2003/03/30, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Smoke and Mirrors 2003

March 30
April 1
April 2
April 3
April 5
April 6
April 8
April 10
April 11
April 12
April 14
April 15
April 16
April 18
April 19
April 20
April 22
April 23
April 24
April 26
April 27

Last update:

(C) Hans hansd@funprox.com http://www.funprox.com "It's kinda nice to be kinda home", - Andrew Eldritch, Amsterdam, 2003.

This show was first in Holland since 1991. Indeed, why do you need Holland shows if you play in Belgium last year, within hour of commute from any coffee shop?

This was the city of the famous 1983 Paradiso show, widely bootlegged from radio broadcast with agreeable sound quality. That one started with Burn and featured one of few early Temple of Loves.

Make sure you read the last review in this page. It's hilarious.

"You can thank me later", - Andrew Eldritch, Amsterdam, 2003.

Comments from non-job e-mail addy please. With her surprising surprise. The one from Chinese Budda times.

Setlist | Reviews | Links

  • Crash and Burn
  • Burn
  • When You Don't See Me
  • Doctor Jeep/Detonation Boulevard
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • War on drugs
  • Flood I
  • Will I Dream?
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Anaconda
  • Giving Ground
  • First and Last and Always
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Never Land
  • Temple of Love
  • Top Nite Out
  • Vision Thing
  • Thanks to Arne and Simon Cardwell and Otto.

    Setlist | Reviews | Links

    Written by Mandrake and Kiek (mandrake@telekabel.nl) for Dominion mailing list

    Just got back ourselves. Sulphur was crap - well sound system was, now me and my partner can't hear! Hope it'll be gone come tomorrow.

    It was the second time I've seen them. Last was the goth version, this was more the ebm version. Kinda Front 242, Accessory - stylewise.

    Eldy looked older than I remembered, shaven head indeed. Very good show from where I stood (right at the front). Not many quotes from Eldy. But fun was had by all my mates.

    Moshers, I didn't expect those for some reason. Lots of metal shirts, non goths as in blue jeans and white shirts. Young looking people, as in teens. The fact that Mike looks like Eldritch circa 1992 and Chris like Eldy early 1980s, spooky.

    And stranger still, someone told me that the singer for Sulphur is the Mission's guitarist from last year.

    Big surprise to hear When You Don't See Me and Burn. Never Land was awesome. No new songs, no covers. We heard the Doctor Jeep/Detonation Boulevard in the soundcheck outside in the afternoon. Also what I believed were the sounds of an unknown new song? Sadly the doors were closed too soon.

    The gig was also recorded on camera. I asked if it was for the DVD, she said "yeah, when it comes out in 2010". But at least stuff is being filmed.

    All in all great show. No Jolene though, LOL. Wonder what I'll miss in coming dates.

    I still want those new songs on cd, studio mixed.

    Written by "Snub Nose" (go2dominion@yahoo.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    First gig of the tour, newly built venue, with big capacity and - probably - somewhat over inflated expectations are what led me to feel slightly disappointed by the 'Dam gig.

    The gig had its surprises - a few newies, but no new songs. Andrew didn't seem particularly happy either, and crowd reaction was warm rather than hot.

    Aside from the odd song lead-in and a welcoming "good evening" after Crash and Burn Andrew had nothing to chat about at all, sadly.

    The venue itself is very well designed in my opinion, however the vast stage and standing area seemed to create a bit of an acoustic "black hole" for those of us enthusiastic enough to be at the front in the centre. The sound level hear was pitifully low, whereas to the sides, near the speaker stacks it was fine.

    The sound was weak at the front. As noted by the pissed Dutch guy shouting "this is bullshit! turn it up!" towards the end.

    Sisters gigs get a lot better than this, here's hoping the forthcoming dates will.

    Written by Chris Sampson (Chris@cgs123.demon.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    And we're off! The glamour of the long distance, international rock'n'roller. The smooth efficiency of Easyjet, the casual flirting with the stewardesses, the five star hotels, the plug ugly hookers on the Voorburgwal, the crippling hangovers.

    And how, 13 years after their last album, the Sisters can pull 6000 or so on a Sunday night is beyond me. Yet the cavernous Heineken Music Hall is packed. The support band were pretty mediocre and perhaps it would have been better if Eldo's first choice support - the magnificent Cooper Temple Clause - had been available.

    Both Nige Lites and Jurgen aren't on the tour (Nige apparently stuck by the war in Dubai), so that might account for the alleged dodgy sound early on. From where I was standing (or rather being thrown around by the rabble at the front - that means you Pawson) it was fabulous. It's easy to forget what a massive, imposing wall of noise the Sisters put up live; a fluid throbbing mass of energy right smack in your face. No-one else can match it.

    Pearson, stage right, sucks his cheeks in, trusty Gibson being given a thrashing. Starling, who has stopped doing that annoying bending down at the monitors thing, seems more confident. And there, after a brief pause straining the eyes through the yellow and red fogs obscuring the far reaches of the stage, is Eldritch. A Beckhamesque No1 cut and still thin enough to be able to squeeze himself into the skinny, khaki "People's Republic of West Yorkshire" vest.

    It is Eldritch's interaction with the wall of noise that elevates the Sisters. Sometimes, as with Vision Thing, he seems to be in the vanguard of it and creating its energy. Sometimes, as with Flood I, he seems swamped and overpowered by it. And the friction is at its most interesting when the relation is ambiguous: "When You Don't See Me" was the highlight at Amsterdam - this wounded beauty of a song works on so many layers, being hurt and hurting at the same time.

    So, no new songs, but the old, old stuff and the old, new stuff have still got plenty of mileage in them. Coming to a venue near you. Unless you live in the States that it.

    Written by Robert Haagsma for Algemeen Dagblad (2003/04/01)

    Translated by kenny@kennyville.com.

    "Was this it?", a girl asked her boyfriend, right before getting into a toilet. Right after the concert of The Sisters Of Mercy, the halls of HMH are filled especially with grumbles about it. The fans of this band are one of the most loyal, but in the first concert in Holland, in ten years, that loyalty doesn't pay off.

    The band with eccentric singer Andrew Eldritch had, in the eighties, worldwide success with melancholic rock, filled with dark romance and decadence, quickly labelled Gothic. In the next decennium, the band is on hold for a long time. Eldritch lives in Amsterdam and Hamburg, makes a few dance records in Germany and is could is a legal dispute with his record company. In the meantime freed from his old record deal, The Sisters Of Mercy, with Andrew Eldritch as lone original band member, goes on the road again.

    Right after a few songs it becomes clear that the night will end in disappointment. Eldritch, bald and still very skinny, is hardly visible in a low cloud cover, provided by a battery of smoke machines. Assisted by two guitarists - the rest of the music comes from a hard disc - he goes to work uninspired. Contact with the public is ignored and the scarce announcements are mumbled platitudes.

    Those who paid the 30 euro fee for an evening of classics is extra deceived. The trio emphasizes on a to be released album later this year, which apparently is still to be recorded. In itself it's very courageous to not sponge off of old successes, but if the oldies are also seriously mutilated, that's asking a lot of the audience. But the most disconcerting discovery is, that Andrew Eldritch is a mediocre singer at best.

    Written by Robin Colman (sisters@pandora.be) for Dominion mailing list

    The first 40 minutes yesterday sounded like a test for the new tour: Andrew was not talking much, power was missing in the first songs, Doktor Jeep not being half fast and strong like it sounded live in 1990. Temple of Love, Vision Thing and Snubnose were the best songs of the night.

    In my opinion, the best shows of this tour will come later!

    From Groen Draakje
    > Did anyone at the HMH last night get Sisters coins out of the
    > drink-token-vending-machines? I didn't know they had new coins made for
    > every show and I got mine outside at the box-office.

    Got one Sisters (nice!! '30 maart 2003 The sisters of mercy + support act: live will never be the same' printed on it). And 1 Tori Amos. *grin*

    Written by Dave Whelan (mandndave@btopenworld.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours webzine

    Up In Smoke And Mirrors

    The Sisters in Amsterdam. What a tremendous opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. As it were. A Sunday gig at the Heineken Music Hall really did require a full weekend in the city to do it justice. And that's exactly what it got. After spending Saturday and Sunday reaching ever more worrying states of mental dysfunction, in marvellous places like The Dolphin coffee shop and various red-light bars, the time came to work out how the fuck to get to the gig. No easy task, but a taxi eventually took pity on us, probably having seen us carved up, once again, by the cycling militia.

    The HMH lies next to the tremendous Amsterdam Arena, home of Ajax. The hall was reportedly designed with acoustics as a priority, a pleasant change from some of the toilets the Sisters have played in the past. Before the show, I could only go off a Rammstein bootleg from the venue. This was promising enough. After finally cracking the 'cash for tokens for beer' system inside, it was surprising to observe the largely 'regular' alternative crowd file into the hall. Not too many uber-goths, though the twelve-foot tall android who helped us overcome the cig machine certainly looked the part.

    Sulpher appeared on stage, and made a reasonable stab at industrial metal. I thought they were alright, contrary to most other opinions, it would seem. Almost as good as Cubanate at the Apollo in 97.

    However, they came and went, and soon enough the packed hall giddied itself as the Sisters intro kicked in. Crash And Burn sounded awesome, crystal clear sound and mesmeric lighting helping to charge things along. Surprises then followed thick and fast; Burn, When You Don't See Me, and Doctor Jeep / Detonation Boulevard obliterating a million whinges about lack of variety at Sisters shows. When You Don't See Me  in particular stood out, having transformed into an Industrial Chugathon of the highest order. Christ, I thought to myself, they're out-Rammsteining Rammstein.

    The rest of the gig flowed as Sisters gigs do, only with better sound and lights. Roughly two-thirds of the way back from the stage, the lightshow could be appreciated in its full glory, and with the added benefit of a THC haze, words like 'cosmic' didn't seem inappropriate. Oh dear. They were outstanding on Dominion, the silver-white pillars of light perfectly matched the dynamic of the song, which also served to waken sections of the crowd still unsure of what they were witnessing.

    Other highlights included the gorgeous Floods I and II, Summer, as ever, Will I Dream? (what a riff!) and First and Last and Always. There wasn't a weak song played, to be honest (not that The Sisters have any), but for much of the gig the audience response was 'subtle', to be polite. No doubt a combination of unfamiliarity and too much weed. 'It's kinda nice to be kinda home', and 'You can thank me later' indicated Von had picked up on this too. Unlike several gigs over the last few years though, the band didn't appear to let it affect them, and the gig just kept getting better.

    Never Land and Top Nite Out (or whatever it's called this week) were stunning, before the traditionally ferocious Vision Thing put the show to bed. Once again, The Sisters had kicked ass, this time with industrial-bastard strength boots. I have no recollection of getting back to The Leidseplein whatsoever (it was that good), but the Rolling Stone bar was treated to several loud and off-key renditions of Burn before the inevitable crash finally caught up.

    To summise, it was an outstanding show in (just outside) an outstanding city - 'It's kinda nice to be kinda home' - quipped Von from the stage. The sound was as clear as you like, and the lights worked perfectly in the large hall. I was well surprised at how full the place was, not that many scary uber-goths freaking me out, either, which was a relief.

    One of the immediately amusing things about Sunday night, so it would seem, is that no one can remember the setlist. That definitely figures. Don't ask me. Oh yeah, and as expected, I failed to meet anyone. Shucks.

    Absolutely outstanding. Bring on Leeds.

    Written by Otto (carcrashblues@yahoo.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Just returned from the gig here in Amsterdam, it was brilliant. Smoke and Mirrors indeed.

    First of all: NO NEW SONGS.

    But - first we got Crash and Burn, followed by, surprise surprise golden oldies: BURN and When You Don't See Me, the first performance ever.

    No "classics" such as Body Electric, Alice or Something Fast, but hey, you can't always get what you want.

    All in all, a great sounding show, but Ribbons was really missed.

    A bold Eldy, Adam and Chris (wearing a shirt with the print "TALENT") were in a good mood, but the interaction with the public could be better IMO.

    I bought a decent colourful Smoke and Mirrors tour shirt and a-New-Sisters-logo-on-the-front -Sisters-on-the-back shirt and GPS 05. Not that cheap, but hey the Sisters stay priceless;)

    The latest album from Mr Starling can also be bought at forthcoming gigs, I intend to do that in Düsseldorf.

    I took about 85 pictures, I hope I can post them later this week. I'm sure some of them are pretty fine.

    Enjoy the gig(s) you are going to.

    Written by Anders Rehnsberg (heartland@home.se) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours webzine

    Intro was the same as the summer tour 2002. Crash And Burn sounds cruel and aggressive as ever. Burn was a nice surprise, sounded better than 1997-ish version with Mike Varjak on guitar.

    When You Don't See Me was also a nice surprise, new drums and guitar riffs. Dr Jeep/Detonation Boulevard, one can always imagine why Eldritch have replaced Train in the medley ;)

    The rest of the gig was a average performance. Sound problems during Romeo Down, overall the sound was horrible mixed by the new soundman. Perhaps someone could ask him to knob down the bass?

    Hi goes to Paulx2, Donna, Annica and Sven, Jochen, Christian and Marcus.

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

    Good show IMHO, although there were some sound problems during Romeo Down (Adam's bass was inaudible for about the first two minutes or so).

    Great to hear Burn and When You Don't See Me in the setlist. The new medley (Doctor Jeep / Detonation Boulevard) was interesting as the guitar riff sounded new and completely different to the record. Probably have to hear it again.

    Von now has VERY short hair (almost shaven) which makes him look not dissimilar to Eminem IMHO!

    A good show - but the best is probably yet to come!

    Written by Arne (arnemail@dds.nl) for Dominion mailing list

    Went to the first concert of the 2003 'Smoke and Mirrors' tour yesterday in Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam. It seemed to me to be rather well sold-out.

    The concert was great and lasted for almost 2 hours - especially the second half of it ruled. Andrew saying 'meanwhile...' from time to time in between songs. In the first half, they were playing a bit below volume I thought, but hey, that's better than to loud, isn't it?

    The crowd, which was kind of old, liked it a lot.

    So, no big covers as far as I could detect, and if I'm not mistaken, that's something we haven't seen in a long long time.

    A friend of mine taped the concert, the sound was awesome.

    Written by Paul van Leipzig (amphetamine72@hotmail.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Heineken Music Hall. Been there, done that - got the t-shirt.

    Lame vibe and attitude during the 1st couple of songs, killer at the end. Von was in a rather good mood which makes all the difference.

    One down, five more to go. Been dead most of today at work but who gives a flying fuck? Tunnel vision and the scars to prove it. Especially after spending a lot of the on the ferry from Newcastle to Ymuiden the day before.

    > Are you in 100% sure that When You Don't See Me was played?

    It WAS played at the soundcheck (over and over) and at the actual gig.

    Written by Pindy Panesar (pindypanesar@hotmail.com) for Dominion mailing list


    Me and my six mates decided on going to see the Baron play in Amsterdam for the first date of the Smoke and Mirrors tour.

    We booked our flights from Birmingham and sorted the accomodation well in advance and were really looking forward to it as apart from myself and one other, we had never seen the Sisters play live.

    We arrived in Amsterdam all excited and hit the first coffee shop and then the next and then the next and then the next; you get the idea!!

    We decided to purchase our tickets the following Saturday but somehow found ourselves in another coffee shop, no probs we'll get them Sunday morning.

    Come Sunday and a slight case of overbombing on the weed, well, WE MISSED THE ONE REASON WE CAME TO AMSTERDAM 'COS WE GOT TOO CANED!!!

    Please forgive us Von Eldritch for we do not know what we do!

    Setlist | Reviews | Links
    Setlist | Reviews | Links | Other dates