1999/09/25, Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA, USA

To the Planet Edge 1999

July 18

September 23
September 24
 New York
September 25
September 27
September 28
September 30
October 1
October 2
October 4
October 6
 San Francisco
October 8
 Los Angeles
October 9
October 11
 Las Vegas
October 13
October 14
 Fort Lauderdale
October 15
October 21
 Mexico City

According to most reviewers, both band and public were better than in earlier USA shows of this tour. However, this one will enter history not for this, but for the impromptu encore of Lynard Skynard's Sweet Home Alabama, (probably) as a part of Sister Ray medley -- achieved by the active crowd cheering sufficiently after hearing Alabama's guitar riff.

Top quote from the gig:
Fan: Where's the new album?
Andrew: Now that's a good question.

This venture was organized and promoted by the Dancing Ferret, the entity responsible for the infamous USA comeback show in 1997.

Setlist | Reviews

  • 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
  • Something Fast
  • First and Last and Always
  • Vision Thing
  • This Corrosion
  • Sister Ray
  • Thanks to Bradley W. Zimmerman (raphrat@tyranny.com)

    Setlist | Reviews

    Written by Todd R. Eigenschink (todd@tekinteractive.com) for Dominion mailing list

    We were sitting on one of the benches off to the right. About 15 minutes before Tube started, Mike Varjak came walking out from stage left headed back across the floor, stopped by the soundboard, looked around for a second, and then headed back. I was going to jump up and say hi, but by the time I realized it was him (I was about 99% certain; confirmed when he came on stage in the same shirt) and pointed him out to the other three people I was with, I wouldn't have caught him. It kind of looked like he was checking to see if there were more people hiding outside the back curtain--there sure weren't very many people around the stage.

    Somewhere in there, a couple overdressed girls in black were heading back to the restrooms, and my wife overheard one of them say, "Look at all these people frowning. I bet they're even more depressed than we are." (That pretty much summed up the show. About half the people were dancing and singing and waving their arms, and the rest stood unmoving. C'mon, people, you can at least sing along if you know the words!)

    I was again astonished at the lengths to which some people dressed themselves. I recognized one guy in particular that was wearing the same thing he was wearing two years ago in Philly. White frilly collar thing, and the cane--oh, the cane just made the outfit. (My wife's comment: "Who does he think he is, Vamp Lestat?")

    There was a crew of people playing with a mini-tower PC pre-show, and yes, one of them was Andrew. First a PC, then a monitor, then a power strip...it looked like they were having so much trouble I wanted to go up and volunteer to help.

    The deal was supposed to start at 8:30. If I remember right, Tube finally came out around 9, and played until somewhere around 9:30, and then the Sisters came out about 10:00.

    I agree with the previous comments about Tube: I didn't care for what he was playing, but he sure was having a blast doing it. I couldn't help by tap a foot to a couple "tracks". A couple were pretty ugly, but a couple were listenable. The rest I tried to ignore while munching on a pretzel.

    The Sisters opened with Train, which I thought was great, because on the way to the venue (while sitting in traffic on I-76 waiting to get past a 7-car bumper-tuning session which included two limos) I had Train going through my head, hoping they'd play it, but not expecting them to. No Comfortably Numb, though.

    Our wives had stepped to the back to get some air, which left room for some stoned moron to charge into the middle of the "crowd" at the beginning of ToL and wave his arms around in my face. (He was the one that, as soon as they walked off stage, started a steady clapping rhythm, only stopping to yell "Mercy!" every little bit.) I was glad when he retreated, probably for another joint.

    He introduced Romeo Down with "This song is (???) or a social disease", which got a few laughs. And then "with Mr. Whammy on the bass gee-tar." Adam did a nice job with it.

    The playing was better than Philly in 97, but the sound quality wasn't as good, and the lights weren't as good, either. But still well-worth the 1300-mile round trip from Fort Wayne, Indiana. (Can't make the Chicago or Detroit dates, even through both are about 9 hours closer.)

    Written by Bradley W. Zimmerman (raphrat@tyranny.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    First off, the "SISTERS GEGEN NAZIS" patch and shirt are priceless, and should be purchased by everyone attending any of the shows - punkfuckingrock, Uncle Andy...;) the old folks appreciate it...

    Electric Factory was much cozier this time without being packed to its sweat-fest 3500-person capacity, like the infamous "return to the States" Distance/Time show... the venue was reduced by using a smaller stage and dividing the floor 2/3 of the way back with a scrim. Not being a 'continental event' like the last time, there was plenty of room to breathe, dance and get your groove on... or stand around stoicly like a friggin' goth pooftah....

    The Hair Report: Herr Von is looking stunning with his new short blonde shag cut.

    The set: mmmm 'Romeo Down' really is as good as everyone has been saying... 'Body Electric' is even fiercer, and 'Flood I' alone was worth the $35. I feel like a dolt saying this, but I can't seem to place who the 'Bel Mir' cover is from. Having seen them stateside before, I loved the show simply for satisfying my thirst for new material, but I get the feeling that others were left scratching their heads quite a bit in puzzlement.

    Eldritch seemed more relaxed than on previous American jaunts, more animated, and dare I say 'jovial'... introducing 'Romeo Down' as a "song about a girl or a social disease... we all get one of the two..." and then laughing. Dominion was credited as "that one was for the Republicans..." lots of little barbs and jabs and 'fuck offs' to the fans screaming for "Marian" ;)

    And yes, the merchandise stand is expansive as all hell, including gasp BABY DOLL T-SHIRTS.

    Summation?: Fan screams out "we want a new album!"... Herr Von stops and visibly sneers. Then says "so do we..."

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

    I thought DJ Tube was rather boring. If I wanted to watch some guy drink beer and dance around the stage while playing CDs, I could have gone to my friend Bob's house. Interesting enough, I thought I saw Mr Tube dancing back in the left hand corner of the stage during the Sisters set.

    At 10:20 the Sisters took the stage. With a wave and a smile Von grabbed the mic and the double snare hits of Train opened the show. Remarkably there wasn't a ton of smoke, but no amount would dull the guitarists Florescent Yellow bike shirt and AE's top which was somewhere between hot pink and red. I still can't tell if the hair is blonde or white, but here's pulling of his best Andy Warhol impression.

    This was a fantastic show. The sound was great and the performance was an A+. Flood I was much improved. Dominion, Summer and Bei Mir Bist Du Schon were all excellent. Von was very interactive with the crowd. There was a conversation after Suzanne with some one that I only got one side of.

    FAN: ???,
    AE: In a Perfect World,
    FAN: ???
    AE: Now that's a good question

    Again AE made a comment about taking his clothes off but he didn't ask us this time. The Philly crowd looked less 'Gothy' then the NYC crowd. I thought he liked us, now I realize he just hates our clothes. The crowd was great, lots of raised hands, cheering and clapping. It paid off. We rewarded with three encores.

    After This Corrosion ended there was a lot of guitar noise and ruckus going on. The band walked off stage and the opening riff from Sweet Home Alabama started playing... It might have been a complete accident but the crowd cheered like crazy and several shouts for Skynard and Sweet Home Alabama were hear through the crowd. After 3 - 4 minutes back stage the Sisters showed up. AE said "You asked for it" and then that Sweet Home Alabama riff started again. AE actually sang the first verse along with some help from the crowd on the first part of the chorus. From there they went right into Sister Ray.

    The only down side was the light show, not that there wasn't enough lights, but the knuckle head at the light board spend more time drinking Jack Daniele and missing all the hits and fades. He completely missed the ques in Summer and in general was late on everything. But hey, I won't complain too much... The played Sister Ray.

    Written by Sarah James (minuit@erols.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Judy Renee Pope:
    > I can fill in part of this:
    > >FAN: ???,
    > >AE: In a Perfect World,
    > >FAN: When's the new album (or words to that effect)
    > >AE: Now that's a good question

    To quote exactly: "Where's the new album?" AE: "That's a good question." And he was grinning when he said it.

    Other quotes heard...
    New York - "You're being nice to us this time"
    Philly - "You're so nice, I could almost sleep with you"
    After Giving Ground "All you have to do is smile. No one gets that"
    "Shut the fuck up" (response to a fan yelling "dance for the man")
    Introducing Romeo Down "This song is about murder or a venereal disease. You choose."

    My review of the shows was that the NY show was the band having a damn good time, AE tossing cigarettes and generally smiling a lot. The crowd was trying to figure out if it was cool to have fun. The two idiots in front of me didn't move. I almost thought they were mannequins. Or dead?

    In Philly, the crowd was more involved (knew the lyrics to the songs, etc..) and didn't mind singing along at top volume. Before Tube came on, though, there was an hideous delay (his set was cut short) due to a computer (Dr. Avalanche) which a whole team was working on. From the second row, it looked like AE was involved...at least that's who I thought I saw through the smoke test. The people behind me were rather put out by the delay. Both nights were filled by people who were there for the fashion show. However, the band was having a good time, and AE smiled a hell of a lot.

    Hopefully, this touring of North America is habit forming.

    Written by Ariock Van de Voorde (van-de-voorde.1@osu.edu) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    I could not think of a better night, a better set, a better band. Everyone drained after the 3rd (and unplanned) encore, all left happy.

    After playing a new song that the band was... a bit rusty on, Eldritch made a remark about "In a perfect world..." as a half apology. I, as close to the stage a humanly possible, yell "Where's the album?". Eldritch looks, points, and says "That, my friend, is a good question". A fellow worshiper, as "gothy" as can be, and impressed with my 15 seconds of fame, tries similar after the next song, screaming something to the effect of "I luv you Andy" To which, came the reply "Shut the fuck up". That's rock and roll.

    Written by Judy Renee Pope (coyote@spookhouse.net) for Dominion mailing list

    Good show, maybe not quite as good as DC; that could have been partly the distance from the barricade to the stage at the Electric Factory (yawning chasm) as opposed to the 9:30 (arm's length), and therefore a personal perception.

    Pretty much the same setlist as NYC, I'd say (setlists are not my strong point unless I have it on paper in front of me), but with a second encore that started with Sweet Home Alabama (of all things), veered through Sister Ray, tossed in chunks of Lucretia, and finally wound up many minutes later with Walking The Dog. Whew.

    As Andrew announced "...you asssked for it..."

    Written by Steve (Vibhishana@aol.com) for Dominion mailing list

    The Philadelphia show seemed extremely undersold when I arrived just before showtime... just a couple of dozen people milling about in front of the stage. I joked that AE might get pissed at the small number of fans and cancel. It filled up rapidly after Tube though (wonder why).

    Still, even when the crowd reached its max, it was small compared to Dark Harvest III at the same venue, a few years back. Granted, at that time, DH3 was the ONLY planned USA appearance, and lots of people made the journey, probably figuring it was their last shot to see the band in this lifetime.

    Written by Martin Angreas Gedra (tallinn@umiacs.umd.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    > has anyone else out there taken photos at any of the other shows? (aside
    > from the DC show) I can't get over that smiling AE.

    I took some photos in Philadelphia, but in an ironic twist, the photos then were taken from me. According to security, the band told them no photos at the show. That is a different policy than in Washington. Oh well. I did see an occasional flash at the Philadelphia con concert, so maybe someone got some shots. Call the venue in advance to see the policy that night. Alternatively, if your conscience has no problems with it, you could try just taking photos a few rows back where nobody will see you to prevent you.

    At any rate, I did not let a lost roll of film detract from the show.

    Setlist | Reviews | Other dates