1999/09/28, The Docks, Toronto, Canada

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

On September 25th Toronto's radio station CFNY 102.1 'The Edge' announced it's going to interview the band on September 27th; due to various reasons (not least of them being Detroit gig that same evening) the interview promise was rescheduled for 28th night, and in the very end all those listening to radio via radio waves or Internet were left with announcement that the man had border problems and thus can't come. As Tony Beck reports, exactly at the same time von Eldritch was chatting with fans at the concert venue, and explained his absence in the station as "I don't do things like that on gig days". Adam went to the station though (nobody interviewed him), and fans gathered there got free tickets.

It's not the first time CFNY failed to get pre-show interview from Andrew: they did it all before the previous gig in Toronto in 1998 -- promised an interview and got very surprised when Andrew didn't show up hours before the gig. Some people never learn.

The show went smoothly, albeit the crowd was once again sleepy. Andrew made joking comments about Americans; later Dominitoes hit back, and the discussion is archived in this site for your convenience -- don't forget to read that too.

Setlist | Reviews | Links | American comments discussion

  • 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
  • Will I Dream
  • First and Last and Always
  • Flood I
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
  • Summer
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Temple of Love
  • Something Fast
  • Vision Thing
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Tony Beck (tristren@earthling.net), Per Munther (PMunther@hatch.ca)
    Mike Varjak's setlist scanned by Tony Beck (tristren@earthling.net)

    Setlist | Reviews | Links | American comments discussion

    Written by Todd C. Gregoire (tcg3@buffalo.edu) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Our day starts at 3:30, when I meet Bob in ground-level basement on campus, near one of the famed french fry vending machines. We jump into his car and start the drive up to Toronto. The drive is fairly uneventful. We find The Docks fairly easily and pull in to the nearby parking lot, stretch our legs, and walk up to the venue.


    Soundcheck is still going on as we approach, and I can hear part of "Comfortably Numb"... I'm elated... having heard the Sisters version for the first time at the Toronto show in 98, this gives me more than a little hope for the performance of it later on.

    Waiting in line:

    Bob and I wander around, the weather is nice, surprisingly... after a while we get into line. We're close to the beginning, there can't be more than 10 or 15 people ahead of us... time passes slowly. After a while, Josh, Jess, and Adam join us... introductions between those of us who don't know each other. More time passes... we see Lori and Dan way back in the line... Q comes up to us. This is the first time I've seen him since January 1999. We all stand and talk, then eventually the doors open.

    After doors:

    We go in... I go to the bathroom, then right to the barrier. We're on the right side, facing the stage... we wait around... Lori and Dan join us. More introductions.

    DJ Tube:

    This is the most uninspiring "artist" I've ever seen. I was enjoying the boring electronic song with all the samples about drugs, more than I enjoyed his "performance". So, that means, it's merch booth time. I pick up 2 bumper stickers (one for this car, one for the next), and a T-shirt that I think will only be offered on the tour. On the way back to the barrier, I run into the Continental crowd... well, the crowd that I associated with back in the day when I went and worked there. Stop and say hi, then continue back to the barrier.


    The birds are vaguely pleasant at first... in progression, they're getting louder and Louder and LOUDER and *!*!LOUDER!*!*... I'm plugging my right ear, as it's directly next to the right speaker stack. This at least keeps the blood from boiling in it...

    Train/Detonation Boulevard:

    I've heard Train only once at this point before... I have a decent view of Eldritch, and I memorize the chorus the first time he sings it, the better to scream along next time it comes around... I'm surprised that it's not First And Last And Always


    This song is done well, but I'm still solid by the end of it... Q and I are singing along to every song... The sound at The Docks is much better than it had been at the Warehouse... we're not playing the "guess which song this is" game for the first 30 seconds of each song like we were at that show.

    Come Together:

    This song is pleasant, and I'm impressed by both the song, and again the quality of the sound...

    Amphetamine Logic:

    The speeded up version does very well live, and I'm glad to hear it again.

    Giving Ground:

    Through the intro to this song:

    Eldritch: "You'll be pleased to know that my girlfriend did turn up. You'll be distressed to know that she's the only other person in the building wearing white... but thanks for waiting with me anyways"

    I've been waiting since I first learned of The Sisterhood (which, unfortunately was AFTER the first Sisters show I attended) to hear this song live... I'm amazed at how well it sounds with guitars in it... starting to melt, even.

    We Are The Same, Suzanne:

    This song is really pretty, and I can actually hear it this time. Again I marvel at the difference in sound, but also I re-solidify.

    On The Wire / Teachers / On The Wire:

    This is the second time I've heard this done, but the first time I've been able to discern any details of either song... I am impressed.

    Will I Dream:

    This is an amazingly catchy song, and days later it's still popping into my head at regular intervals, often drowning out one of my professors...

    First And Last And Always:

    I recognize this immediately, as opposed to the 98 show, where it took me until the 3rd guitar part entered in the intro to recognize it. Once again I marvel at the sound quality, and note how much I like the speeded-up version of this song, too.

    Flood I:

    Eldritch: "How you doing people?"
    Crowd: *cheers & screams*
    Eldritch: "Me, too"

    Then the song starts. This is a surprise. A pleasant one, but Q and I look at each other, shocked... I marvel again at the addition of guitar chords in strategic places.

    Bei Mir Bist Du Schön:

    Eldritch: "Go on, get your 'ja, ja's out"

    This is new to me. It's got a pleasant EBM-like quality to it, then the guitars kick in, and I'm seeing stars... it's amazing. The string part meshes in perfectly with the rest of the song... I can't wait to hear this recorded...

    Eldritch: "Well, we were gonna hand out lyric sheets, but there's not that many of you can read Hebrew"


    Again, the sound quality. I can hear the song, I'm impressed. Admittedly, I can only count 4 shades of anything, and not 7, but I'm still impressed.

    Dominion / Mother Russia:

    Eldritch: "Don't take it personally - this IS a song about Europe"

    The guitar distortion is different, and makes it seem much more electronic than on the recorded version. I like the way it sounds, but generally, this song is a slight disappointment. I'm wishing Eldritch would bring along some female backup, or sample some, or something, cause the backing vocals sound pretty bad.

    Romeo Down:

    Eldritch: "Honk if you like the U.S.A."
    Crowd: *cheers, screams, AND boos*
    *song intro starts*
    Eldritch: "Unanimous"
    Eldritch: says something I can't understand
    Eldritch: "We really do not want their tanks on our lawn"
    Eldritch: "Or the tomahawk missile"
    Eldritch: "Or the F-117"
    Eldritch: says something I can't understand
    Eldritch: "...when it's parked on your lawn."

    The bassline to this song is amazing... when this comes out in a studio recording, it's gonna be blasting from my car in the warm weather.

    Flood II:

    Now I'm surprised again. I wasn't expecting both "Flood"s at the show. This song also has a much more electronic quality to it, and it sounds pretty good. The backing vocals are disappointing, but not as bad sounding as Dominion / Mother Russia. Yet again, the guitars are impressive.

    Temple Of Love:

    Again, it's just the second half of the extended version, just as in 98. This is the song that I first remember hearing by the Sisters... I'm hot, sweating, feel like I'm going to explode as I scream the lyrics... but I'm in heaven...

    The band leaves the stage, only to return after a few minutes that seem like an eternity.

    Something Fast:

    Eldritch: "Are you sure you want to go there?"
    Crowd: *cheers, screams*

    This is done well, although I remember the lightshow being a lot more impressive for this song last time. The backing vocals don't particularly impress me, but at least they don't sound bad.

    Vision Thing:

    This is a surprise, and a bit of a disappointment in that I was hoping for Comfortably Numb / Some Kind Of Stranger, but it's done very well.

    This Corrosion:

    Once the bassline kicks in, I know they're not going to play Comfortably Numb, but the guitars, yet again, make this song seem more electronic, and I really like the way they sound. It doesn't have the same feeling it did in 98, but it's still good. The chorus has heavier guitars added to it, and it sounds pretty good.


    Leaving the venue, we get some flyers for some events, Darkrave included... say goodbye to everyone pile into our cars, and it's time for the drive back home. I think we stopped at Subway on the way home... all in all, it was worth risking not being able to take a math test for, and making an ass of myself by not even knowing my math professors name when I took the test earlier that day.

    Written by Viper Calhoun (gothicredneck@hotmail.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Well well, the show has come and gone, and I have not been to bed yet, so I cannot honestly say I have recovered. But the question is, do I want to?

    Now here's my story.....

    7:30, our intrepid hero gets out of cab at the Docks. Anticipating a crowd much like at Warehouse (pretentious little goths who wouldn't let me into the front row) I have come in camouflage battle dress and 5-inch stiletto heels (yes, my feet are still functional, but barely), pumped full of chemicals and ready to go. Find lineup, get in line.

    (On a side note, did anyone else notice the short blond guy in sunglasses and black sweatshirt with skull and crossbones sitting out by the entrance smoking? Yes, I think it was.....)

    Finally doors open something like ten minutes late, after a half-assed security search in which the chick patted down my skintight shorts but didn't even bother checking my coat pockets, find bathroom, find bar, find self in front of stage.

    Much waiting, some people around me actually turned out to be sociable. Opening act sucked and was dubbed Monkey Boy by several other unimpressed concertgoers.

    And now for the main event. The intro tape starts. The stage fills with smoke. The crowd goes wild. And there they are... Started off with a lovely Train/Detonation Boulevard, followed by a lovelier Ribbons. Oooh, beautiful. Could have died then, really. Von actually visible through the smoke most of the time, grown the hair in a bit from last time I saw them, dressed in leather pants, some sort of shiny silvery vinyl-type shirt and white leather jacket. Seemed to be in a good mood, talking to the crowd and smiling a lot and outsmoking me. Mike seemed to have been designated bad-shirt guy for this show. Then there was Adam's lovely day-glo yellow.....

    Despite my growing dehydration and the determination of the rest of the front row to squish me into a little tiny space, and the pretentious gothy people that tended to fill the front row, sitting there with unimpressed looks on their faces, and the fact that I couldn't for the life of me understand what Von was saying between songs, (all I caught was at one point something about the US, and everyone started booing.)

    Flood I was just fucking brilliant. Don't know why they never play it, it just worked so beautifully... Other highlights include Flood II, Suzanne, On the Wire, and Logic, but all of it was lovely. At one point Andrew threw a bottle of that cranberry stuff right at me! But he fucking missed! Landed on the floor in front of the barrier, spilling vodka all over the place. Andrew you throw like a fucking girl!

    Then came Temple of Love, and that was just wonderful, the whole thing just came together, we were all going nuts up there. They take their bows, Mike blows me a kiss, and they're gone.

    We yell and scream and stomp on the floor, the stage fills with smoke once again, and they're back. It is at this point that I realize that was in fact Andrew sitting out there before the show, and I could have at least said hi. He had the same St. Pauli sweatshirt on with a skull and crossbones. (Not a soccer fan, couldn't appreciate it). They do Something Fast, then Vision Thing, kicked ass, just amazing. They leave again, they come back again, for the inevitable This Corrosion. Von cues us up, and we sing, oh how we all sing. Even the pretentious people were singing. They take their bows, and this time when they leave it's for good.

    It was then I decided to amputate my feet and replace them with cypernetic perma-stiletto implants. But all in all it was fucking brilliant. So much better than the Warehouse. Now I really must try to get some sleep.

    Written by Tony Beck (tristren@earthling.net) for Dominion mailing list and The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    I show up around 1:00 - 1:30 just in time to see them setting up. Frantic as ever things went reasonably well, though there seemed to be some problem with the way the monitor board was set up. There was a real problem with the merchandise though, i.e. it was stuck at Toronto International as Fed Ex had cleared pne box, instead of four. So they had a man standing by at the airport ready to whisk the stuff over. It arrived during the show, so there was a rush on the stand after, where I got a nice tour shirt.

    So Simon sets up the Doktor (I saw at least one new hard drive, and an emergency trip to the store for a Zip drive as well... ahh, technology). And the sound check begins, with Dave fiddling about on the guitars. But the best bit was hearing the good Doktor run through some tunes... much fun. By five the member have pulled up and are inside starting the real sound check. Adam and Mike and Doktor ran through Giving Ground and Comfortably Numb, with Andrew doing a verse or two here and there... much fun. Adam sings CN very well I might add.

    So sound check is over, and I'm back outside in line with a teeny handful of other fans who bothered to show up early. Who walks out the door but Von Eldritch himself (blond hair, St.Pauli jumper) and Simon. They are really very nice... As I've said before, anyone whom I have talked to who has not meet him, has said he's an asshole, anyone who has thinks he is nice. Mike comes out as well, and Adam goes off to the radio show. (Von seemed perplexed that people were expecting him to be at the station, he said "I don't do things like that on gig days" perfectly right). So everyone was standing around out front. I was surprised as in the past he has always whisked away out of sight. They seemed pleased with the fact that they were getting good reviews this tour. I mentioned that the only real complaint anyone had was the audiences. He agreed.

    Around 8 the doors open and to the front we go. My girlfriend was ill with a sever chest cold and mild fever; I was just getting over it, and would have to drive home 5 hours after the show, but it was well worth it.

    Tube was a lot of fun. Other people were bitching, but so what... A good time was had by some. His music was interesting, and better then I had gleaned from the RA files on his site. He played from about 9:15 to 9:50, we figured the Sisters would be on by around half past. By 25 past, the lights were down and the smoke was up. At one point during the intro tape the stage was lit with a turquoise shade that made it look like we were under water (this was repeated at one point during Flood). Spectacular. The center smoke machine broke or disconnected five times, and various people went up to poke it and get blasted by it. Dean got in place, and for those who want to know, they are planning on using some of the footage on the web site.

    Train started it all. The lights, the clothes, the moves. Von was wearing a white leather '70s style bike jacket over a silver vinyl shirt and black leather pants, sublime. The Sisters of Mercy are the greatest Rock n' Roll band that has ever been. I think by now everyone is familiar with the songs, new and old, so suffice it to say that they played wonderfully. They exploded with the first four songs and dropped into Giving Ground perfectly. Ranging through the new songs, mixing in the classics, and adding the beautifully rendered Flood I, it was sublime. At least I thought so.

    The rest of the crowd apparently disagreed. Now I was front row, and I wasn't spending my time looking over my shoulder. But aside from us and Viper Calhoun who is loud and can't catch perfectly tossed water bottles full of vodka-cran, but at least was there to enjoy the show (and bitch), no one in the front row was moving. My god, stationary. Next to my girlfriend was a girl in an ill fitting orange wig, whose only movement was to hide her face when Dean tried to film her. And there was no pressure from behind. Being pressed against the rail is not something I enjoy, but it is something I expect from a concert. Instead there was just the lateral crush of a lot of people wanting to stand in the front row and not move. It is, I suppose, conceivable that a wild orgy of rock bliss was erupting behind us... but when I did glance back, I saw a sea of mildly pleased faces, with a few ultra-cool no expression types as well. Sigh.

    But in spite of this Les Boys put on an amazing show, and, as has been mentioned of previous shows this tour, really seemed to be enjoying him self, he even tossed another bottle of water after the first one was dropped, and it was with an apparently sincere "Thank You", that he took his leave.

    I leave a happy man, and drive home.

    Written by Brian Showers (bshowers@students.wisc.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    They always seem to have border problems! When I talked to Mike Varjak before the Chicago show in 98 he said they had border problems then too! Especially Heavy Water Factory, who had more than just a little problem at the border or something like that as Mike winked at me. I got the impression that he was glad they weren't touring with them anymore.

    Written by S. Kennedy (limegreen44@yahoo.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Too bad there was no interview, but I was well compensated for all the time I put into it with several free tickets, so that was a salvage of sorts.

    Tube was great, but distracting from the true cause of the evening.

    Sisters took the stage after teasing for what seemed like hours. A whisp of smoke here, a flood of lights there.

    Eldritch was as wonderful as ever, very charming, whether he be quipping about our dear American neighbors, or just telling us that HE'S got a song for US...

    There were the usual sarcastic sounding things, a tirade during the intro of Romeo Down worthy of Bono about Americans parking their bombs and tanks on our doorstep, along with the question 'anyone here like Americans?' then leaning over and cupping his ear to the assorted grumblings that came afterward.

    Right after singing 'gotta song for me?' he said 'well, I'VE got a song for YOU'

    There was a good bit of banter apart from that, but those were the most clear for me. The vocals could have been a HAIR louder...

    Pearson rocked... hahaha... plain and simple, that boy just gets more entertaining each time.

    All in all, he had quite a good time. lots of smiles, lots of laughter, and a large amount of camaraderie with Pearson, in true rock and roll fashion. It's obvious that Eldritch is the last true rock star.

    Apart from that, typical show, better than the last, IMHO.

    All's well that ends well.

    Written by eldritch@nme.com for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    An absolutely amazing show - clearly my favorite from the past three times I've seen them play. Very slick sound, a lot of smoke, a lot of glamour... Andrew came out in a white leather jacket with a silver shirt and black pants. Pearson wore some glow in the dark 'scuba'jacket - with sunglasses to top it off.

    Very cool - Eldritch was in an usually good mood, I'm not exactly sure what could be the cause of his happiness, but he seems like he is really, really enjoying himself. He must have smoked at least 10 cigarettes during this concert. Numerous 'thank-you's' with a final bow to the audience were extremely dramatic to witness.

    The set list was standard, though no 'Sister Ray' for an encore. Oh well, at least I got to meet Adam and Mike. Upon asking Mike if we're ever going to hear a studio version of We are the Same, Susanne he replied that we will, though he wouldn't specify when. He said the band is looking at various options - whatever that means. The bottom line is that this band is too fucking good not to release a record.

    Highlights? It's hard to tell because everything was so good. Dominion, Flood II, Something Fast, Temple..., Vision Thing, Suzanne, On The Wire. I could go on and on. Sell your kids with the wife and go see the best band in the world, it's that good.

    Written by Jeremy Coffey (coffeyjt@hotmail.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I know I was relatively quiet cept for applause time as I was trying to pay attention, observe, take it all in, be entertained by Von's comments, hear over the annoyingly loud conversation of the people next to me who were debating since the intro about when to leave (decision -- before the encore). If I could have gone to more nights, I may have been a bit more extroverted in my Sisters appreciation at the later venues. But still likely not as extroverted as the guy who kept getting lifted onto someone else's shoulders, looking at Von at eye level and seemingly trying to provide "direction" to Dr. Avalanche by waving his hands.

    Written by Josh (jbh@acsu.buffalo.edu) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    All in all, the band performed well, but the sound was somewhat bad, and Andrew's vocals were barely audible through most of the performance to the point that the backing vocals were a lot louder than Andrew's and some of the songs were barely recognizable. The new songs were cool for the most part. My biggest complaint (other than the low vocals) was that the show was rather short, sticking to mostly singles and new songs... It seemed like the encore was over before it even began.... Of course, it's easy to point out the negative aspects...but the show was generally good, loud, etc... :^)

    Written by Yanick (joeyan@sprint.ca) for Dominion mailing list

    No interview, but Andrew was sitting alone on a bench beside everybody from 6:30 to 8:00PM

    Setlist | Reviews | Links | American comments discussion
    Setlist | Reviews | Links | American comments discussion | Other dates