1999/09/24, Roseland Ballroom, New York, NY, USA

To the Planet Edge 1999

July 18
 Braga

September 23
 Washington
September 24
 New York
September 25
 Philadelphia
September 27
 Boston
September 28
 Toronto
September 30
 Detroit
October 1
 Chicago
October 2
 Minneapolis
October 4
 Denver
October 6
 San Francisco
October 8
 Los Angeles
October 9
 Anaheim
October 11
 Las Vegas
October 13
 Atlanta
October 14
 Fort Lauderdale
October 15
 Orlando
October 21
 Mexico City

Show's promotion was extremely poor -- mentioning in usual Roseland's ad space, postcards from the venue, plus listings in (very) selected magazines and one or two radio stations.

Great mood and perfect health of Mr.Eldritch aside, this show was very much similar to the one in the same venue in 1998: poor acoustics, inability to sell out and predominantly goth and totally apathetic crowd. Oh, and Andrew repeated last year's reminder: "We are The Sisters of Mercy, and we are a rock'n'roll band".

The show premiered new opener: Train/Detonation Boulevard was never used for this before. And it was one of two USA shows not to feature Vision Thing (initially planned for the unplayed encore, skipped possibly because of crowd's unwillingness to respond). And there were sound problems -- but then, most nowadays Sisters' gigs do.

To get an idea of how the venue looks like watch closely No Doubt's Don't Speak promo the next time MTV feels like greatest hits time -- its live scenes were filmed in this venue.

Setlist | Reviews
Setlist

  • Intro: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola

  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • Giving Ground
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Flood I
  • Will I Dream
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
  • Body Electric
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Temple of Love
    <break>
  • Something Fast
  • First and Last and Always
  • This Corrosion

    Unplayed encore:

  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger
  • Vision Thing
  • Thanks to Stefan Sonic (StefnSonic@aol.com), Nik Cap (neptune@skyweb.net)

    Setlist | Reviews
    Reviews

    Written by Jason (jamaliko@syr.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    Before:

    Got to Roseland just as Tube was dancing his way off the stage. From what I heard, it wasn't really all that bad, and better than anyone else who's opened in the US in the past three years. More appropriate for what the Sisters seem to have become.

    The music between sets, as others have commented, was an odd choice, particularly since it switched from new age ambient to Nurse With Wound style experimental every five minutes or so. I enjoyed the latter, because the people around me would shut up and try to figure out if it was the intro tape.

    Then came the dry ice. Not so much at first, and most of that got sucked up by Roseland's air conditioning system. Then, as the volume of "Fly and Collision..." increased over the next ten minutes, it became more and more difficult to see the stage. Finally, all lights were off, the intro roared to a climax, and the band became visible in the smoke.

    Audience/Band:

    It's probably a good thing that AE doesn't perform for anyone past the third row, because otherwise I don't think he'd ever come back to New York again. I've never seen a crowd less determined to enjoy themselves, or more concerned with who was looking at them than with what was happening on stage. If anyone who was there came away feeling that the band never "got into it," as I heard outside Roseland afterwards, it's probably because the audience gave them nothing to feed off of. The only signs of life occurred during the Floodland songs, Temple, and Something Fast. Granted, the rest of the set isn't widely available, but these songs have been played for at the very least, two years now. There were a couple of amusing highlights, though, such as the guy who got up on someone's shoulders during Something Fast, about five rows back, and was dead eye level with Von, waving his arms as if conducting an orchestra. I can guess why Von took the microphone to the back corner of the stage for the second verse.

    Yes, AE does seem to be in a stellar mood. I wonder what drugs he's gotten this time, or if he's happy to be on tour in the States, or what. Someone already commented on his outfit, but not that Adam seems to have stolen a shirt from Von's closet. It looked like a hideously lemon yellow polyester thing, with a huge neck opening and several tiny buttons. Interesting. Mike looked less like a '77 punk reject and more like a lumberjack with his plaid shirt, sleeves rolled up. Both guitarists seem completely relaxed now, enough so that they're beginning to move around on stage a little.

    Songs:

    Both Floods in one set... amazing. First was a bit hesitant, but the timing was dead on. Second was perfect. Particularly the green/blue lights at the end of the song, shining into the smoke near the ceiling, the last notes slipping away in a haze of feedback. Von, after first: "Bet you never thought you'd hear that one." You're right, I didn't.

    Should we ever have the good fortune, Summer will be an excellent comeback single. Not that any of Friday's crowd will ever listen to it, because they couldn't get a hang of the time changes, and so couldn't figure out how to dance to it.

    Romeo Down (introduced as "One Romeo Down") is even more haunting without the bass guitar. Mike's guitar was quiet compared with the thundering Doktor and Von's soft/screaming vocals, which sent a shiver down my spine when "Romeo won't understand/till he piss blood in the palm of his hand." Fucking brilliant. Not sure whether the lyrics have been reworked, or if Von was just trying to keep the troops calm about not having the bass to cue from, but the "Somebody call, somebody phone..." part was repeated after the second verse, before the change. Adam did a good job about not panicking, by the way.

    I'm a little disappointed to see that War on Drugs was dropped, but happy that Under the Gun was, so maybe it works out in the end.

    Saw a mic and DAT connected to the soundboard in NYC, maybe someone could ask Von for a copy of one of his recordings?

    Aftermath:

    The long sleeve is very nice, even if it was a pricey $32. Down the left sleeve it has "sisters to the planet edge" in neon blue, to match the cities listed on the back. No logo, either new- or old-school, but the planet edge logo is half surrounded by the gear device from the new design.

    Overall, it was indeed something very special, and I wish I had the foresight to get tickets to one of the other shows in the Northeast. If anyone is on the fence about whether to go or not, I'd encourage you to go, if only to see Von in good spirits.


    Written by Nik Cap (neptune@skyweb.net) for Dominion mailing list

    I walked in just as DJ Tube was wrapping up his set. I took a quick peak at the tour shirts and decided I liked all of them. I let it mull over in my head and to pick one up after the show ... I got three. The "To The Planet Edge" selection was very interesting. Lime green on Black and interesting logo.

    Between, DJ Tube and the Sisters the house music was some kind of instrumental New Age/Industrial thing. I wonder if I was listening to the missing drum tracks to SSV or if the Sax song was the infamous "New World Order" we've only heard rumors about.

    The light dimmed and "Fly and Collision of Comas Sola" came on, for what seemed like 10 minutes... was the band getting cold feet... maybe they needed more smoke. After several false cheers from he crowd the band finally came on at 9:15.

    Highlight and notables: Flood I was a very nice surprise, the track sounded good but was a little tentative, a couple bad changes on the guitars. Practice this one at the soundcheck this afternoon and tonight in Philly it should be fantastic. I wonder if Flood 1 has been added to the set for us American on the East Coast who spend several days under water, courteous of Hurricane Floyd.

    Bei Mir Bist Du Schon was great, I thought it was a new Sisters song. For a brief second I thought it was You Could be the One, it had that kind of groove to it. I also thought I heard the name of Jolene in the middle, but the vocals were low and if there was German in it I would never be able to pick it out. Will I Dream, has improved dramatically, a couple new guitar parts and the track has been loosed up a bit. Summer and This Corrosion were 10 out of 10. Perfect. Romeo Down was missing the bass for most of the song, except for 3 or 4 bars when it sounded like it would blow the speakers. Actually, it was rather interesting to here the inner workings of the track, mainly guitars and some little keys and the Doktor.

    Von quotes: "Your very nice tonight" directed toward the crowd. "It's time for me to take off my clothes... maybe you should take off your clothes". And the standard disclaimer before This Corrosion, "We are the Sisters of Mercy... and we are... a rock and roll band..." I missed what followed but I though it might be "We have the scars to prove it"

    I was out the door by 11 pm.

    Julie M Klugman:
    >I heard him very distinctly singing the "frankly Mr. Shankley"
    >part about 4 times.

    Hmmm... I wouldn't think AE would touch a Smith's track with a 10 ft Mic stand. But having heard the original track on Saturday afternoon, and seeing the performance at the Electric Factory that night, I'm pretty sure Mr. Shankly didn't make the trip to Philly.


    Written by Simon Cardwell (s.cardwell@csl.gov.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Kevin T.:
    >I did run into Simon from this list. He was a cool
    >lad from England who can drink his ass off }:)

    Cheers! The lad you mention is me - jetlagged, back in (Old) York UK and pissed off that I had to be at work today and couldn't stay for the Philly show.

    Anyway here's my attempt at a (short) report of the gig:

    Venue:

    Quite a large hall - almost identical in size and design as the Kilburn National Ballroom in London, with the PA hanging down on chains from the ceiling rather than resting on the stage. The gig was not sold-out, but I'd estimate the attendance to be 3/4 of the capacity of the venue.

    Audience:

    Less g*th than I expected - there was quite a cross-section of punters of all shapes, sizes and ages.

    Setlist:

    Already been posted so I won't waste bandwidth by posting it again, but I'll mention that Vision Thing and Comfortably Numb/SKOS were on the list but weren't played (I know this because I swiped a copy from the mixing desk after the show.)

    First surprise of the evening was opening up with Train/Detonation Boulevard and IMO a good choice. Some familiar old and new classics followed (including a superb Giving Ground - always a highlight for me) before the second (huge) surprise of the evening was unleashed, which was of course the welcome the inclusion of Flood One in the setlist. As expected, this rendition sounded more 'guitary' than the version on the album, although the keyboard and drum parts were identical to those heard on Floodland. Third (mega) surprise was what I thought was a brand new song at the time, but turned out to be an extraordinary cover of a Andrews Singers' song from the 1940's. On this one the Doktor stops and starts in a manner not unlike that (frankly annoying) hit a few years back by a certain Icelandic singer. Time will tell whether this cover will be as universally celebrated in the long-run as say, Comfortably Numb or Emma.

    All in all an excellent show but not devoid of a few sound problems - There was a significant volume imbalance on the guitars during the first few songs, with Adam's guitar way up in the mix while Mike's was virtually inaudible. The opposite occurred during Romeo Down - you couldn't hear Adam's bassline at all during the first 3/4 of the song until it suddenly lept from the speakers and made my ears ring for the next 24 hours afterwards.

    Quotes from AE during the show:

    "You're all very nice tonight" and "you weren't very nice to us last time"

    "back to fiction" (said after Giving Ground just before Suzanne)

    Some comment was said straight after Bei Mir, which I didn't quite catch. Anyone remember it?

    Kevin T. also wrote:
    >Simon, thanks for the drinks. Sorry I didn't
    >get a chance to say bye but I just ended up
    >passed out. Cheers!

    No problem! How was your hangover? Mine was a steamer.


    Written by Kevin T. (policyoftruth2@yahoo.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I went to the gig in NYC on Friday and I have to say it was OK. I thought it could have been better then it was.

    I took a bus in from MA and got into NYC about 6 pm. I went to the village, grabbed a bight to eat then grabbed a cab to Roseland. The opener was playing some weird house/synth/trip hop music - it was boring to say the least. I didn't pay to go to a rave.

    I felt strange because the crowd seemed to have this "I'm more goth then you" feel to it. Hmmmm.

    Then the band came out, all 3 of them. I was thinking there was gonna be at least 4 of them but nope... There was a lot of smoke before you could see Andy arise from the darkness. They played a lengthy set. I danced my ass off. New Yorkers got pretty rowdy. They played everything but Vision Thing and Comfortably Numb.

    After the show was over this English lad was asking me where CB's was then I asked him hey wanna spilt a cab? So we went to Absolution at CBGB's 313 and we bought each other a few drinks stared at a lot of the beautiful creatures around us, and then I came to find out he' s on the Dominion list! Small world... I got so piss drunk it was even funny. I passed out on one of the old couches in the corner then dragged myself to the bus station about 3:30am.

    Overall I had a pretty decent time. Simon, thanks for the drinks. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say bye but I just ended up passed out. Cheers!


    Written by Stefan Sonic (StefnSonic@aol.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    The intro began at 9:12PM, Sisters hit the stage at 9:22PM (very long intro), They finished up at 10:50PM so they were actually on the stage for LESS than 1 and 1/2 hours.

    The concert was real good. They didn't play certain songs from their last NYC show in 1998, but they did some others in the missing songs' place. Highlight of the evening was Body Electric. They do a new slower version of Romeo Down. Best song of the night (for me) Will I Dream.


    Written by Julie M. Klugman (pveil@juno.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I'm surprised no one has yet recognized that he played "Frankly Mr. Shankley" right in the middle of the set, about where you have him playing "Bei Mir Bist du Schon". I couldn't stop laughing once I heard the chorus.

    I heard him very distinctly singing the "frankly Mr. Shankley..." part about 4 times. It had been given the hard and crunchy treatment, but I know I heard him sing it. I confirmed this with about three other people before we left to go to CB's. I have no doubts, but it was an absolute shock - possibly the last song I ever expected to hear from him. I would have pegged "What Difference Does it Make" first...

    Setlist | Reviews