1999/10/01, Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL, 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

With Andrew still in good mood things can't get worse, no matter how not-so-enthusiastic is the audience. Even one more opener in addition to DJ Tube -- local electronics TSR-80 -- couldn't spoil things.

Just like in Toronto, people waiting outside the venue saw von Andy, only this time he wasn't willing to interact.

Setlist | Reviews

  • Intro: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola

  • First and Last and Always
  • Ribbons
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • Come Together
  • Giving Ground
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Will I Dream
  • Temple of Love
  • Flood I
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Vision Thing
  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger
  • Something Fast
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Daniel Hultman (rise89@hotmail.com)

    Setlist | Reviews

    Written by Jason Boak (jboak@chorus.net) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    We arrived early enough to be first in line (repeating the same feat we had accomplished on the Event Horizon tour). As we were waiting outside, Andrew walked around the corner and just went right in through the front door of the venue. He was accompanied by an attractive, skinny brunette. He was looking down at the ground and walking fast but was polite enough to respond to someone's "Hi Andrew" with a "good morning".

    Upon arriving we had seen on the sign above the Riviera's entrance that another opening act besides Tube had been added. It was a local band called TSR-80. They basically were all synth work and samples and had a very atmospheric sound which actually was quite boring. Then Tube took the stage. Basically whatever you've read about him is true. He pushes the buttons on his two computerized music making consoles and dances around a lot. Although he did seem to have some sort of problem with his equipment which fortunately he was able to fix during a song. By the end of Tube's set, the crowd was getting sick of electronic music. When Sisters took the stage one fan jokingly yelled out "this better not be another computer band".

    About ten minutes after Tube's table of toys was carried off, smoke filled the stage, "Fly and Collision" started and the lights went down. We were front and center and had seen the Sisters camera man's setlist and so we knew that when the Sisters came on stage they would greet us with FALAA. The show was loud and smokey. Sound in the Riviera was alright, but AE's vocals were sometimes lost in the mix and you couldn't hear him that well if he wasn't screaming.

    Overall it was an awesome show. Andrew really is in a great mood. The crowd was into it but certainly not as much as they could have been. AE put on another commanding show and was more often smiling about it than not. A very spirited performance I thought. He was somewhat talkative but very little of what he said could be reasonably understood through the Riviera's below average sound that night.

    But get this, the highlight for me was that Eldritch, after having watched me in the front row dancing around and singing loudly along with every song through the first half of the set, went back toward the Doktor, picked up his little plastic bottle of vodka and cranberry juice, took a big sip and then walked to the front of the stage and stopped in front of me. He then made an underhand throwing motion with his wrist to warn me that it was coming and then tossed the bottle to me!! It was probably the best souvenir I could have gotten from the weekend. It's now proudly on displayed in my bedroom.

    After the show in Chicago it was home to Madison and then up early Saturday to head for the twin cities.

    Written by Monte Householter (MHouseholter@foc.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Whilst standing in line to get in the Riviera, I spotted AE (looking pretty scruffy in St. Pauli sweatshirt) and girlfriend (very gothically attired - what was that about AE hating Goths?) hand-in-hand walking past us. I said "Andrew", by which he just keep on walking by pretending to not to hear me. I suppose he didn't want to cause a commotion with the other fans, or maybe he and said girlfriend were heading to the nearest corner for a pre-gig shag, I don't know.

    The show was the almost exactly the same as in Feb 98 which was a little disappointing. If you were there in 98, there really wasn't much of a reason to show up. Same setlist (minus "War on Drugs", plus Andrews Sisters cover), same lights, same band, same gaudy clothes, same bottle of mystery fluid tossed to the crowd. I don't think the show even sold out like the 98 show. The crowd was pretty subdued during most of the show and who could blame them. When AE chooses to play 5 new songs and rearrange the classics (FALAA, This Corrosion, Temple of Love) so they are barely recognizable, a hushed crowd is to be expected. I mean, most people there didn't realize they were playing This Corrosion til it was halfway over. I think I speak for most fans in saying that if AE really wants to continue the Sisters legacy and gain some new fans, he should release a new album and then tour. Otherwise, it's just a "Sound & Vision" greatest hits tour.

    I really don't have a problem with reworking the classics if the reworked version is better than the recorded version. If not, then why bother with the song. For example, on Bowie's last tour, he rearranged his older songs ("Jean Genie", "Always Crashing the Same Car") to considerable success. I was merely commenting on the lack of enthusiasm by the crowd for the rehashed classics.

    Written by George Carless (gcarless@pangeagroup.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Well, I've just returned. Yes - the show was very good, with Andrew in fine form, and much more enjoyable than he had been back in Philly or the last shows I went to in London. I'm far too tired to write a full review, but I'd have to concur with SIN's view of all the idiot goths and the general audience - things were very quiet; once again, nobody knew any of the old songs or the new ones, so I stood there in my decidedly non-goth attire singing along to "On The Wire/Teachers", etc., surrounded by black-clad tadgers who didn't seem to know who the hell they were watching.

    SIN, you didn't miss much by being up top. I was down around the fifth row, and things were devoid of life. My various attempts to stir things up a little did little more than earn me nasty looks from various scary people, but there we go.

    Various notable (very much paraphrased) quotes for the evening include:

    "Well... I guess you're not that ugly";
    Something along the lines of "Follow the bouncing ball.. from right to left" - before Bei Mir Bist Du Schon;
    "We're always available for bar mitzvahs" - after Bei Mir Bist Du Schon;

    .. all in all, I enjoyed the show very much - if only the crowd had been more involved, it would have been an unqualified success. However, the atmosphere in the audience was pretty fucking shite, to put it bluntly, particularly in a set that was somewhat restrained. The one upside was when Eldritch managed to get everyone to sing along to This Corrosion: a spark of life in an otherwise dead crowd. Who looked it, of course.

    Oh, and Bei Mir Bist Du Schon was fantastic; much better than any of the new tracks - I found 'Will I Dream' to be much improved, 'We Are The Same Suzanne' to be really rather good this time around, 'Summer' to be one they should drop, and 'War On Drugs' absent, and unmissed.

    The performance was great, but the reception wasn't. I can't really sympathize with those who have been saying "how can people be receptive when all the songs are different," etc. - for starters, the Sisters played old greats, like Train, which (as I've already stated) barely anyone seemed to recognize, and secondly - well, as has been said, who wants to go and see the same old stuff revisited without innovation?

    Daniel Bremmer (daniel@peachfuzz.net):
    > The fact is, most of my friends who are casually into the Sisters who went
    > to the Vision Thing stops and the Event Horizon stops opted not to see
    > them because they felt that it would be too much of the same.

    Perhaps, but if they don't take the chance of going along, they've nobody to blame but themselves for missing out on a good show with many new elements. Having been disappointed with Sisters shows over the past few years, I wasn't planning on attending the show in Chicago, either. However, I was caught up in all the positive reviews I'd been reading, so I decided to go along - and, suspect quality of the audience notwithstanding, I'm very glad I did.

    I'd have compiled a setlist, but I felt that there were, as it was, more than enough people scribbling notes when they should have been moving their bodies, jumping around, dancing, pushing one another over, etc. etc. etc.

    Written by Ben Feist (feis0021@tc.umn.edu) for Dominion mailing list

    I must completely disagree with earlier reviews of the Chicago show. I was excited about the show, but I can hardly believe how great it was. I was at the Riviera show in '98, but I didn't know the new material or even Train, On the Wire, and a few others. This time I knew everything, except the new cover, and enjoyed it much more. Therefore, it seems wrong to say you shouldn't have seen this show if you went last year.

    I was there, nearly at the front of the line before the show when I heard someone yell "Andrew", as I turned to look, there he was looking terrible and holding hands with... a girl of all things! He didn't respond to the calling of his name at first, but right in front of me, he managed to grumble out a "good morning."

    Despite how he looked at 5:30, Eldritch was in fine form when they took the stage. I had two problems with the tour prior to the Chicago show. One was that they didn't open with FALAA, the other that they didn't play Comfortably Numb/SKOS. Well, they played these for me and I was quite happy. All they dropped from last year was War on Drugs and Anaconda, which I didn't need to hear.

    I didn't even take a look at the audience, what do they matter to me? All I know is that I was there, against the rail, between Andrew and Adam, and my best friend, girlfriend, and dad were there beside me. I once heard that Andrew only sings to the first few rows, and that sure seemed true. He looked right at us, smiled and laughed with us, nodded and screamed at us. He DID NOT play with the crowd in this way last year.

    I leave with nothing but fond memories and a handful of merchandise.

    Thanks Mr. Eldritch

    Written by sinsyster@yahoo.com for Dominion mailing list

    I wish I'd been down in the front at the Riv, because the GeriatriGoths(tm) behind me (in the tier farthest from the stage, 1st floor) barely moved (or danced, sang, etc.) at all during the show. Boring! If you're one of those people, don't bitch at me - I happen to be an Eldergoff myself, and at least had the wherewithal to bounce, pogo, wave, scream, and make a complete and utter ass of myself!!! As far as the actual event was concerned - I'll leave the in-depth reviews for the critics...

    Suffice it to say, I'm damn glad I went, even though: a) it wasn't the manic screamfest that Boston '91 was and b) it seems strange that they're still calling themselves the "Sisters" when there's only one remaining original member. ;> Android was in fine form, apparently wearing the same outfit he'd worn in Toronto. God, I hope he'd had it washed in between shows (shudder)...

    Anyhoo, "This Corrosion" was weird and disorienting without ol' Trish and company doing vocals; "Flood"(s) I and II were lovely, and TSOM's version of "Comfortably Numb" had me swooning. And Von kept thanking the audience - apparently, we're "not so bad!" How reassuring...

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

    I was at both Chicago and Minneapolis. I thought they were both stunning -- much better than when I saw them in 98 in Chicago and Philly 97. The new songs are really tightening up, Susanne being one of the best in my opinion: Bei Mir Bist du Schoen being a rollicking good time! I am also of the opinion that Gimme Gimme Gimme should be added to the set.

    My opinion of an opening song: stick with First and Last and Always, Andy! It makes much for of an awe inspiring impact than Train -- that, and it's easier to get the audience to sing along. But like I said, over all I was very impressed and think they're doing a real bang up job for a band who hasn't released anything new since 93.

    In Chicago I brought my younger brother along (he was the 13 year old in a white t-shirt and jeans). Joey was right up along the guard rail on Mike's side. At one point during the show AE came right over near him and stared at him for a few seconds with his head inquisitively cocked before flashing a little smile and returning to center stage. Mike was also giving Joey little faces here and there -- needless to say, Joey had the time of his life and was absolutely thrilled by this whole thing.

    Written by Tory Mulch (vonmulch@csj.net) for Dominion mailing list

    Chicago quotes, as best as I can remember...

    "Andrew Eldritch here to serve you tonight" - early on in the evening
    "You're not too bad looking"
    "If it's going to whine (?) like that mate, just turn it off" - his mic had a nasty warble
    "Sing along, just follow the bouncing ball from right to left" - before Bei Mir
    Before Comfortably Numb/SKoS he said something like "Sometimes I don't like to play this kind of song"
    "Hey, we like Chicago!" - Adam, at the beginning of the second encore

    Written by Anna Mulch (vonmulch@csj.net) for Dominion mailing list

    I personally thought that the Chicago show was great. For one, I threw my bra at Adam!!!! Sorry, its a tradition. My husband Tory and I made it during Ribbons, I totally rocked on This Corrosion, and all in all it was fun!!!!! He came over to our side of the stage and I adored his little dance!!!!!!! Yummy!!!! But the Andrews Sisters cover I think was the highlight of my life!!!!

    Setlist | Reviews | Other dates