1999/10/06, Warfield Theater, San Francisco, CA, 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

This show was the first to feature setlist which become standard for the rest of the tour: it was played in 4 out of 7 remaining gigs of the tour (and among the 3 other gigs, Atlanta's setlist isn't known, and Mexico City's setlist was basically the same, but with two additional encores).

Presence of tables and the dinner option sparked much jokes; yet even more sparks in Dominion were caused by a long, interesting and highly negative Arthur Mathie's review; all of them are gathered in the additional page.

Still happy and joyful Andrew was cheerfully ignoring California's law prohibiting smoking in venues where alcohol is served -- just like during the Event Horizon visit.

Setlist | Reviews | Additional reviews

  • Intro: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola

  • Ribbons
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Come Together
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • Giving Ground
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Temple of Love
  • Will I Dream
  • Flood I
  • Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • First and Last and Always
  • Vision Thing
  • Something Fast
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Erika (misserika@ivillage.com), Dragonfly59@aol.com

    Setlist | Reviews | Additional reviews

    Written by Arthur Mathie (Arthur.Mathie@nsc.com)

    This provoking review inspired a long discussion -- too long to be included here, so it has been given a separate page. Just thought you might like to know this.

    The Warfield Theatre is situated in close proximity to Market and Sixth Street, down-town San Francisco, an area known as the "Tenderloin". Home to prostitutes and their pimps, clearly observed when purchasing fags with my comrade at arms Lisa, one "executive " pimp began assaulting his "whore" accusing her of "stashing the cash". If Carol Smiley ever "Changed Rooms" for Herr Eldritch, this would clearly be the chosen theme. The Theatre itself owes more to early Vaudeville days with it's two tier mock Victorian grandeur. Housing no more than 1,200 "guests" this was The Sisters returning to their early cabaret days. I fully expected Roger De'Courcey and Nookie the Bear to do the warm-up. As it happened the "support act" went un-noticed, in part due to dis-interest but more-so due to that peculiar California by-law which prohibits smoking in any public place. No reason to enter before the main event. This was to prove rather cumbersome for Von, more of this later.

    Outside throngs of San Francisco's finest "goth" aristocracy inhaled their last nicotine fix under a blaze of neon and faded 70's facade. Inside, the absurdity of the venue exploded. Standing in the aisles was prohibited, it inhibited the duties of the cocktail waitresses serving the seated masses, tables at gig? Was this the BAFTA awards? I could have been mistaken for thinking that this was "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe", sit back, relax and watch the goth galaxy explode before your eyes. The stage itself was small, draped in red crushed velvet much like a seaside Punch and Judy booth. I reminisced about the "Puppet Show" all those years ago. It was clear however by the amount of light bulbs that the pyro-show would be up to the usual standard.

    The lights fell, the smoke filtered through the hall, the pre-amble began. Imagine "Afterhours" mixed with "Rain From Heaven" with a splash of Blade Runner, where did those pan-pipes come from? Enter the Sisters, "Ribbons"... And so stood Von, resplendent in bleached Joey Boswell bouffant and what looked like Astronaut fatigues ala James Brolin, Capricorn One, hmmm Capricorn, more of this later. Disposable guitarists, one looking like the bloke who was shagging Sally Webster in Coronation Street, the other a reject from Dexy's Midnight Runners. Von goes throw guitarist like I go through milk. Familiarity may breed contempt but "Train / Detonation Boulevard" is the "Auld Lang Syne" for the forgotten generation. As "Giving Ground" swelled I knew we were on to formula set list number 2. How true, "Come Together" and let's fall asleep to "We Are the Same Suzanne". The "new" songs played for the second year in a row don't seem to age well. Somebody give this guy a record deal so this dirge can be recorded, forgotten about and surpassed. Still "Amphetamine Logic" lifts the spirits slightly. A surprising outing for "Flood I" ensues, spoiled only by the fact that it goes on for what seems like an eternity. The "On the Wire" intro still does that "you thought it was gonna be Gimme Shelter tease" then we are tortured with "Summer" however early parole is quickly granted with "Dream" the best of the new bad bunch. Let's go "Temple of Love" annoyingly started from the middle, as seems to be the done thing these days before a dark lament entitled "Capricorn ?" is thrown upon us. Von's respect of local Californian law disintegrates as he decides that sneaking quick puffs behind Doktor Avalanche is not very rock and roll and so thrusts his fags out in public to the shocked gasps of the crowd. This guy could impale babies on spikes! "And her hallway, moves, moves like San Francisco", yeah very drool! After the "why do we enjoy playing here the most?" reminiscent of Brucies "you're so much better than last weeks audience" on Play Your Cards Right "Flood II" brings Act 1 to a close. The verdict so far? Summer re-sits for first year Eldo.

    The encores... Is that "Alice" ? No it's "First and Last and Always" played with the annoying pseudo Philip Glass riff. Take out all the stuff that made ""First and Last and Always"" great and substitute Jan Hammer, still "Dominion" goes as read as does "Vision Thing" to end encore numero uno. Eldo now clothed in a nice white T-shirt from Marks and Spencers with "Vietnam" written on it, very controversial. Meet Sigue Sigue Spunik's new singer or maybe that should read Shampoo's?

    Encore zwei, "Something Fast" does it's bit as the song noone could ever dance to before a final goodbye from "This Corrosion" a strange closing number considering it moves like pregnant woman through a bath of strawberry jelly.

    The crowd goes wild, Eldo stands there soaking the adulation much like Nik Kershaw would at his year 2005 anniversary concert. The fact remains, a set list which Yuri Geller could predict. What I would give for a "Walk Away" or a "Marian". Thank-you Mr. Hussey for a splash of "Adrenochrome". New songs which are basically two years old and very familiar re-writes of "Logic" and "Giving Ground" don't cut it. Buy the bootleg, buy the album three years later if it's ever released.

    Are you feeling provoked? Read what others had to say.

    Written by Don Raskin (raskin@cwnet.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    After the good, but not great, Event Horizon tour of 1998, and the lack of any new recordings, I was still looking forward to their appearance at the Warfield in San Francisco. My wife and I arrived and were happy to see that there was a good size crowd. Some old fans, some new fans, some regular looking people, some people dressed up looking very gothic, all here to see the Sisters. I checked out the shirts and was a little disappointed that the only shirt that had tour dates on it was the $32 long sleeve shirt. I liked the new logo and the logo for the "To The Planet Edge" tour. I settled for a short sleeve shirt since all I had was $25.

    I headed into the main room and straight down front. I found a spot on the lower level that was right about center stage. I scanned the crowd and was happy to see that there we're any real tall people that were inevitably going to stand in front of me and block my view of the show. I looked at the stage setup and it reminded me of the one that they had used for the Event Horizon tour. It could be my imagination or just remembering wrong but it did look bigger than the Event Horizon setup, and it seemed to have more lights.

    The lights dimmed and the smoke started pouring out over the stage. This is what I had been waiting for. The opening music started and more smoke poured out. This had been one of my complaints with the Event Horizon show in San Francisco; not enough smoke. I had seen the Sisters on the Vision Thing tour and that was one of my sharpest memories of the show. The smoke had hung in the air like cotton and Andrew would jut in and out of it, at times becoming completely obscured by the smoke. Event Horizon hadn't provided this experience and I found myself a little disappointed. Well, this night sure made up for that. The fog machines were working overtime as the smoke obscured the stage at times and floated out over the crowd. I sat there waiting, anxious for the band to hit the stage.

    They finally strolled out and exploded into "Ribbons". Andrew still had his bleached hair, though it had grown out some, making it look much better and more natural. His voice sounded excellent as they ripped through he song. I was impressed by how great the sound actually was. The Event Horizon SF show had been marred by murky sound. This was clear and great. The band was tight and they played through the set, mixing old and new songs effectively. No real surprises were played and I was disappointed that they didn't do "Comfortably Numb", but liked the inclusion of "Flood I". A small part of me kept hoping that Dr. Avalanche would break down forcing Andrew to have to sing "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" acappella like he did in Irvine way back on the latter leg of the Vision Thing tour. No such luck. But they did play a flawless set that amazed me with how good they actually are live. By the closing song "This Corrosion" it was clear that the Sisters had returned with a vengeance.

    The interesting thing for me happened after the show. My wife and I were hanging out by the back stage door, hoping to catch Andrew when he left. I had in hand the Floodland and the Sisterhood "Gift" cd covers, which I had already had Patricia Morrison sign when I saw her play with The Damned. I dared to hope for an autograph, knowing full well that Andrew usually doesn't sign, and wondering how he'd react to the CD's signed by Patricia. I hung out for what seemed like and eternity (which was actually about two hours). By that time there were seven of us waiting patiently. My wife and I were about the fourth people back in the "line" that had formed by the backdoor.

    Both guitarists came out the back and talked to people briefly and signed a few things before hopping on the tour bus. We sat there waiting, knowing that Andrew had to leave sometime. Several minutes later the door opens and out he comes accompanied by a older, bigger gentleman (who I believe was the tour manager but am not really sure). Andrew walks past the four people standing in front of us without getting their attention. I'm watching him walk by as he's heading straight for the bus, ignoring everyone in typical Andrew fashion. I grab my wife, whisper "that's Andrew" and we head off following him. He hops on the bus without giving us a second look. We get to the bus door shortly after him and the man that was with him looks at us. I ask him I he could get Andrew to sign our CD covers and he says sure and takes them from us.

    I look around and of the seven of us that had been waiting out back, we were the only ones that seemed to recognize Andrew as he walked by. The five people that are hanging out at the back stage door are starting to look over at us and realize what is happening. They start to walk over. Meanwhile my wife comments that Andrew is taking a long time to sign, as we'd been waiting there for several minutes. I comment that "that can't be good" fearing the worst. "Andrew saw that they were signed by Patricia and is currently peeing on them" ran through my head. Then we hear him laughing on the bus and the tour manager starts to laugh. The CD covers get handed back to us and we thank him as the bus door closes.

    I look down and he has signed his name on both CDs. Next to Patricia's signature on the Sisterhood CD he has written 230 lbs. Next to his autograph he has written 55kgs. Then I look at the Floodland cover which he has also signed and written right under Patricia's signature "Who didn't really play on this record". Amused we walked back to the car with a sense of victory. We had gotten Andrew's autograph and we seem to have amused him. A successful night overall. Definitely looking forward to the next time they play.

    If anyone has any of the San Francisco shows on either video or tape I'm interested.

    Written by BenFlores@aol.com for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    This would be the first of four nights with the Sisters, so I was greatly looking forward to it. I had seen them about a year and a half ago, but only one time, in a less than spectacular venue. I had a feeling that the San Fran gig would be something special. I showed up half way through the opening band's set. He was basically a house dj doing electronica, but it was a decent way to begin the night. Tube seemed to be pretty decent, but I couldn't get in the mood for him. I think those t-shirts had all of my attention. WoW... This tour would have an excellent selection of tour stuff and classic Sisters shirts. The tour shirts would use a neon green on black, with the tour being called, "Sisters to the Planet Edge". And there would be a ferocious critter on the back of the shirts, that would remind me of Velociraptor, but who knows for sure.

    By the time I got inside the actual floor area it was packed. I had to kind of squeeze my way down near the stage. The Sisters would come on around 9:45, and play till about 11:30. They started the set out strong, and ended it spectacular. Andrew would be sporting a white motorcycle jacket that looked vintage. Andrew and Adam would do wardrobe changes through the show, while Mike steadily strummed away. Later, Andrew's t-shirt had Viet Nam inked on, and I think he took a felt marker and wrote "uDo", with an arrow pointing up. Classic Andrew Eldritch...

    Neon green was the flavor of the tour, with muscle and might supplying the back drop. The only new song left off the set list would be the sensational "War on Drugs". They played Flood I and also covered a song called "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon", or something like that. I don't think there was a weak moment all night long. The crowd was simply fantastic, and Andrew really played up to the excitement.

    The intro was much better than the Hollywood Paladium show last year. They opened with Ribbons and never looked back. Some of the newer songs seem to be reworked a bit. Suzanne is still Suzanne, lights out!!! Summer really caught my attention this time around. A little harder than I remembered, and very powerful. Romeo Down also packs a bit of a punch. The newer tracks, are just plain cool. The Floodland material is still fresh, and the Vision Thing era still soars high.

    All of the favorites were played to a ruckous delight. Mike really gets into This Corrosion and Dominion, which makes for an explosive moment. I think those moments might be some of the most intense times at a Sisters show. But Andrew can really play up to anything, and have everybody going at it.

    Suzanne is still my favorite of the new material, but Summer sounds like a bonafide hit, while Come Together is a dancers delight. That song makes me want to crash some club floor. Anyway, the performance was top notch, and just the start of things to come. I left as soon as the house lights came on, because I needed to take care of my t-shirt fix. I ended up with four of them, plus two patches and two stickers. I was then back out in the street and on my way to a San Francisco night. I hope everybody enjoyed this remarkable event.

    Written by Sandra (lemures@sirius.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Opinion: Spectacular, glorious, and I can die complete now.

    I of course don't remember the set list because I was having way too much fun just being there, second row center front, crushed and having a glorious time, but my only complaint was that I was maybe too close -- I couldn't tell what song he was singing until the song was half over, I was literally trying to lip read to figure out what he was saying. And I've been a fan since 1986, I've got the boots, I know the songs, and I still couldn't tell half the time. However, I did start the evening much further back in the audience, and did not have any trouble then. So this was not Andrew's fault, but the Warfield's.

    The crowd rocked for the more well-known anthems (Dominion and This Corrosion, notch, but also FALAA), but very often seemed to not otherwise care. I, however, was standing exactly in the audience where Andrew played to all evening, and definitely had part of Something Fast sung to me, so I was happy, and screw the dumb asses who don't know a good thing when it comes around.

    Also, and I don't know what to do with this which is why I post it to the list, but after the show as my friend and I were lingering up at the front near the stage, waiting for the crush of people to ease out, we noticed one of the Warfield employees (this was a guy whom I'd seen grab two cameras from the audience -- literally flinging himself out and grabbing them away) go to adjust something underneath the stage, and what he actually did was take a tape from a tape machine and then hand it off to someone out in the audience. It happened so quick, we didn't think to realize what he'd done until a minute later. We hung around some more and made some small talk with the employee and got his name, for what it's worth, but it's hard at this point to prove he had done anything illegal. It's just crappy to think that Andrew's being ripped off by people at the very venues he plays.

    Written by Rootnegative1@cs.com for Dominion mailing list

    >what he actually did was take a tape from a tape machine and then hand
    >it off to someone out in the audience.

    The tape that was taken, was originally from the girls to the left of me. They said he took the tape, and not the recorder. After smashing all the cameras on the ground, I wasn't expecting anyone to mess with that.

    Sandra, second row, center? Must have been behind me... Tall guy, short hair, tight silver shirt, front row, middle (exactly)?

    Overall I had a very good time, though I did get a slight burn on my left middle finger, front Von flicking his fag at me. I also nabbed another of Von's famous V&C bottles, which I in turn, gave to one of the guys I stood in line with, whom Andy really threw it to, but not before I passed it around a bit. Last year at the 1st Maritime show, I did the same, but kept the bottle. I had been reading the setlists off the net for awhile, and was disappointed not to get the DAT with Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger, but at least we got Something Fast, right?

    Though many disagreed, I saw something in some of Tube's sound that interests me, though I couldn't say I wanted him on the stage, knowing the Sisters were in back. Dead man Talking? that's funny... The samples were from Jacob's Ladder, Tim Robbins is married to Susan Sarandon, who stars in a movie Dead man Walking (which is also a David Bowie song, who starred in the Hunger with her).

    Got to talk to Dean, the cameraman again, same one from the other shows. He says that its possible that SoM.com will be putting some videos from shows over the last 10 years on the net there, a lot of the stuff he recorded, etc. fingers crossed?

    Written by voodoo@aimnet.com for Dominion mailing list

    I dunno what all this talk about U.S. crowds being unresponsive is about - the crowd tonight was very active - lots of dancing and singing and cheering.

    Andrew seemed in a fine mood as well. he was working the crowd and enjoying the response he got. Mike and Adam were also noticeably enjoying the energy.

    The set seemed a little truncated - two encores, but they did not play Comfortably Numb.

    The venue was more than twice as big as the Maritime Hall, where the Sisters played on the Event Horizon tour (of course they did play two consecutive nights there).

    There were tables in the back 1/4 of the hall, sure, but the rest of the floor is wide open. I found myself in the crowd three people back from center stage. Not an aisle or waitress in sight.

    Setlist | Reviews | Additional reviews | Other dates