Some local seancers met before the show and we even had a surprise guest, Albert Clementon from Melbourne was on hand and attended the show and pre-meet. All the other locals were there too. Ray Aoki was there and it turns out, i found this out a couple weeks ago, we attended the same junior and senior high schools years ago. Shanna had her guitar signed by all four band members after the show. And Marty even gave it a lesson in how to sound. I can assure you, that guitar may never be played again! Albert bumped into Marty on the way to The Bulldog and found out that the band were having sushi across the street from the club. Vancouver is known for its great sushi.
The gig started early since on Sundays in BC bars must close at midnight. The opening band `Pure' opened and the lead singer made a comment about when he was younger and saw videos, he always remembered Marty Wilson-Piper and how amazing of a guitar player he was. The opening band was ok. They played their latest single, `Chocolate bar' and others. Their biggest brush with fame was being on the `Cool World' soundtrack. They played for just over half an hour or so. As soon as they finished everyone started going up to the front of the stage.
The venue, Richard's on Richards, is a small club downtown that holds about 500 people max, i'm not sure how many were there, maybe 300-400 enlightened souls, a goddess and some kings. The show, IMHO, was better that the Seattle gig because of the sound and lighting. This venue is suppose to have the best sound system and acoustics on the Wet coast of Canada and yes, it was very clear and you could make out all the instruments and hear each note! The lighting was nice too and they didn't overuse the smoke like at a Cure concert.
There were very few mistakes as far as i could tell, it rang like, `She's got the knowledge, she's got the wherewithal, instead of vica versa but that was ok. And its not a religion, its just a technique, its just a way of making you freak. And a couple missed words. But how can you not do this when everyone else at the show is thinking the words that should come out your mouth before you are. It creates an element of surprise.
I cannot believe how incredibly tight the band was overall though. I knew that Marty was a great guitarist and Peter and Steve as well, but Marty, oh my god, I have never seen such an amazing show, and what a look he has, and his genuine poses, you would think he invented those rock star looks.
Steve finally changed his shirt for tonight's show. He wore a nice black long-sleeved shirt.
Steve is such an amazing performer. What an incredibly intense stare and focus he has while singing and playing. And the way he delays some of the lyrics a second or so from the album versions, it kind of added a nice `live' feel to the overall perfect studio sound of the gig. It was surreal, but then again so are the albums. In concert even more so.
Tim Powles drove the band to an aliveness on stage that was hard to believe possible. The Spaceman cometh. Any criticism i read before tonight's show has been forgotton by me now. This guy drums like he commands the band. He seems quite technical. I always wonder what it must be like to come into a band that has been around for 18 years and learn the strings, er i mean skins.
Peter Koppes, glad he is back in the band, it is great seeing all three core members together again. He is a great player, and like Ray said to me on the drive home. He likes him because of his subdued style. He doesn't jump around the stage much, but hey, the stage was too small for that.
I won't reveal the set here but if you want a copy of the list, e-mail me privately, i will say that it was slightly different from past gigs, very slightly different. The boys are heading back down to Seattle tonight and will be hanging around and jamming with Peter Buck for a couple days [unconfirmed]. But rumour has it that they will be working on the set some more and may add another song off the HOBO cd. HOBO as in, you know, going to Louisiana, then to Buffalo, just movin around America.
All i can say is that you are all in for a real treat. This concert was a real Gem. Now i can finally do something important in my life! I've been set free by the sounds of The Church!!
Glenn `Myrrh' Page reporting live from Vancouver, BC, Canada
I managed to get backstage with some other people before the band eventually left the club where we all had autographs signed and photos taken, and Shanna got her gita signed! Lucky her :-), anyway, backstage I met Steve Newton who wrote the story, interview with Steve in The Georgia Straight, he was a nice guy, I thanked him for such a favourable piece of press.
Steve grabbed a toke off someone from the Audience inbetween songs. Naughty Naughty!!
Mentioned as the boys were piled into the rental van about us seancers wanting the Church to play a millenium gig, initial responses: "hmm", "yeah", "thats cool", "good idea" I mentioned in Sweden and Steve said, "good thought". Wouldn't this also almost coincide with the bands 20th anniversary???
Rather than just walk on stage, the band pre-empted their arrival by blaring some radiotronics through the sound-system...A really cool touch! Steve walked on and from the opening notes of Aura, the band was ON!
They rocked and rocked, and rocked some more. I don't know what happened between Seattle and Vancouver but this band came to play. The sound was great, which perhaps gave the group an extra burst of adrenaline. Steve talked and joked with the audience, Pete smiled and joked about a slight fuck-up on his part, Tim was solid as usual ,and although a little less flashy than in Seattle, Marty was still God.
The band seemed relaxed and all four seemed to genuinely be enjoying themselves. Perhaps it was the funny cigarette SK was sharing with one of the members in the audience. At one point, MWP reached down and offered a shooter to a member of the crowd. Heck, Pete even moved about and smiled regularly: he even smiled during one of Marty's long solos!!! It was so nice to see them be that good and look that happy to be playing together. Steve was obviously very pleased with the sound as he gave the sound guy a big thumbs up and a smile at the end of the first encore. EVERY song sounded great, right to the very last drone of You Took. One for the ages which this small (200-250) but very partisan crowd will not soon forget.
I can now die and go to heaven: In Seattle, I finally got to see my favorite band live and meet them after the show...in Vancouver I got to see my favorite band play like I only dreamt they could play; indeed, I couldn't have dreamt it better.
I only wish that I had taped the show to listen to over and over again....WHAT A SHOW! WHAT A BAND! (anybody have a tape they can send my way!??)
Thank you Steve, Marty, Pete, and Tim for taking the time to come back to North America....I have a lifetime worth of memories from this wonderful weekend...God bless the Church!
Hans Return to Hologram of Baal tour page.