Pictures available at StudioMLive
Hey! figured i'd be nerdy and mention the stuff that no one else did about the show. first of all, though, it was great meeting many of my fellow seancers. a surprisingly diverse and extremely friendly bunch!
lessee, when tim disappeared for a couple of minutes from the stage, steve joked quietly, "couldn't he have waited to do that cocaine?" peter said something too, but i couldn't understand it. ummm, marty played tim's crash and ride cymbals at the end of the final encore while tim churned out his surprisingly funky lone groove... i noticed on louisiana that marty capos his guitar at the fifth fret and peter capos his at the 12th. also, peter's chorus part was different from the album. didn't really play that low riff (due to the capo-ing, at least in part, i'm sure) but some kind of scaly high thing. i guess the opening riff to aura is really peter on guitar? i always thought it was keyboards, but it sounded pretty close to the record in person. tried to pick out what chords he was playing, there was definitely a G chord in there. very useful information, all of it.
someone pointed out that merchandise is a big part of the band's funds, but the people at the show made it nearly impossible to get any shirts. they tried to kick us out as we were buying them! and i only found them selling stuff because i was busy trying to get my hands on one of peter's picks (to no avail). are most venue employees such big dicks? they didn't even let us keep the doors open at the bar to hear the soundcheck. oh, peter told me that it's an answering machine on 5:28 on p/dchweu, not an alarm clock as i had guessed. despite messing up a bit on myrrh, not sure if it was marty or steve's fault, the boys were pretty tight. i couldn't tell if marty intentionally started and stopped the riff in reptile in the middle, but the band picked it up flawlessly.
Opening act is Eltro. Programmed drums and bass. Female singer has bass but actually touches the strings about two times.
The Church come on. Just a great show. Marty getting cheered as much for his showmanship as for his musicianship. Peter quietly goes about his business with hardly a cheer from the audience. It's so blatant that Marty actually tried to prompt the audience to show some appreciation. Now, I never saw Ploog perform, but Tim was outstanding, and Steve's voice was in great form. Approximately thirty seconds after the amps died down the thugs hurried us out again. I thought that the booker for the Troc was a big fan? The bouncers' approach was hardly warranted, since the crowd was very peaceful.
Until the next tour, when they come to the Tower,
Since a review of the show has already been sent, i won't bother with another. It was great seeing them again after all these years, it was fun observing the difference and similarities to the Heyday shows. The two things that stick in my mind is how Marty was the same, maybe a little toned down 12 years ago, but had no following, at least not like last night and how Peter seemed much more into the show last night than he did during the Heyday shows. During the Heyday shows he almost looked annoyed at Marty where last night he appeared to be enjoying himself.
all in all in was a great show, obviously if you have the chance and the means, go see them
Sorry I didnt get to meet any members of the list as I just signed back on the list today and only found out about the show last week. What a lucky break for me to find the new CD, then check shadow cabinet and find out about the show in philly. [Brian: Ah...the perfect run of events. I couldn't have scripted it better myself !]
Stunning rendition of "Hotel Womb" that wowed my boyfriend, who until he met me, had never listened to the Church, even back in the days of Starfish, it seems.
ZenMan Steve Kilbey's vox was light in the mix, but there they were in their usual beautiful understatedness, taking me away to places all at once dark and warm and haunted. Not-so-Zen Marty's guitar playing was electrifying, he was the epitome of live, complementing the more subdued Peter with sheer perfection. The drumming was excellent (!), every twist of every turn of every song both punctual and flowing.
The energy in the room was phenomenal, great audience for the guys here in Philly. Post modern 80s goth revival in part, diehard fans all.
This was just one incredible evening. Up until I got my car locked in a parking garage and had to hunt for an open hotel room with the help of a cab driver with an accent so thick I could barely understand him and drive back down here to DC to work today, it was great!
The first highlight was that I got to help guard The Church's van! There were a few of us waiting out front before the doors opened, and someone popped their head out and pointed to a big, white van parked right out front and said that it was the band's van, and to keep an eye out for the police so it didn't get ticketed or anything. Yes!
Well, I met up with some Seancers in line and in the "bar area", where we had a great time drinking a few beers (me less than the others, as I was sick - BTW, I'd like to say hi to Bill Speerer ;) ). The opening band was all right, but I really wasn't paying that much attention.
A few minutes after the opening band finished, we at the bar went up front. I got a spot right in front of Marty. As others have reported, and will report, the show rocked! I couldn't hear all of Peter's guitar, but that was probably due to my location. A few antics during the show: After the break in Reptile, Marty messed up his part, the guys stopped, some of them kinda looked around at each other, and then Marty started again. I thought it was very funny. Tim disappeared after one of the songs, which seemed to surprise the band, as well as the audience. References to Spinal Tap were made. Requests were made for Marty to play something, but he pointed to his guitar (the Takamine 12-string acoustic) as if helpless - then started to play something I recognized but couldn't quite place (someone said it was Queen?). Steve banter: during one break, he said that we all sounded like "cartoon characters", then, mockingly, "Oh Steve! We love you Marty!" in alterning high and low voices. The crowd laughed. Then he said something to the effect of "I'm glad our music makes you want to do that."
Also, as was mentioned earlier, Marty said to (Chrispy?) "Don't quit your day job." And that he/they sould read Tin Drum (?), and the quipped "Think about it." right before the song started. (This in reference to some stage-pounding, which was louder than they probably realized, but worked great for noise-making for getting them back out for encores.)
After the show was pretty fun. We waited out front directly following the show, but the help there locked up the front doors and said that they'd be going around back. So, we marched around back. We waited right by the doors until someone told us to go wait by the corner (about 40 feet away?) They drove the van up and loaded the equipment in, and we decided against taking van parts for souvenirs. Marty appeared on the balcony and was quoting some Shakespeare (me: "Marty, Marty - let down your hair!"). Peter came out the back door and talked to us for a bit before leading us to their van (transport van, not equipment van) parked around the corner. He signed some autographs there. Steve was in the front seat of the van reading a FedExed letter (he gave the envelope to someone for a souvenir as the van was pulling out). While I was waiting in line for Steve, Marty came up and hopped in the van (anyone get an autograph from him?). I was hoping to get his autograph and talk to him abou the guitar I bought from him, but such is life.
Anyway, I finally got to Steve, and nervously get out the stack of CD liners I have. Well the one on top was Peter's From the Well (which I had just got signed), and Steve said "I can't sign that." Heh. I got him to sign Earthed and the lighter-colored HoB. They seemed to be in a rush, so I only got in a "great show, love the new album" for a "Thank you" from Steve. Then the van pulled away from us waving fans. All in all, Marty seemed playful on the balcony (didn't talk very much to the fans by the van), Peter was very nice and personable, and Steve seemed rather preoccupied in the front seat there. I'm still rather light-headed from the whole affair.
Still in bliss,
The opening act was bland, but not horrible. The venue itself was an interesting old time theater, which served some time as a burlesk house. The place looked like the theater in the Reptile video, only funkier. Much funkier.
Around 9:30 the radiotronics from the opening of Baal came across the speakers, then they went into Aura. They nailed it. Myrrh was next, and that sounded uninspired to my ears. NSEW was fantastic. Louisiana brought a cheer from tha crowd. Grind was awesome. I even wrote that down to remind me. Day of the Dead was a very good choice. I really like that song. Steve voice was just about perfect all through the show. Peter nailed his solos on UTMW, Almost With You. Marty was reallyinto playing and Tim was great. The encores were intense. Destination, which is my least favorite song on Starfish, just came alive last night. When Marty started up Tantalized, I thought a helicopter was in the house. The feedback ending You Took was inspired. Marty just left his guitar in front of his amp as Tim just kept playing the drums while the rest of the guys left the stage. All I can say is WOW!
After the show the aggressive security force ushered us out quickly. Since we were in Chinatown, my wife and I decided to get a bite to eat instead of hanging out at the back door. When we were finished, we had to pass the theater again, and saw Marty posing for pictures, Peter holding court with many fans around him and Steve sitting serenely in the front seat of their van. We just said thanks for the great show and Steve simply said Thank you. I would recommend anyone to make an effort to see this tour. It's a shame that the venues are so small. They deserve better. I hope they don't wait eight more years to come back.
one bizarre incident was when the band was finishing/finished with UTMW- tim had vanished much to the astonishment/concern of the rest of the band. all three were staring at the empty drumset. since i didn't see him get up( too focused on MWP's playing) i thought maybe he passed out like he almost did at that other recent show. steve joked about them losing drummers.....marty tried to fill the gap by playing the intro to "all the young dudes" and steve did the first line when the MIA band member came strolling back. from where i was off to the side, it sounded like steve joked about Tim not being able to wait for the cocaine(?-i'm sure someone can give you the exact line).
another funny moment was during Myrrh, steve flubbed the lyrics, jumping into the chorus instead of the next verse and started laughing.... peter joked with him after the were done.
When they came back for Destination, marty had to sprint across the stage to grab his guitar when he realized he was about to miss his opening bits. And marty's guitar was a little off at the beginning of "You Took" so peter came strolling over and fiddled with the guitar knobs while marty played and when it sounded right, mwp offered up peter for a good round of applause.
they haven't played around here since GAF and now they know they've got a very appreciative audience in philly.
Let me start by saying two things. Seancers really are a generally cool bunch of people and THE CHURCH RULE.
I'll be quick so I can get this done & get some sleep. I'm still a little buzzy from Dock Street's Vienna something-or-other ale & Whitbread ale so bear with me, I haven't been this drunk in a few years. First, even if this was the worst show the church ever put on, it was still my favorite concert. They were incredible.
My friend Mark & I started off at 4 with dinner & a few beers at Dock Street before the show. Then we got to the Troc & had a Whitbread upstairs. When finally we were allowed in the place for real we bought t-shirts & staked our place up front. (I, of course, was the dork with 2 shirts -just in case I wear one out). After establishing our rightful place against the stage we realized a couple of things: we needed more beer and there was an opening band. We went back for more beer. That's where we met up with our wonderful seance friends. It was much fun getting hammered there. I honestly can not name names because I remember a few & I don't want to leave anyone out -so everyone there email me privately so I know who was there when I'm completely sober.
Then it was time for the real show to start & Mark & I felt compelled to reclaim our stage spots. They came out (Peter was, like, this far away from us) & they played the hell out of the songs. I can only specifically name a few as I'm still in awe of the whole thing. Peter did throw a pick to me, (thanks to Joe del Tufo for the eagle eye in finding it -hey you can't expect me to actually catch a fluttering pick (it was kind of fluttering even thoug he tossed it lightly underhad to me) in the state I was in. Anyway, that really ruled. He played the fucking shit out of You Took. Unreal. Amazing.
Absolutlely incredible musicians, really. I can only dream that I can even wish to be a [Brian: a what ?]
Then after however long it was, it ended too soon. & the worst part of the show came about -which was the bouncers shoving us all out. So we all hung out out front for a while & then rushed the back.
There Marty spoke some Shakespeare to us from a balcony, & we milled about like good little psychotic fans/mental patients. It was fun, we got our picture taken for Brian's web page & the guys came out. Mark & I got to chat at least a little with Peter & he jokingly told us all to get fucked & seemed quite amused that our reaction was "Heeey, well okay! Sounds good to us." ---That was when he atopped turned around & Mark mockingly punched him in the ribs. Actually pretty funny at the time, still is for me. Anywho then, when Peter was signing autographs & Steve was reading a letter & then signing autographs I found out that they weren't too keen on the Almost Yesterday cd. Peter said he could only initial that one. & Steve almost tried to steal my Sharpie pen. (I got it back along with the fed-ex envelope he would have otherwise thrown out when the van was pulling away.
The only thing I wish differently (besides not getting Marty or Tim's autograph) was that we could have talked to Peter some more. We almost got into a conversation about God that I think would have been great. But they were getting ready to pull away.
Then the band left & we scattered about.
Thanks to Seance members and band members alike for a truly unforgettable evening.
Got lots to say, don't think I can say it all at once. I met a few Seancers there, I knew there were many more, but who? I asked a few people at random, but soon stopped (people look at you like you got a third eye or something).
Some of us watched the soundcheck through the front doors, until somebody pulled a curtain. Soon after, the guys burst out a door and hightailed it down the street; they obviously did not want to be bothered. A couple of us followed them anyways, from a distance. We were laughing at ourselves; we felt pretty stupid, but we had nothing else to do. We followed them to a Thai restaurant, but did not bother them. Instead we plundered a record shop nearby, and just a few minutes later, Peter comes in and starts flipping through records. I got to say Hi to him then. (I have a funny story about this, too)
I spent the whole show clinging to the stage, literally draped over one of the monitors, just between Steve and Peter. It was a great spot; although I realize that I did not get to hear a balanced sound mix, I think it was worth it. I was disappointed that the band, just like Nancy and sis said, basically ignored the crowd (except Marty of course). It made me sad, I felt like they obviously were not enjoying themselves.
I was determined to get autographs, but it was not easy. The club started shooing people almost immediately after the show, and even the Church's own crew were quite rude to us. The band did come out for signing later, but it was very hard to approach them. I tried not to be a pain in the ass to the guys; luckily they were quite friendly once you got to them.
Tidbits: I asked Peter if that hidden instrumental on "Love Era" had a title; he said "grass-shrooms" but he was kidding; he said it has no title. I also threw in a comment to Steve about re-releasing Remindlessness, just to help keep up the push for that. He said he still has to find the master tapes.
What can I say, except, WOW! Amazing show. They blew the roof off the Trocadero here in The City of Brotherly Love on Thursday night. A few random thoughts:
Marty guitargod pyrotechnics throughout, even with the strands of grey in his hair, playing to the crowd, grinning like a madman through "Almost With You," throwing the band off kilter and botching the riff to "Reptile," skipping a verse in "Myrrh," but so what. Telling Chrispy not to quit his day job when his banging on the edges of the stage had driven him to distraction. Yelling to the audience. Playing "Queen," on your Takamine. Great vocal on "Two Places at Once," hitting the high notes on "Louisiana," and ripping your Ricky to shreds during "Tantalised."
Peter, I take back every doubt I ever had about you. I never realized how much the band suffered without you until I saw you set your six-string ablaze during the gorgeous racket of "You Took," a song I always hated until last night. You were incredibly gracious after the show, and talked animatedly about Immersion and told everyone to go and buy "Love Era," and to check out the label. Loved the Lesley cabinet and the violin sounds you coaxed out of your strat.
Seeing Tim, what can I say except, "Richard Who??" It's clear that this guy brings way more to the band besides the talent to bang on the skins. Powerful drumming throughout, locking things in rocksteady, but engaging in enough improv to keep things interesting for everybody. Thanks for the energy you've imparted to this band.
Steve, cracking jokes when Tim disappeared backstage, "We're losing them faster and faster all the time." Standing there with your eyes closed at center stage all night long, disappearing into some universe only you know about.
Backstage afterwards with the Seance crew. Kicked out of the club by jackbooted bouncers who tried to throw us off a public sidewalk. Watching Marty recite Shakespeare from the balcony. An hour of waiting while Ward -- WARD!!!! -- loaded up the gear. The band appears. 20 of us grab autographs. Into the minivan, asking Steve about the twins. Waving goodnight. Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight. See you all real soon.
Peter did want me to tell everyone that "the woman drummer he left with after the Cleveland show was not a romantic thing, that he has a girlfriend in Australia." He was very clear about that. He is a joker, half the stuff he was babbling about was clearly tongue in cheek, and I sensed no tension at all between any of the band members (that was noted in an earlier interview with Peter).
At dinner we discussed who would be coming along for the Margot Smith tour (Peter and Tim on all dates, Steve on select dates), and we confirmed this would be happening in February. During the show we got a crystal clear soundboard recording for a (near) future audio netcast. Details to follow. Hopefully Thirsty Ear will let us archive the show so it will always be online.