Seattle @ The Premier Mar 25

Gig reviews, set lists, thoughts, comments and observations on the mammoth 2006 25th Anniversary tour.
MutantRomance
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Was great to finally see the Sisters live. But who else in Seattle thought that the sound at the Premier was awful? I really don't think the person running sound in that place knew what he was doing. Other than that, it was fairly enjoyable. I was able to see the band come in and out of the smoke. AE made some comments about Washington's smoking ban ("This is one fukked up state").

Not world rocking, but cool.
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Ozpat
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Thanks! Welcome to HL.

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7anthea7
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MutantRomance wrote:AE made some comments about Washington's smoking ban ("This is one fukked up state").
He also had some words concerning the high proportion of fuckwits in the audience...You know, the ones who "love" The Sisters and and Andrew so much that they can't be bothered to get to the gig in time to be at the front, so they physically force themselves through the already highly-compressed crowd, try to verbally intimidate those who aren't giving way, and then either holler so loudly right through the song you can't hear anything, yell out the lyrics so the actual vocal is utterly obscured ('look at me, me, ME!!!'), call out for a different song (what, are you having an attact of ADHD?) or - and this one beats all - talk loudly amongst themselves about how fabulous it is to be at this Sisters show...during the songs. (The guy who was dead centre on the front line did us all the favour of flagging down security and getting the worst offender and his crew of loud-mouthed slags 86'd, hallelujah.)

So there's more to the f**ked-uppedness of Washington than just the attitude toward smoking. :evil:

Regarding the sound: There's a pattern developing here. How many shows to date on this tour have not garnered complaints about the sound? I haven't by any means followed every single discussion - far from it - but I seem to hear this one more often than anything (with the exception of fog/smoke, about which: What did you expect, anyway? It's a Sisters show. Get over it...). The only real 'sound' problem at this gig, I suspect, was Himself - and that's nothing new. He's always been a sound tech's nightmare; there's no technical fix for mumbling. It's difficult to believe that every venue they've played has sound problems (although the SF show sounds as if there were some genuine ones). During the number-and-a-half of the final encore that Andrew was sulking (or whatever) backstage, the sound was fine (not brilliant, but adequate). My suspicion is that people have expectations of a recording-quality performance...which has never been something one should be counting on with The Sisters, bootlegs notwithstanding.

For the record: Seattle has a significant population of FanGoths, about whom...I will refrain from comment :wink: Few appeared to be in attendance - reading their board gave a clue to the reasoning behind that, and I for one did not miss them. There was a more Standard Issue Goth presence, but they were primarily in the back of the room being Too Utterly Cool to Move, rather than up front impeding the motion of those of us who rock. I ended up solo (friends were there...but lost in the crowd somewhere), in the second rank from the barricade, beside a sort of GothRocker couple who were quite pleasant company and offered to let me come share their space when I was being leaned on (rather literally) by one of the Fuckwit Brigade. (Little did they know the pits I've survived...although I'll grant that it takes longer to recover from the bruises and whatnot these days :( ) Very few Hot Topic BabyGoths, though, which was also revealing; in this town, they're actually almost entirely into Industrial and Hardcore, they only look like Goths. Those present in that age range were mostly into Schoolyard Heros and the like, which accounted for the stage-rushing behaviour (ah, the joys of all-ages shows: all that adolescent testosterone hanging heavy in the air...). Except for the ones who apparently were there because they're Catherine Wheel fans. Does anyone else find an acoustic Rob Dickinson set to be just the weirdest opening act possible? :eek:

Anyhow, the show started off reasonably well - that was before the morons had bullied their way through. Actually got a bit of, uh, 'shade'-contact, for what that's worth - possibly because Washington state is also severely style-challenged, which would not suit Mr Eldritch's aesthetic sensibilities at all. I did rather stand out in that crowd, as it were (and who who by choice would want to look at a great tub o' lard in a hoodie?). His focus slipped occasionally as the audience displayed the unfortunate truth that many of them belonged in a bar with a DJ or in an arena rather than at a club show, but he recovered, albeit with a couple of instances of verbal chastisement for Bad Behaviour. In the end, I thought he was altogether too gracious, given the utter lack of respect he was showed, which probably surprised me more than anything. I only hope he noticed that it wan't the Goths who were the problem - they're guilty of enough, but I'll grant that they never behave like these particular gits did. Whilst I enjoyed the show in spite of the difficulty factors, one of my prime reasons for going to see someone live is to be in the company of others who share my passion. I wouldn't even want to share air with that lot.
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Silver_Owl
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Excellent review. :notworthy:
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Martin
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Yes!

First, you point the fact that the crowd is part of the show too.

Second, for the sound. There's always someone complaining about sound when we speak of The Sisters of Mercy! Even when I make podcast from cds or original vinyls! So…

For us, in Montreal, sound was good but some have complained about it. True that we lost Von's voice a few times, but it was clean and heavy.
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Brad
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Setlist??
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Petseri
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I guess that we can bin the Seattle thread started already and listed in the gig index. :urff:

Nice review up there, though. :notworthy:
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eastmidswhizzkid
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nevermind martin/petseri (two martins could be confusing) -the appreciation for your index will blossom when this is archived. :notworthy:

excellent review 7anthea7 :notworthy: :notworthy:
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owenwick
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This is my first post, but I have been trolling around the board for a few months now. I was at the show two nights ago in Seattle and I was so disappointed I felt compelled to register an account and voice my opinion on here.

In fairness, a large part of the let down was due to the fact I wasn't even allowed into the venue until close to 10 pm, forcing me to miss all the opening acts. I wasn't given a straight answer by the security guards regarding the actual reason for this, but apparently there was a failure at the security checkpoint near the front door that required half the audience to be patted down a second time.

My real complaint comes from the sound at the show. It was so incredibly bad, I was in utter amazement that a band could charge $30.00 and not expect any complaints for it. I realize the Premier venue is large and echoy, but the problems at this Sisters show went way beyond that. The volume level was so soft, that the background music played from CD before they even took the stage was almost at the same volume level. It was so damn soft, I could actually hold a conversation at a normal speaking level 20 feet away from the stage. This is ridiculous! When I go to a show I want to feel the bass hit me, I want the guitars to rip my face off! I felt stupid singing along because my voice was actually twice as loud as what was coming from the stage. I could see people around me all scratching their heads in confusion as well.

The Sisters obviously bring their own sound man, so why would he even consider keeping the volume so low? Was the Premier forcing them to turn it down? I really just want to know what the cause was. I had been waiting for this show for years and I just can't help but feel upset and cheated from the experience.
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itnAklipse
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This sound complaint i wholeheartedly sympathize with...i can only hope the sound will be loud enough when i'm there.
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owenwick wrote:This is my first post, but I have been trolling around the board for a few months now. I was at the show two nights ago in Seattle and I was so disappointed I felt compelled to register an account and voice my opinion on here.
'tis perfectly awright, but you gotta know that it probably won't make any difference anyway. We have all the reasons in the world to believe that :von: doesn't give a damn what we think anyway.
And BTW, welcome to HL. 8)
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7anthea7
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owenwick wrote:...apparently there was a failure at the security checkpoint near the front door that required half the audience to be patted down a second time.
Ah, I'd forgot about that...As someone else observed, the Chris Brown show (at a different venue) the night before had a line that stretched around the block, so it was sort of ludicrous that not one but two police cruisers came by while we were waiting to get in. (The door security also seemed to be on the hiphop side.) When someone said 'They're worried about a Goth show???', I didn't bother to correct them, because the sense of the thing was spot on. (It might have had something to do with the massacre that had occurred at post-rave party a few blocks from my place that morning. Maybe they were afraid another failed-artist-and-gun-nut was going to come blow away a bunch of people in black? I dunno...)

However, I digress...I was about three people away from the door when the guy who was then being patted down was discovered to be carrying a flight bag that held a bleeding pharmacy. Granted he was diabetic, but he had his insulin needles just loose in the bottom of the bag - very bad form - and literally dozens of prescription bottles. He claimed he 'doesn't get out much', and if he's that ill that he needs all that stuff, there's probably good reason for it - but how can anyone be so oblivious not to realise they can't be carrying all that stuff into a club??? So that certainly slowed things down, since the guy working that line was apparently new to the gig, and had to have the women's frisker look at it for him, who had to call in their supervisor once she started digging, who had to then get the club's own security involved...So we were all stalled at the door for quite some time over that little fiasco, since they only had the two people to handle the frisking. If they had to do people over again after they were already inside...crikey :( That would be frustrating, to go through all that and then feel the show wasn't up to snuff.

For the record: Unless you're a Catherine Wheel fan, Owenwick, you didn't miss anything. Dickinson was the only opener, and wouldn't have enhanced your experience any. (Not dissing the man here, just saying he was...a tad out of place, musically speaking :urff:) And my suspicions regarding the sound issues stand: I think it's being mixed way down by intent. As for precisely what that intent might be, your guess is as good as mine; the man is an Enigma with a Capital E... I do know that the louder you go in spaces like that, the messier it gets. Typically I'd say that if one were going for clean sound, opt for less volume. Clean, however, is rarely an adjective I use in conjunction with The Sisters ;)
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tristren
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Eldritch has said that he can sing well, or he can sing loud, and that in recent years (this was '99 I think) they've gone for loud.

I guess this tour they went a different route. If he has 52 (now 54 I suppose) dates to do, and if he finds it hard to sing loud.....




Tony
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eastmidswhizzkid
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there's no way eldritch is behind the sound being turned down. for starters he's a full on rock 'n' roll motherfucker- drugs, chicks, smoke and lights may be essential to the show but there wouldn't be a show if the music didn't rock.
and he's well aware that there are hundreds of different gigs available that show any amount of live flaws/weaknesses warts an' all. and he gets off on the experience of playing live -something he wouldn't be doing if he could hardly hear himself or the band.

i'm getting so bored of defending the band to our ungrateful whinging phillistine colonial cousins*...he's had your money -what should i care if you enjoyed it or not? he's coming to europe and you know full well that everyone is going to have a great time. it'd be stupid not to. :von:

*no offense to true US sisters fans, natch. :wink:
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tristren
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So the fact that the volume has been quite low at all of the gigs is whose decision then?
I'm not complaining, the volume was fine by me and added to the clarity I thought, but it was noticeably softer than it the last few times I've seen them, and softer than the Warlocks.

You figure that Eldritch really wants it loud but his sound guy is overruling him?


Tony
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mugabe
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eastmidswhizzkid wrote:he gets off on the experience of playing live -something he wouldn't be doing if he could hardly hear himself or the band.
Sound on stage != PA sound
eastmidswhizzkid wrote:i'm getting so bored of defending the band to our ungrateful whinging phillistine colonial cousins*
Why would you defend the band from accusations of bad sound and/or too low volume? If people feel they're not getting their money's worth, whatever the reasons, this is a band related problem. AFAIK, they run the show.
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itnAklipse
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Agreed with eastmidswhizzkid.

Eldritch may be a genius artist, but even he alone simply can't take care of everything regarding the live-show, so to blame him for sound problems, whilst he is obviously doing a fine job on what his actual task is, performing, is a bit demanding. So who others are left to blame if the band is to be blamed?

Ben and Chris? No one has even suggested it could be their fault so i won't even assess this ridiculous idea. So it's not the band's fault, unless you really seriously demand Eldritch doing _everything_ by himself.

And if it's the fault of the Sisters sound guy...if he manages to get the sound great on some venues and not too good on others, doesn't this suggest some inherent difficulties in the venues where the sound has been bad, rather than that it would be (again) Andy's fault for hiring such an obviously unprofessional sound guy who can't do his job at all?

i sympathize with those afflicted by the sound problems, but a) in most cases if you let yourself go a bit you'd find it's possible to enjoy the show anyway and b) there's no reason to blame the band for it.
It's simply ridiculous to suggest things like Eldritch should rule over the sound guy.
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czuczu
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tristren wrote:So the fact that the volume has been quite low at all of the gigs is whose decision then?
I'm not complaining, the volume was fine by me and added to the clarity I thought, but it was noticeably softer than it the last few times I've seen them, and softer than the Warlocks.

You figure that Eldritch really wants it loud but his sound guy is overruling him?Tony
Not at all. His singing has been getting quieter each tour. The last few tours I saw it was barely louder than a conversational pitch. He can still let rip when he wants to but I doubt he can do it every night.
So the band is generally a little quieter than most to compensate. It's a long tour too - I've only heard bits from the Anaheim recording but he's certainly not pushing his voice as much as he used to.
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AlBéRiCk
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Those of you who do play in a band know about this: the sound you get on stage through monitors is very different to what the audience gets.

Saw Bauhaus in Paris last month and the PA system crashed during the first song without the band noticing it...

Also, keep in mind that the sound volume is subject to laws & regulations and is different in each state/country.
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eastmidswhizzkid
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motorhead -at one time reputedly the loudest band in the world- have as much control over things as any other band. however that doesn't stop venues from overruling them, eg birmingham international arena a couple of years back where the sound was so low you could talk over it. lemmy was moaning about it too -must have been his fault then?

as for monitors then of course it is possible for the sound onstage to be fine and offstage awful. having played in loads of bands with and without the benefit of monitors i know for a fact that it is possible for the sound to fuck up in either set of speakers when the gig is going . but we're not talking about the sound fucking up are we? we're talking about the planned sound.that's what soundchecks are for -to set the levels pre-gig.

if it was down to the band then who forgot to tell the soundguy to turn it down at the gigs where the sound is spot on? :roll:
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eastmidswhizzkid wrote:motorhead -at one time reputedly the loudest band in the world- have as much control over things as any other band. however that doesn't stop venues from overruling them, eg birmingham international arena a couple of years back where the sound was so low you could talk over it. lemmy was moaning about it too -must have been his fault then?
Definitely not. I saw them in Freiburg and they were loud as f**k. All amps on 11 !

BTW if Motörhead is the loudest gang on earth, then what do you make of Spinal Tap ?
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Jaryn
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I too was at the Seattle show on the 25th. My night in a nutshell:

Arrived at the show around 9:15 give or take. Line was around the building and ended near the tour bus parked there. We quickly made our way around to the front but were still near the far side of the building. A female security guard came by and informed us that there was a second line for the "guys" only for security. We quickly moved to that line and were inside the venue within 5 minutes.

I feel a little ashamed to say I spent the opening act in the bar not really paying attention. We just stood at the back of the bar on the small stage there and drank until the Sisters came on. We then moved to the floor and easily found spots abour 1/2 back from the stage.

The smoke and lights were fantastic. It was extremely easy to see the guitar and for the most part AE was visible for the whole show. He only faded in and out of view a couple times, not counting his "This is a F'd up city" smoke break. I actually thought this was funny as hell, but hey that may just be me.

The audience on the floor seemed to be enjoying the show. The only issue I encountered was an extremely drunk guy standing next to us at the beginning of the set. He thought it was the cool thing to do to stand there and keep flipping the finger to AE and yelling "F*** YOU!" at the top of his lungs. He then stumbled his way into the crowd and was lost to us.

The sound at the beginning of the show was just not good for vocals. I personally thought the bass and guitar sounded great the whole show. I found myself having a hard time figuring out what the song was until about 1/2 way into each song though. It was extremely hard to pick up any of the words AE was singing. I was with a couple of friends who like the Sisters, but are not as familiar with the songs as I was. They kept asking me what the hell song they were playing, and still had a hard time following along with the lyrics.

I do have to say that ToL and Vision Thing rocked the house. I am not sure what happened, but something changed in the sound mix for these two. I thought the vocals sounded really great as did the rest of the band. If the entire show had sounded like these two it would have kicked ass!

Oh as a side note, because of the smoke, I was not able to see the bass until about 6 songs into the set. I knew he was there, I just never saw him until then. For some reason this actually worked for me instead of bothering me.

All in all I was pleased with the show. The sound, with the exception of low vocals, was better than I expected. I thought the overall sound level was great, the vocals just needed to be bumbed up a bit.

I did not feel cheated, or upset about it at all. I was there more for the experience of the show, not the songs themselves. I wanted to go in with an open mind and experience the experience. This was not my first Sisters show since I had seen them in Salt Lake in 90 or 91. The experience this time around was more an experience than a live gig. Salt Lake was a live gig with way better sound overall.

I am pleased I have had both now.
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Jaryn wrote:Oh as a side note, because of the smoke, I was not able to see the bass until about 6 songs into the set. I knew he was there, I just never saw him until then. For some reason this actually worked for me instead of bothering me.
Thanks for the nice review. :notworthy:
You might wish to know that the Sissies don't have a human bass player. All bass duties are handled by the good Doktor Avalanche.
Yup he's a drum machine, so what ? ;D
One of the two guitarists can very occasionaly pick up a bass, but that's all.

Now don't mention it ever again if you don't wanna be laughed at. :innocent:
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Jaryn
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Ahh yes. I have no idea why I wrote BASS player, when I was thinking other guitar player.

Thanks for the correction. :D
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tristren wrote:So the fact that the volume has been quite low at all of the gigs is whose decision then?
I'm not complaining, the volume was fine by me and added to the clarity I thought, but it was noticeably softer than it the last few times I've seen them, and softer than the Warlocks.

You figure that Eldritch really wants it loud but his sound guy is overruling him?


Tony

did you notice the volume went up during alice and anaconda and back down again?
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