > For those who commented that there was no mosh pit, if there was a mosh
    > pit, people would have died. There was flat out no room in that club to
    > do anything but stand where you were. It was packed.

    Well, there appeared to be a rush toward front and center in the first half of Andy's set which pushed people towards the outside who then pushed back - sort of a swaying effect. It was packed enough that no one needed to fear falling down as you were in contact with other on all sides.

    Written by jason (vitus@ix.netcom.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I'll toss in my $0.02 here...

    >Would be nice if, even if Eldy can't cut a deal with EastWest, it somehow
    >escaped from a studio recording on a demo tape after a malicious
    >sound engineer swiped it. Maybe I'm dreaming tho.

    On a related note for all who are still considering the possibility of a live recording, I was directly in front of the mixing desk, and noticed a small microphone on a stand. Sure enough, I followed the cable with my eyes, and there was the DAT, right on the edge of a rack of gear.

    >Then Giving Ground came on, and fortunately made up for the damage done

    This happened a couple of times, I think. Definitely with Giving Ground overshadowing Amphetamine Logic, and again with the first encore. I had a much different feeling during Comfortably Numb/SKOS, especially after the edit of Temple of Love. But then, maybe it was just the guitar solo. :)

    >I thought that, overall, the show was excellent but that
    >some classic songs should have replaced such stinkbombs as Under the Gun
    >and the four minute version of Temple of Love.

    Agreed. But then it's not like the 'classics' are new anymore, or get as much play as the Floodland era material. But it would have been great to hear a b-side or two. But then, it makes sense for them to be playing things with the harder edge of an almost metal band. After all, Eldritch did say "we are The Sisters of Mercy... and we are a rock and roll band."

    Pictures from the gig used in this page were taken by Jessica Walters (jabby@eris.quintessential.com). Full versions are available at http://www.giant.net/~jabby.

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    Setlist | Reviews | Links | Organizer's explanations | Pictures | Still movie | Other dates