1998/02/05, Maritime Hall, San Francisco, CA, USA

Event Horizon 1998

January 14
January 16
January 17
January 18
January 20
January 21
January 22
January 24
January 25
January 26
 Brussels January 30
 New York
January 31
 Washington (cancelled)
February 1
February 3
February 5
 San Francisco
February 6
 San Francisco
February 7
 Los Angeles
February 12
February 13

"We've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and we've run out of bubble gum. It's nice to be back."

This opening Eldritch phrase of the night was taken from, of all places, move They Live, story which begins with the hero finding shades with which one can distinguish real people from alien invaders pretending to be real people. Eldritch is always wearing shades in public. Take it from here.

Fourth time in a row, the setlist didn't change, and vocals were still too low in the mix. Must be the cold-related voice problems. And, like in Toronto, major equipment troubles.

The "this is my space, don't even think about it" policy regarding any audience attempts to enter stage was revised this time to allow a girl from the crowd hug Andrew. A girl whom Andrew liked, that is. All in all, reports note that this was very relaxed show, with lots of Andrew/audience interaction at the expense of songs (many verses were missed).

Support act: Lucky Me.

Setlist | Reviews

  • Intro: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola
  • Intro: Afterhours
  • First and Last and Always
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • War on Drugs
  • Giving Ground
  • (We Are the Same) Suzanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Will I Dream
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Anaconda
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Temple of Love
  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger
  • Something Fast
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Marc Spinale (sspinale@ix.netcom.com)

    Setlist | Reviews

    Written by R. Logan Mirto (speedking23@hotmail.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Andrew Eldritch Drank My Jaegermeister And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.

    Only it wasn't exactly like that.

    I flew to Philly from Austin, Texas back in June and that was the first time I saw the Sisters. They took my head off, just as I expected them to. I flew out to S.F. on Thursday expecting more of the same, but got one hell of a better show.

    I must be the only person who liked the shirts on this tour. More variety then at Philly, with some gray ringers and the Roadkill'96 V-necks. The orange event horizon cog was a nice simple design.

    I was almost Front Row Center, with one hand on the barricade, and a perfect view of the show. I didn't bring a camera, since I had two nights to check things out, I wanted to check out security first. The venue was great, stage low to the ground, good sound from where I was, but it's always better at the front. The opening act, Lucky Me, was a lot better than I was expecting. I met them after the show, but more on that in the Friday report.

    Andy came out grinning in the same black and yellow Chinese jacket he wore in Philly (under the jacket he had on The Ugliest Shirt on God's Green Earth, and the Motörhead T-shirt) and seemed to be in a great mood the whole show. At one point, during On the Wire, he handed one of the bottles of red liquid to the guy on my left, and the gent was nice enough to pass it around to five or six of us in the front row. I thought it was wine, but the guy that got it thought it was a mixed drink of some sort.

    On to the Jaeger story: I was sharing hotel space with some friends of mine from Dallas, who had driven to California for the tour. On the way there they stopped in Tombstone, Arizona to buy a leather hat and found these tiny little bottles of Jaegermeister they bought two apiece, and (thanks again, gents) two for me. I downed one at the hotel and stuck the other in my pocket. So at the beginning of Dominion I pull out the bottle, kick my head back and drink half of it down, and then I thought "I wonder if Andy likes Jaeger? It is German..." So I hand it out to him when he walks past. He doesn't notice. Then he turns and walks past again, and I waggle the bottle around, and everyone around me is pointing to it... and he looks right at me and smiles. He takes the bottle with his free hand and gives me a tap on the hand with his finger, then a quick salute. We pointed at each other for a moment and he put the bottle back behind the lights, next to his cigarettes. Some bitch behind me says "He's not gonna drink it", I suppose in an effort to knock me off my cloud. A verse later, Andy goes back to the bottle, inspects and identifies it. Gives me a smile and a nod, salutes me again and downs the bottle. A grand moment for a fan of 10 years. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to share a drink with someone you appreciate. Cheers, Andrew!

    Enough feindy fan blathering. As for the music: everything was great, but not perfectly done, as Andrew kept interacting with us in the front. He sang to a nice blonde girl who caught his eye, and then talked to her a bit, so Anaconda was missing a verse. She climbed up on stage and gave him a big hug, then disappeared backstage. A few songs later, during Temple Of Love, she was back in the front row and Andy said "How the hell did you get back there?" into the mic instead of the third chorus.

    I've got a bootleg video of the Philly show, so Come Together, Summer and War On Drugs were already old favorites. All three were great, War On Drugs showed the most improvement. Romeo Down was awesome. Suzanne and Will I Dream were great, rather Vision Thing-ish. This Corrosion was a sing-a-long blowout, with countdowns to each chorus and a screaming fit of an ending. Oh yes!

    No one paid a bit of attention to Varjak or Pearson, which is a damn shame, as they are the finest Sisters line up that I have heard play live (this from a man with 25 bootleg shows), great back up vocals on Ribbons and Anaconda from Pearson. Ran into Varjak on the stairs at the coat check, he seemed a really nice guy.

    Oh yeah, one more thing: The Smokes.

    After the show the lights came up, the roadies came out, the setlists were asked for and grabbed up. I was standing around talking to some people trying to gather information on how to spend my time in S.F., and I spy Andy's cigarettes behind the lights, next to the bottle I gave him. After being ignored for a bit, one of the crew noticed me and gave a really big smile when I pointed and shouted "Give Me Those Cigarettes!" Marlboro Lights, Hard Box. Purchased in California. Jaegermeister spilled on the box. 4 smokes left in the box. I couldn't have begged for a better souvenir.

    So he did drink my Jaegermeister, and I actually got two lousy T-Shirts which I rather like, and I also made off with a swig of his wine (or was it a Cape Cod?) and a pack of his Cigarettes (sorry, Andy, I couldn't resist. There were only 4 left anyhow).

    If anyone got an audio or a video of either S.F. show, or even just pictures, I'd love to trade. Contact me at speedking23@hotmail.com.

    Thanks to Speedking Josh & crew for meeting me in S.F., and buying me a legendary drink, thanks to all the nice folks at the front of the gig, and thanks to you Andrius, I couldn't have done it without you.

    Written by Steve Courtney (steve_courtney@chbnet.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Frankly, I wasn't expecting a lot. After the reviews of the U.S dates thus far ("crap sound", "lackluster response", etc.) I had dim hopes. I was wrong. It was an absolutely fucking storming show.

    The openers, Lucky Me, sounded like Siouxsie singing for the Sneaker Pimps, only less interesting than that would be, if possible. Not offensive, just dull.

    After the openers left the stage, the intervening music consisted of old Talk Talk tunes. I wonder if the venue chose these, or if the band had a hand, as songs like "Happiness is Easy" and "Life's What You Make It" seemed pointed at the Goth contingent. Amusing. The crowd seemed pretty old, and a bit long in the tooth, which surprised me. I was expecting to see an array of delectable Goth girlies, but I guess the seven years haven't been all that kind to some of the fans.

    Anyway, after a bit of intro, FALAA kicked off, and away we went. I will agree that the sound suffered ever so slightly. The vocals were mixed a bit too low, although that didn't matter much with everyone up front singing along. (Marc said the audience seemed disinterested. This may have been the case in the back, but up front it was all "Raise Your Hands" and "Sing".) I would have liked the Doktor to kick a little harder, too, but clean sound is preferable to excessive volume. As stated, the setlist was the same as Toronto. Of the new songs, Will I Dream was the standout for me. In places it sounds like the verse section of Vision Thing. And, lyrically, it seems to be another paean to amphetamines. Nice to see some things never change.

    Once again, Dominion was the first song that really got the entire audience dramatically involved. Apparently a fair number of people only own Floodland, and, as such, this was the first song they recognized. After the break, Comfortably Numb/SKOS went over spectacularly. Much better than any of the bootlegs I've heard. Eldritch was in fine voice, and seemed to really be enjoying the performance. Another break and they were back with Something Fast and This Corrosion, which had a deafening audience sing-along. The enthusiasm was totally there for a third encore, so I was a little surprised that we didn't get one. But, the lights came up and that was that.

    As an aside, I saw Bowie in a similar sized venue about 3 months ago, and both he and AE seem to be in prime performing shape. Very similar styles, obviously, and it's good to see them both having something to swagger about. And apparently having fun, for chrissakes.

    Anyway, it was great. The five people I was with also thought it was brilliant. And the best part, of course, is that we get to do it again tomorrow.

    Written by Marc Spinale (sspinale@ix.netcom.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    It has been a long wait to see once again, The Sisters of Mercy, here in the beautiful San Francisco. Having bit of an idea from reviews on this tour already, I had some idea of what to expect, yet not exactly how it would turn out here. Lots of goth creatures present at the Maritime Hall, which looks like a high school gym, grabbing ahold of the concert hall and submerging it into a pit of darkness from a sea of black.

    Ventured off to the T-shirt table first, and was utterly disappointed. I stood there amazed at how uncreative the shirt designs were. The selection of shirts weren't very impressive at all. The Event Horizon tour shirt with the new logo, just the outer circle part/back with the new logo face and tour dates was boring. You'd think not playing here in the states, anywhere for that matter for 7 so years, there would have been many different t-shirts, and of course they would sell. But I don't think whomever did design of T-shirts really has any clue what art design is all about. It all goes hand in hand like interior design. It should work like a math equation, Great music + great songs = great t-shirts... or am I wrong?

    The opening act was Lucky Me which I wasn't too personally moved by, at times it was a bit too rockish. Methinks future Sisters tours should have some sort of semi-known band like Alien Sex Fiend: open up, just to add to the already great excitement of the show. I took some time taking in the surroundings and found this audience to be a bit unenthusiastic, and as goth people go, not so friendly.

    At the beginning of the show at 10:28 pm, as the intro played through, and clouds of fog rolled off the stage and into the crowd, and as purple lights went crashing through, there wasn't much noise from the crowd. Certainly not as much as I expected for waiting for 7 so years for the Sisters. You'd think it would of built up over the years and just exploded.

    First and Last and Always was good to hear as Andrew sported a black and yellow jacket, hiding behind gold rimmed glasses, but it seemed a bit weak, and the sound system wasn't so hot. Andrew seemed a bit tired, but then came Ribbons, and a cigarette at hand (most of us including Andrew ignored the new California law that prohibits smoking, and security was cool) -- here it picked up a bit, and here all these goth girls began appearing.

    Finally a taste of the new Eldritch. Come Together. It was okay. But I really expected this actually. Many reviews praised the newbees, but even as a great fan, I'm not kissing ass about them, it's been years, within years one can construct better songs musically, it will take some getting used too. Though I hope Andrew spends a bit more time with new songs. Train/Detonation Boulevard were in my opinion too short, cut up a bit and passed through quickly as if "let's hurry up and get paid that purportedly $30,000 a gig".

    Andrew seemed a bit more into the show, as enthusiasm began to take shape, at this point, wearing a Motörhead t-shirt, with some multi-color button shirt, that looked like a Hawaiian shirt with less clashing colors. Another cigarette, blank stares at the audience and a nodding of his head as he stood poised and self- confident. Amphetamine Logic, side by side with newbee, War on Drugs, the subliminal for the evening, was a bit more upbeat for a newbee, though the crowd looked on quite silently, until Giving Ground started up, at this point quite a few people began dancing.

    (We are the Same) Suzanne, another newbee, started making me wonder just how good the next album is going to turn out or perhaps some of these will wind up as B-sides on 12" releases which would be fine. These new songs are quite similar to each other and could be a bit more structured creatively: drum machine, guitar, deeper, creepy bass lines, synth etc.

    On the Wire was great, as for Will I Dream, a good point to head off to the bathroom. Dominion/Mother Russia was lacking the intensity it deserves, Andrew pointed out over the audience a lot, perhaps trying to get these damn Americans to think a little, another newbee, Summer, and then Anaconda. The sound system still wasn't all that great which quite possibly played a significant role in holding down Eldritch and gang. Romeo Down (no comment), Flood II drew a refreshing smile upon my face whilst inhaling that cigarette smoke, and then Temple of Love, which was cut short, and done slightly fast.

    After the break, Andrew came out dressed in a white shirt and leather pants and a buckles belt, the outfit worn out at many festivals in Europe. Comfortably Numb was very well done, and its this kind of cover song Andrew does well with, as it faded into Some Kind of Stranger. Another break and Something Fast (and the show went by fast, as if racing through the songs to get to the finish line), and then This Corrosion as everyone seemed quite satisfied to have been present tonight for The Sisters of Mercy on their first day here in San Francisco. Hoping Friday will be better.

    I'll be honest, I was disappointed, I wanted more for $30. There is something missing musically, I can't quite place it, but in comparison to other performances I've seen, I can hear a difference. It was good to see them again, hoped for many other songs and diversity on this tour, perhaps next time. As far as the future of the Sisters, I'm not sure personally, the new songs seem a bit tame. Eldritch should continue more on the line of Vision Thing/Floodland, with guitar and heavy drum beats, etc. and at the same time, those deep sophisticated layers of musical mystery that submerge into the mix, it was indeed an Event, but what waits over the Horizon?

    Written by Clif Duhn (cduhn@itsa.ucsf.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    The Sisters were in brilliant form last night, much much better than Philly. I am beginning to think this was the best show of the tour so far (even though, granted, I haven't been to any others). Andrew was in very good spirits, and chatted with the audience members in front, smiled and laughed a bit, feeling quite at home in his favorite US town.

    At the beginning, Andy said, "We've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and we've run out of bubble gum. It's nice to be back."

    Then later a blonde girl got up on stage and hugged Andrew, who then said, "We like this town. We could live here." Please fell free Andy.

    Of the new songs, I really like the slower Suzanne and Romeo Down. Will I Dream was fantastic as well, with a very catchy guitar riff. I still can't get used to War On Drugs, but still love Summer, and even though I've been listening to the Sisters do Comfortably Numb/SKOS since mid-1992, I am still blown away by it.

    The best part? We get to do it again tomorrow!

    Written by Matt Redman (m-redman@students.uiuc.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    As Clif said, the first show was great. The crowd there was way better than in Chicago. Same set list as the other shows. Let's see, at one point a person gave Andrew a bottle of some stuff and later he drank some of it.

    Clif talked about the blonde girl. Well, during Temple Andrew bent down toward her and was actually singing it to her. It brought on new meaning: she was wearing a black dress and when he sang "the devil in a black dress" he was smiling and raising his eyebrows a lot. He was in a very good mood. He also said "it's like a prom" to this same girl.

    Another interesting thing on the first night: after a song (don't remember which one) a whole bunch of people on the right side of the stage had their arms up and were screaming. Andrew comes over and says "Shut Up!" I thought it was very funny.

    Written by Michael McDermott (mpmcdermott@prodigy.net) for Dominion mailing list

    >At the beginning, Andy said, "We've come here to chew bubble gum and
    >kick ass, and we've run out of bubble gum. It's nice to be back."

    This quote is from the movie "They Live", an 80's action film starring former pro wrestler Roddy Piper. It was about an alien race that was covertly infiltrating our society and was bent on making Earth theirs. Roddy was a drifter who came to join the resistance by accident. The aliens were undetectable unless you are wearing special sunglasses that revealed their alien-ness (ugly ones to boot).

    Well, we all know Andy is almost always seen wearing sunglasses of one form or another (you can see where this is going). Is he doing this simply because he enjoys wearing sunglasses OR is there some purpose here? Maybe Herr Eldritch is mankind's last hope and is on a mission to liberate us all (well, those he chooses to save). Is the truth out there?

    Written by Kurt G Amacker (kga01@gnofn.org) for Dominion mailing list

    > The aliens were undetectable unless you are wearing special
    > sunglasses that revealed their alienness (ugly ones to boot).

    There was an interview I read on the Net (http://website.lineone.net/~garynaylor/siren.htm) in which Andy talks about being insecure, uncomfortable and socially awkward. Hence, being a rock star but denying who he is when questioned about it in public (also the smoke on stage: to hide from the eyes). Also, he did the interviews sans his glasses and spent the whole time looking around and not staring the interviewer in the eye. Finally, the interviewer asked him if he wanted to put on his glasses and Eldritch quickly did so (it was a matter of discomfort). After some of this in-depth probing, Eldritch began to get defensive.

    Written by David Caldwell (David_Caldwell@indigita.com) for Dominion mailing list

    >>At the beginning, Andy said, "We've come here to chew bubble gum and
    >>kick ass, and we've run out of bubble gum. It's nice to be back."
    >This quote is from the movie They Live

    Also, more recently the same quote was spoken by Duke Nukem in the video game Duke Nukem 3D. Perhaps Eldritch is quoting a cool video game, not a bad movie, but we'll never know.

    Setlist | Reviews | Other dates