Kate's Minneapolis Show Review

Disclaimer: thanks to an overzealous bartender and his generous double shots of whiskey, my memory of the concert is occasionally blurred. Next year, remind me to watch out for the bartender with the tattooed eyebrows.

On September 27, 1999 I attended my first Church concert. I'd driven to Minneapolis from southern Iowa to spend the weekend with my friend Dave and his family; Dave and I were going to see the show on Monday. I wandered around Minneapolis, enjoying the fall colors and interesting little shops, so I was already feeling great when Monday evening arrived.

After meeting a few Seancers at O'Donovan's and outside the First Avenue Club, Dave and I entered the club. The club was nice, and filled with a mixture of goths, geeks, yuppies, and ordinary-looking folks. The first opening band was decent, despite their ridiculous name (The Busiest Bankruptcy Lawyers in Minnesota). The second opening band was depressingly unoriginal, though.

The bouncer ordered me off the chair I was standing on, but let me squeeze in front of the stage, right in front of a big sub-woofer (yeah, I had my fingers in my ears for some songs). I had a PERFECT view of Peter, and great view of Steve and Tim, but a lousy view of Marty. My off-center position meant that Steve's vocals were also slightly muffled.

In general, everything was very tight and skillfully presented. Even songs I never cared for, like "Grind" and "Dome," were fantastic. These songs were more fast-paced, giving them a solid feel that greatly appealed to me. I had wondered how some songs (like "Tantalized") would sound live. Would they be as powerful without keyboards, radiotronics, fancy backing vocals, etc.? YES! I didn't miss the frills at all. The music and songwriting didn't need the frills when performed live.

My favorites like "Myrrh" and "Buffalo" were heavenly, of course. I adored the new song ("After Everything," according to Seancers in the know). It has potential to be a radio hit, with the perfect balance of dreaminess and rock. It wasn't a dance song, but you could dance to it easily. Certainly my type of music!

I didn't hear much of Steve's famous clever commentary, but the guys looked fabulous, smiling and looking pleased with themselves. Someone on Sťance mentioned how great Steve's butt looked in those black jeans-I wholeheartedly agree. I couldn't see Marty's antics clearly, but I what I did see entertained me (lots of hopping around and hair-tossing). Tim obviously had a good time because he grinned so much; Marty would often face him and grin back. Peter was pretty static, but he did smile at me a few times! (Ack, my groupie-alarms are going off! Help!) But most often the guys seemed entranced in their music-so was I.

During the last song, Tim leaped through his drums and ran off stage. Marty's guitar joined the scattered drums (the guitar, of course, had broken strings everywhere), and then they all left the stage. Everyone on the packed floor was screaming for more, and I watched the roadies frantically try to reassemble Tim's drums. Someday, I hope I'm talented enough to have roadies clean up my mess.

I was thrilled to hear "Day of the Dead" for the encore. I hadn't expected anything from Sometime Anywhere. They also played "Cortez the Killer", and I marveled at how Churchy a Neal Young song could sound. Sometime during the show, they played "Silver Machine," and I laughed to hear Marty screaming "Silver Machine!" in a falsetto. I love it when the Church rock.

Since Dave was my ride and had to go, I didn't attempt to go backstage. Dave, who is only a passing Church fan (only owns MATS) really enjoyed the show, and said that he planned to get more Church CDs. Hehehe-another convert. Someday I'd like to meet the band (maybe I can talk Steve into an interview). I forgot to buy Tyg's in Space, so I'll have to order it from The Excellent Greg's Music World.

I had such a great time. I've decided on some things for next year:

* Avoid the bartender with the tattooed eyebrows
* Don't forget camera
* Don't forget to buy CDs and T-shirts (though I didn't see any t-shirts)
* Go to more than one show (Denver, Chicago, etc.)
* Meet more Seancers (Hi Marc, Ben, and Nicole!). Where was everyone?
* Stand in front of Steve so I can hear his vocals better
* Sneak into the sound check
* Bring the Anti-Steve (who was actually going to come, but couldn't get off work. He was looking forward to writing his own scathing review)

Thanks for a great show, Steve, Peter, Tim, and Marty.

 

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