Fillmore, San Francisco

September 23rd 1998

Keith
Two messages from Keith, who happens to be my brother :-) The first was a quick one from his workplace after the gig.

"fight breaks out at concert...Steve claims it's the first fight since '82"

"Tim thought the air conditioning was being piped in directly from the toilet"

Steve's bass stopped working half way through a song.....

Some asshole ran to the sound board, messed with all the dials, and ran out of the hall, totally screwing up the levels.

The second was a bit more detailed...
There were only 400 ppl at the Filmore (Tim calls it the Fill-Less, btw), but the hall certainly didn't feel empty when you were standing up close next to the stage.

The guys were a little slow in getting started, not quite having the energy that they packed into the Palo Alto show. This time around, I was right next to Marty, so I couldn't hear Peter's stuff as clearly. Marty didn't get into the first couple of songs/solos as much as he did at the PA show, in fact he looked a little disappointed with himself a couple of times.

Never mind, though, coz he ROCKED OUR WORLDS in Day of the Dead....gettin' mighty trippy with the whammy bar and wah pedal. It seemed to go on for a bit longer than the Sometime Anywhere rendition. He was just getting further and further out there as the song progressed, it was great.

He started getting a bit playful during one of the tunes....throwing in some little triplets instead of straight quavers (8th notes for the americans *g*) in his chord progressions. He looked like he was having a lot of fun doing it, too...smiling mischievously to himself. It's nice to see him experimenting, even when he's not soloing his ass off.

There was a bit of tension in the front row of the crowd because a couple of idiots were making life difficult, telling Steve to "fuck off!!" during the quiet part of one of the last songs. Steve said "yeah well, fuck you too!". I asked Tim if that threw off the band, but he said that it actually relieved some tension and didn't throw them at all. I leaned over to the guy and yelled at him "way to ruin the set, asshole!" (Steve looked a bit thrown at the time, I thought, so I was cheesed off). He yells at me "I'm bound by The Church!!" and this other guy in the front row just *SNAPS*. He turns around, puts his hands around the guy's throat and just throws him to the ground, about four rows back. They start beating the crap out of each other and the crowd goes wild. Apparently, Tim was going wild, too, but I didn't see it :) Both of them were thrown out, though I wish they didn't throw out the guy who did the stranglin'! He did us all a favour.

I nearly got into a fight with the hick who barged his way to the front, his ridiculous hat blocking the view for ppl who flew a long way, and spent a lot of money to catch the show. I asked him to move, and he wouldn't so I threw his hat back...WAY back into the crowd...but it came right back :(

Another bummer was that he was kinda freakin' Marty out, reaching for his fret board whenever he would come close to the crowd. Bloody hicks.

Keith


Geoff Leamon
I guess I should start by saying I'm the guy that *SNAPPED* at the Fillmore show. First off I want to apologize to the band and to everyone who attended. I deeply regret what I did, and I am horribly embarrassed by my actions that evening. I'm actually a very mellow, easy-going person who hasn't been in a fight since junior high! This was extremely uncharacteristic of me. I'm not looking for sympathy, I just want people to understand what exactly transpired that evening.

The evening started off on a good note, but it quickly went down hill and soon began to take on a surreal, nightmarish quality. My friends and I positioned ourselves up front early. We were chatting with other Church fans. The vibe was great, everyone was very friendly and social. It was great to be in the same venue I saw the Church at for the first 10 years ago. In between the 2nd band and The Church, my friend noticed this girl being really obnoxious in front of us. She was completely wasted and was giving everyone around her grief. She was upset because a monitor was in her way!? She kept threatening this poor guy next to her because she wanted his spot. I got fed up with her shit, and went to get security. A bouncer followed me back and asked her to come with him. She flipped out and started struggling with the guy! She got loose and grabbed her full glass of red wine which she proceeded to dump on my head. Then the bitch slapped me and yelled out, "Thanks a lot, asshole!" I have never been so humiliated and furious in my entire life! I managed to keep my cool, and didn't let it ruin my evening.

The lights soon went down, and my anger was was replaced by sheer bliss as the band hit the stage. They sounded better than ever! About half way through their set, some ass-hole threw a full beer at Marty. Some of the beer actually landed on me. I must have smelled like the biggest drunk, which is ironic considering I had nothing to drink all night! This dickhead then proceeds to start throwing ice and other projectiles(again, I'm hit!) He somehow managed to weasel his way right behind me. This guy was the biggest fucking loser I have ever witnessed! A punk rock version of Side-show Bob from the Simpsons with purple dreadlocks is an accurate description( I'm a magnet for these freaks, I swear!) He started yelling things at the band and elbowing my friends. I tried to ignore him, hoping he would move away. After The band played "Reptile" and left the stage he did leave....but he came back just in time for the encore. As soon as the band started "Destination" he yells, "Fuck you!" 2 or three times at the band at the top of his lungs. Steve stopped briefly and yelled "Fuck you, you idiot!" I exchanged a few words with him, then I completely lost it! I turned around and grabbed him by the neck and pushed him to the middle of the floor. I managed to get him on the ground, and somehow got in a couple of shots before the bouncers grabbed us. They had to pry me off him. The next thing I know I'm outside The Fillmore explaining what happened. I had to hear the last 2 songs from outside the venue. Afterwards people actually came up and thanked me. I was surprised, I thought people would be mad and disgusted with me.

In hindsight, I wish I would have handled my rage better, but given the circumstances I'm not sure that would have been possible. Afew years ago I gave Steve and Marty a ride from Sacramento to San Francisco. It was one of the most incredible evenings of my life. Something I'll never forget. I was really hoping I'd get a chance to say hello after the show. I pretty much ruined any chance of this happening with my act of stupid senseless violence.

"That's my story.... Nothing special...."


[Update Jan 2003]
Hello Brian, Great site of the worlds Best Band. I am writing to clear up what I believe to be important although It may seem trivial now some three years later. I was present at the Fillmore show in Frisco as well as The Belly up ,Doheney days, and the house of blues show. I actually talked with Steve for a bit about the album Priest-Aura which eventually evolved into classic greek literature. This was at the Doheney days show and the band seemed relaxed,but thats not what I writing to say.

Like I said I was at the Fillmore during that mayhem of a show and can say I never saw soo many loosers in one place in one evening. But I feel that an injustice has taken place in the form of misinformation I recently discovered in your concert review page. I was in the that crowded mess of people on the semi right side of the stage facing the band stuck right between the hillbilly with the ten gallon hat and the the red faced drugged out loser who enjoyed shouting profanities. I believe it was the start of (Destination ?) when the drugged out loser shouted "FUCK YA" in favor of the particular song and Not "FUCK YOU " which Steve unmistakingly heard.

The result was the guy was jumped on by fan who was just trying to watch the show. I just thought it was unfortunate that Steve K. took it as a negative and shouted back "FUCK YOU TOO" when it just wasnt the case. Im glad the band played but would have been really upset if the show was stopped by the mis- interpretation of "YA". I happened to be next to the drugged out loser and must have heard it louder that anyone else. That wasn't a good show for me due the type of crowd but the band was great as always.I just thought someone should know the truth. I'll be at CANES on the fourth and can't wait.

Take it easy, Scott Strasbaugh,SD,Ca


Brant
It was sooooooo great to hear them play material from priest=aura as a full band; we haven't had that luxury here stateside for quite some time. Steve sang & played really well and looked good, although he didn't look "thrilled" to be on a rock tour (it's a tough job, you know...). Marty, on the other hand, was beaming all night long. peter looked "focused" and remained completely serious until he accidentally clicked the wrong pedal (during ripple? - i forgot when that happened) and blared his guitar through the hall; once he corrected the "extra push over the cliff" he laughed and waved to the crowd. and let me tell you about tim! he was 100% on the ball (or the baal?) - excellent drummer and a nice addition to the church family.

i can't remember the whole set list (there was one NEW song that was off hologram of baal) but here's a sampling:

Paul corrected the set list to the following...
Aura
Myrrh
An Interlude
Ripple
NSEW
Old Flame
Louisiana
Hotel Womb
Grind
Buffalo
Day of the Dead
Under the Milky Way
Two Places at Once
Almost With You
Reptile
Destination
Tantalized
You Took

Anyway, it was a great show and was very well attended - cool lightshow, too (trevor?)...i hope that you & all your readers can see them this tour - don't miss it!

so long from san francisco,

brant


Roger
Last night's SF show was like an acid trip gone bad. You know the band was psyched to be playing at the beautiful Fillmore and would have loved for everything to have gone right. Briefly, here are the problems they faced:

Then it got bad on Destination: During the quiet moment, someone near the front must've said "Fuck you". Steve angrily snapped back "No, fuck you" along with something else I couldn't hear. And then a fight broke out on the floor and it was a big scene until the bouncer got to them.

There were other minor things like the roadies crossing the stage while they were playing and they still had some miscues on some songs. Steve was visibly upset but got to the point where he just didn't care anymore. At the end the band was just looking at each other like "What else is gonna happen?" but they admirably pulled it off and made the best of it. Steve & Peter made some comments but I couldn't understand them. Does anyone know what they were saying?

It just fucking kills me that a couple people pay to see them and then start heckling or making a scene which ruins it for the other 99% of the paying audience. Also it was disappointing to see the Fillmore half full but most of the crowd who was there was really into it and appreciative. I'm so glad I went to the Palo Alto show 2 nights before cuz that one blew me away.

-Roger


Paul
Excellent show. It has been really great to see them in three totally different venues on the last three nights, a medium sized club, a tiny bar, and a large venue. The setlist was the same, but the performance was excellent, and very well received by the crowd. During the first encore, in one of the quiet moments of "Destination", somone up front must have yelled something to Steve, because he said "Fuck you too you idiot" back to him. I think another fan next to the obnixious guy must have then told him off as well, because in the next instant they are fighting, and rolling through the crowd, which opens up like a mosh pit. The bouncers swoop in and wrestle both of them outside, without a break in the music. At the start of the second encore, Steve said "That's the first bit of ultraviolence I've seen at a Church show since 1982 in Queensland. Our tour manager came in all covered in blood like he had been at a butcher's and said (in mock Queensland drawl) 'bit of a rough night out there tonight' ".

Steve also appeared on stage for the first encore eating a bunch of grapes, which he then threw into the audience.

His bass cut out in the middle of "Day of the Dead", but they kept playing while the guitar tech fixed the problem, with Steve standing holding the mike while he sang. It was kind of strange to see him just standing there singing without a guitar in his hand!

But it was an awesome show, a little under 2 hours, including another blistering "tantalized" and a freak-out "You Took" as closers. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves quite a bit too, as I swear I even saw Peter move a few times! It was certainly the most animated he has been in the last few nights, walking around stage, swinging his guitar.

So far both Steve and Marty have worn the same outfits to all three shows I saw. I hope their hotel has a laundry room, or those clothes will be pretty ripe by the time they hit the east coast...... ;) For the record, only Peter has worn something different each night. Tim was dressed the same for the Palo Alto and Sacramento shows.

Anyway, it's been an incredible three nights. A little voice in theback of my mind is saying "Hey, you drove to Sacramento, surely Portland is not out of the question..." but reality gets the better of me, and I must be content with what I have. So for those of you going to the future shows, enjoy, you're in for a real treat!


Jake
I don't quite know where to begin. There were so many incredible aspects to the Fillmore show in spite of a few problems... like a dickhead badgering Steve- until Steve told him "Yeh- fuck you, idiot" This same dickhead started a fight. A fight at a Church concert? I didn't know they inspired that in people. What a great welcome SF gave them (sarcastic).

The sound seemed a little off and they appeared to be having some equipment trouble as well. But they looked like they were enjoying themselves in spite of a few interuptions. I am still in a mild state of shock from actually getting to see them play. I was so resigned to not ever seeing them except at an acoustic show. But the coolest part of the whole show was getting to meet the band aftershow. (Thanks Mr. Vasquez). I regret eating the mushrooms now... it made it difficult for me to converse with Steve because I couldn't focus on a train of thought for too long. I was trying to talk to him about the association between "Memory" (from his Earthed peotry) and "Anaesthesia" and what specifically they were euphemisms for. (Try saying 'euphemism' when you're tongue tied by an hallucinogen). So I just profusely thanked him for coming back to play for us again and doing such a fucking awesome job of it. I was hoping he'd ask for some mushrooms and in hindsight, I suppose I should have just given him some to do with whatever he wanted. I'd like to say that he didn't seem to interested in being talked to but I couldn't tell if he was being apathetic to me or to just anyone at all. He kind of stayed tucked away in the corner. That's all right though... I got what I wanted-- an in-fucking-credible show by an in-fucking-credible band. (I am supposed to go to another concert tonight but I don't feel too enthused... I mean, what can top the Church?) Peter was as elusive backstage as he is on stage. I had some things I'd like to have talked to Marty about but he was engrossed in a non-english conversation with a woman who spoke Swedish. In fact, most of his conversations with other folks backstage were in other languages - swedish, spanish, a little french, etc. I was feeling a bit linguistically challenged. I was so impressed by how cordial Marty is though, remembering peoples names and being able to find something to talk about with anyone. It was great just hearing him speak. His voice is so pleasant. Such a kind person too. Tim was also very kind and very generous with me. By the way, he said they are limited to the playlist they've been repeating each show specifically due to logistical considerations. They are really limited with how much equipment they have with them (for cost saving reasons) and that the set they're doing now seems to work best with what they have to work with. He said they may be able to alter the playlist but can't say for sure. Also, if sales of HoB do well, they may make another pass this way after their "mountain" gigs (Denver, Utah). So go out and buy extra copies for your friends and loved ones and anyone in general! Oh yeah, I am supposed to mail something to Steve, and he was going to tell me where to send it but wasn't sure if I'd remember - given the fact that I was on the downside of a mushroom trip- so he told me to get it off the net. Does anyone know which address he's talking about [Brian: Click here and find out !]?

Odd, but I feel a little depressed today, in spite of this all. Perhaps it's because I had another show to look forward to after Palo Alto and now I don't any show to look forward to. Perhaps it's because ... well, never mind.

Those of you who have yet to see them play live, you have so much to look forward to. Don't hold back your enthusiam! Thank you for your patience if you've read this far.

-jaKe


Kevin
Howdy- After reading the reviews of the Fillmore show, which I also attended, I feel compelled to add a few things. First, the band was truely amazing! I didn't pick up on all the sound problems that everyone seems to be talking about, besides a few minor miscues and Peter turning on his distortion pedal that was akin to a sonic boom. I thought things seemed to go rather smoothly (and I'm a musician, and usually pick up on bad notes and other such mishaps). I was most impressed with Peter Koppes guitar work, and was pleasantly suprised to find, standing so close, that most of my favorite guitar parts from their catalog were his licks.

One thing that I havn't seen anyone mention was the odd and possibly off colour remarks Kilbey made about Richard Ploog. Someone in the crowd yelled "Where's Richard?", to which Kilbey responded "We have no idea." The audience member yelled something else I couldn't make out, to which Kilbey responded "What is Richard doing? About 3 grams a day." I thought this (it seemed to be intended as a joke) was pretty harsh, even if true.

The set list was fairly similar to the reports from the LA area and San Diego shows, but I can't say for sure since I'm not familiar with Priest=Aura or the new record (I will be though!). I thought the highlights were Myrrh and Destination, but I can assure you that there was no rendition on Happy Hunting Grounds (not even on the PA before the show started like the Starfish tour) or Tristesse as someone reported.

I'm kicking myself that I didn't also go to the Palo Alto show as well, but the news that they might swing back through is truly inspiring.


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