I have had no sleep since the show so I will try to make this short. The Atlanta show was amazing. Pure Magic. The Roxy was packed. The setlist was the same as many of the shows. Every song was a highlight for me but Destination, Reptile, Ripple, Aura, NSEW-- really stood out. They did two encores. The band looked like they really had a great time onstage. They were smiling during most of the songs.
The most talkative thing Steve said all night was "Thank Y'all" or "Y'all are a great audience" poking fun at the south - I guess.. There were alot of funny antics on stage between Marty & Steve. Example- During the last song before the first encore a female in the crowd threw a silk scarf to Marty, then after the song Marty was the last one to leave the stage, so he took the scarf over to Steve's mic and tied the scarf to it (Alas..Steven Tyler of Aerosmith), and when the band returned for the encore Steve saw the scarf and started laughing, and he said to the audience "Who am I? Steven Tyler now" it was great. Marty must be a real prankster.....
Anyway, I could go on for hours. This was one of the best show that I have ever seen. I would gladly have paid 3x the ticket price to have have seen this show. It was pure MAGIC.....
First, we went behind the Roxy before the show, and lo and behold if Misters Koppes, Kilbey and Powles weren't out there chatting up the fans. Only had time to get Peter's autograph before they had to split, but it was still cool. The openning band, Mod Mod Sound of Middlesex, were entertaining, if totally unoriginal. They played original tunes, but any of them could have been Merseybeat songs from the sixties.
After an ungodly 45 minute wait, our boys took the stage. I was about 2 people back dead center, so I had a pretty good view of the proceedings. The set list was the standard tour set, so there were no surprises, but I think they did a pretty good job of getting a wide range of material in there. I wont go into details, but they were at least as good as they were in '88, if not better. I was surprised to see Peter moving as much as he did. Towards the end, he was giving Marty a run for his money jumping around. Highlights were a totally incendiary take on Tantalized, and Two Places at Once (which got a suprisingly strong reaction from the crowd). You Took was incredible. When Steve went to start singing, the crowd started clapping with the song. Steve said "I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I cant sing in time if you do that. You must have seen Tin Drum." I almost got crushed at the end when Marty threw his guitar into the crowd and the whole place surged forward. The only down point surprisingly was Reptile, which didn't really click. It sounded like Marty's delay wasnt working on that song, so it lost something.
About half an hour after the show, Tim, Peter and Marty showed up at the back stage door, and Peter invited the people who were waiting back there to come up and get autographs and such. They were all very friendly, especially Marty.
In conclusion, the show was magical. They got a great response from the crowd (about 500 strong), and it seemed like everyone in the band was really enjoying the experience. Here's hoping they do it again next year.
As I stood by myself at the back door, the song stopped. I looked around the parking lot to try to spot where my friend had parked. When I turned back toward the door, who should walk out and stand right in front of me but Steve Kilbey. Of course, here I am practically alone in a parking lot with Steve Kilbey, and I have no clue what to say. So I just said hello, shook his hand and tried to tell him how glad I was that they were touring again, and how much I loved the new record. I also tried to tell him about the last time I saw them play, as well as the first time - the 9:30 Club in D.C. on the Remote Luxury tour. He smiled, but didn't really care too much.
We then talked about Sweden and his daughters, who he referred to as "twin terrors." He seemed surprised that I knew all the information I did - I told him we had all read Katherine Yeske's interview, and he remembered giving out the info. All the time while Steve was talking about his daughters, I was trying to find a non-stalker way of telling him how much his music meant to me and my life. While running those thoughts through my head, I asked what had to be the dumbest question ever posed to Steve Kilbey. First, I asked how old 'Glow Worm' was:
Steve: "She's seven now."
Me: "And how old's the other one?"
Steve looks at me funny and says, "Uh, she's seven. That's the funny thing about twins."
Anyway, we then talked about the new album a bit more before Jim walked around the corner, saw me standing there with Steve Kilbey, and about had a heart attack. He mentioned to him that he had shot an interview with him back in '84 (?) during the Remote Luxury tour, which Steve vaguely remembered. It was then I realized that I had nothing for him to sign - I had left my CDs in the car! So Jim turned around and went back to the car to get them. Soon after he left, Peter, Marty and Tim walked out and told Steve they were going to dinner. Steve said to wait, becuase he was going to sign some of my CDs. Who was it that said this guy was "difficult"?
As they were trying to decide where to eat, I suggested that they come down to Fado, since that's where the Seancers were meeting. Steve said he didn't think that was a good idea, but asked how many had come in from other states. I told him about 30, and he seemed impressed. I also told him that some folks were driving to New Orleans, and he said that was good because they needed help "filling the House of Blues."
So, I finally got the CDs from the car, and Steve signed both RL and HOB. He asked for my name, and when I said "Craig," he pronounced it with a Scottish brogue and told me to say it like that, which I did. He nodded and said that was the proper way to pronounce it. His signature: "To Craig, XXX, Steve Kilbey."
Mission accomplished, I went over and had Peter sign RL. We chatted for a few minutes - very nice man. We talked about the 20 minutes cut out of Bastard Universe. Then I got Tim to sign HOB and told him how much I liked his work on the new album.
Didn't get Marty's sig, as he had already gone bopping down the road. Marty, on stage and off, is like a Mexican jumping bean. Total pent up energy. Several folks saw him walking around Roswell Road and got his autograph, I believe.
Oh yeah - there was a concert, too !
As for the show itself - I'd say there were probably 500-700 people there in a 1600 capacity venue. The balcony was closed off, but the floor was pretty crowded all the way back. Very pleasant and restrained crowd. The set list was pretty much the same as has been posted here before, but was a complete surprise to me as I've been avoiding other reviews of the tour. To me, the sound mix was iffy until about midway through the show. Steve had expressed concerns about the sound when I saw him in the parking lot, so I guess it came to pass. He had some problems with his bass and looked in disgust off the side of the stage at the beginning. You also could barely hear his vocals, which was a real disappointment on songs like "Ripple" and "Aura."
The new songs sounded great, and I wished they had played more from HOB and less Starfish. I thought that Steve told the crowd when they came back for the first encore (Destination) that this was their last song. In my head, I started making travel plans to New Orleans, 'cause there was NO WAY I was not going to hear "You Took" live on this tour. Well, either I heard him wrong, or the crowd was noisy enough, because they did come back for their second encore. To hear them end with "You Took" was a dream come true. Marty handed his guitar to the crowd at the end for more wailing distortion as the song, and show, came to a noisy end.
I had a shot of whiskey to calm down, then crawled home to bed. One of the happiest nights of my life.
i left new orleans around 11pm to go to atlanta. me and a friend went. we ended up driving all night, but what a drive! i won't go into exact details but i will say the drive up there was one of the most fun parts of the journey. we stopped in a small town called Opelika (about 1 and a half hours outside of atlanta) around 5am to get a bed to sleep in for 5 hours and a shower to use.
Leave the hotel around 11am, continue northward to Atlanta. after getting completely lost i used a payphone to get directions to the hotel i was staying at (i didnt have reservations though so i was forced to stay in one of the king suites!). anyway i get there and sleep for abour 2 hours. 5 pm, seance member Virginia (who i knew was staying in the same hotel) calls me and lets me know that her and her husband are going to the preshow meeting. well i follow them as i know nothing about the streets of atlanta and we go head to The Roxy. we walk around the back of the place and there i see Peter! right away i say "look, there's Peter" so we continue in that direction. turns out Tim, Peter and Steve were in the loading area behind the theatre conversing with about 7 fans. as noted earlier one of the people being talked to was Craig Dominey, whom i later met in Fado's. it was funny to actually see them in person. Steve was acting very foolishly, telling one girl she looked like Marilyn Manson and then making an X with his arms in a mock devil worship pose. Pete just stood there with sunglasses on talking to a few people with Tim.
well i asked Virgina what she was going to do and she was going to approach Steve for an autograph. i didn't have anything for them to autograph (i didn't expect to be able to meet them THIS soon!) and, being the intoxicated idiot that i was, couldn't really think of anything to say to them anyway. so me and my friend went to Fado's.
Fado's. one of the mose surreal, dreamlike things to have ever happened to me. i walk into this bar and all i see are people with Church t shirts on and hearing conversations about the band. i heard someone with what sounded like a british accent so i asked "are you on seance?" which the answer was no, but Craig overheard me and introduced himself. then Brian Hallin [Brian: He's the band's manager] overheard me say my name and introduced himself (hope you are coming to the New Orleans show, it's only a measly 3 hours away!). i swear to god this was so fucking strange, people would hear my name and all of a sudden "know" who i am! i forgot his real name (sorry!) but i also met ArchSpy. i did want to meet others though so i looked for Chris Chandler just to see the rest of the bar too and i see a short guy with a really cool looking white Church t shirt on. i ask him about the shirt. he introduces himself, Glen Page. i see Chris seated at a table talking to a group of other people who were, as i was told, not seance members. then Glen introduced me to Collette and the response from her was "so this is alton broussard, the aura..."
this was really fun. yes, i was very loaded, but i also remember it all quite well. i just wish i could have taken pictures but the new orleans show will be good for that. i am sorry if i came across as rude to any of you but i tend to be really quiet and it was an incredibly strange situation for me, i felt as though i were watching the events unfold around me rather than participating in them. all of you were really nice and i envy all you damn people that have those white Priest=Aura shirts! you are lucky i didn't find you drunk after the show in a dark alley!
anyway i decided to head over to the Roxy by this point. before walking in the doors though i realize that standing right outside the venue signing autographs (claiming to be waiting for a taxi) was Mr. Willson-Piper. there was a line of people waiting to get autographs and after just standing there, getting used to the feeling of being around him, i went to go talk to him. i didnt want to come across as some starstruck type moron so i approached him to talk about the one thing i knew i could talk about, when he had his auction. i thanked him for mailing me the package before i mailed him the payment. he said it was no problem and asked me my name. i told him alton broussard. he then says "oh, so you're the alton broussard that did Film on that tape" WOW, ONE OF THE GODS KNOWS OF ME ALREADY!!! i said yes, i was. he then said "there were some real dodgy ones on there, it's a good thing you did an instrumental." he asked if i had heard it yet and a i said all i had heard was the contribution i had made. he then told me he had a laptop and will soon be getting an e mail address. i told him to make sure to post it to the list. he was incredibly nice, i wish all bands were like this. i tried to not be a stupid idiot around him so i think i did ok. there was something really funny though. ArchSpy's wife decided to start flirting with Marty! she was taking a picture of him with some fan or fans and commented on how cute he was and how he wouldnt get bored if she were around... it was really funny.
the concert. what can i say about the opening band, i was talking to Marty while they were playing! hahaha. i heard their last 2 songs and i was not impressed. then came the 45 minute wait for The Church to take the stage. i stood about 5 people back in between Steve and Peter. lights go out, the crowd goes nuts. this place was really packed and the crowd were really into the show. as they take the stage the cheering gets deafening.
Aura starts. Peter would NOT stop smiling during the song. every time he looked at the audience a big smile hit his face. Marty was moving a bit, just playing the parts. Steve was just being Steve except for when his bass gave out during the song. he looked to someone to the left of the stage with a fairly upset face and threw his left arm up in the air. the cable for the instrument replaced right after this song. great song, Steve was smiling a bit through this one too. overall they seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Marty did get a lot of attention and cheers but so did Pete. there were a few times in between songs where the group of people i was a part of would shout PE-TER! PE-TER! over and over and that always got a smile from him. after his Almost With You solo he got a lot of applause. Tim is one of the most physical drummers i have seen. he really does flinch when he plays and he beats the shit out of the drums. he is damn good, i thought his playing was perfect. odd drumset arrangement but excellent cymbal use and syncopation. there were a few songs where all 3 singers would sing but usually it was Steve and Marty (2 places at once, Louisiana) or Steve and Peter (grind, reptile) Myrrh had all 3 singing and it was really good, they should pursue that direction further i think but i guess they figure it really doesn't fit into their style. not much stage banter at all except for "thank you" after practically every song. this crowd was really into the show, EVERY song was cheered as soon as it was recognized.
something funny did happen though. a girl threw a colored handkerchief at Marty during the show and when they walked off stage once he tied it to Steve's microphone. then, when the band is no longer on the stage, a girl jumps up trying to untie it and take it. 2 steriodman bouncers remove her from the stage and the bouncer on the left hand side gets called every name in the book by several people in the crowd near me (and including me!). then Steve comes back onstage and makes the "am i Steven Tyler" comment. oh, and it was me that screamed for "PARADOX" in between every song. i knew it was hopeless but i didn't see harm in trying.
after the show ended i go back to my car. Virginia's car is still there and she knows how to get back to the hotel (and i don't!) so i go to the area behind the theatre where many fans are waiting for the band to emerge. they eventually do and i bring the only thing i want autographed, my Manchild and Myth cd booklet. Steve had already left. Marty is standing outside casually chatting with fans, Tim leaves for food as soon as i get there and Pete is sitting down inside the building (looking quite lit!) talking to fans. these men were so incredibly nice. NO atititude or ego was shown to the fans at all. i personally enjoy listening in on conversations with the band members more than participating because i never really know what to say to them anyway. so i am there standing literally less than 3 feet from Marty, just listening to him talk about computers and his new laptop (must be some laptop, he won't shut up about it!). i then figure "screw this, i've talked to Marty already, i want to meet Pete". so get this, i have to say "excuse me" to Marty so i could get by.
there's Pete. ultimate guitar god. quiet? quiet? who in the hell ever said he was the quiet one? he wouldn't stop babbling! he was really friendly, signed my Manchild and Myth booklet, asked for my name, etc... i asked if they were staying in New Orleans after the show to enjoy the French Quarter. he said he imagined that they would because they have 2 days off after that show. other than that i didn't get to hear much. i heard him talking about his pants and boots to someone and talking about the cover of GAF because his 1st choice of landscape wasn't what he got so they pieced together the one on the album. he even mentioned how the Manchild and Myth cover was his favorite solo album cover shot.
because i felt guilty about making Virginia have to wait so i could follow her back i decide it was now time for me to leave. drove back to the hotel room (in a VERY surreal state of mind) and then walked around the city looking for food. i love exploring cities i have never seen before on foot. it was so damn cold there compared to what i am used to.
well i had an amazing time. to everyone i met, Archspy, Glen, Brian, Craig, Collette, it was really nice meeting you. i only wish this could happen soon again. maybe in another 2 years? anyway i get to repeat the entire experience tonight only i get to do it in a place i am familiar with! Virginia is here in a hotel awaiting tomorrow's preshow meet at 6pm. it will be incredibly strange if Craig or Chris Chandler come to the New Orleans show meet, we will have completely switched places! unlike the Roxy, there is no "back" to the House of Blues so they will be entering the front. let's hope to meet them!
It was really magical just the 4 of us standing alone with Steve. My sister had painted Mr Kilbey a picture and brought it along just in case we saw him, so when she told him he said that he probably couldnt take it with him, but would love to see it, so Steve followed us out to our car to take a look at it. (we were going crazy) but trying not to show how in awe we were, and just act normal. anyway, he said the painting looked nice, and instead got a cup of some sort of vegetarian bean dinner or something from my sister, who works in a health food store. Steve said thanks, that he needed this kind of stuff for the airports. He then started saying some funny stuff. He was shaking the beans like a tamborine, and we were joking that he should use this new instrument on the next album, to which he replied, "yeah, Steve on beans!" and "Beans and Bass."
Anyway, some of the things i/we asked:
Q--"are you really gonna start work on a new album in march?"
A--who said that? Oh, Tim is jumping the gun a bit...
Q--is it gonna be self produced again?
A--no, its gonna be done by this american guy.(and i think, but not positive he said that this guy has produced laurie anderson)
I asked him about remindlessness and he said the tapes are still lost. I told him that they should do ricochet live, and he just shook his head, to which i replied, you dont like it? he said not really. I probably left something out, it was kind of stressful just talking about stuff with The Great One...so later we asked him if we could watch the sound check, and he said sure...another strange moment...we were laying on the floor watching the sound guys test the instruments and Steve was just laying there beside us getting a back massage by some girl! so in a little while, steve went up to sing when the rest of the band came out to sound check.
this was something to see! they played north south east and west first, then played a jam that i think was one of the parts on Bastard Universe, then they just started fooling around, and during this time, played "court of the crimson king" by King Crimson, "Rounda bout" by YES, but of course, just bits and pieces of these songs...
after the sound check we were outside with kilbey, koppes and sometimes marty. kilbey and i were talking about david bowie for awhile, he said he almost got kicked out of his house when he was young for cutting and dyeing his hair like ziggy stardust. he also said his kids favorite bowie song was 5 years, said they went around singing it all the time...we talked about how he hated earthling but liked outside...and he also demonstrated to a couple of other fans who had walked up how he broke his arm...he waited for a car to come down the alleyway, and said " It happened like this!" while mock-jumping into the car.
i then asked peter to sign my magician among the spirits cd, and we talked about the production of it. i told him the production was great, especially the drums. and he said "you should have heard it when it had all the guitar tracks still on there" apparantly, it wasnt mixed the way they wanted it. and he told me he played on grandiose and magician... marty was making fun of our accents for awhile, a kept saying "thaaaank youuu" in a southern way. he called my sister robert e lee.(shes the one who threw the scarf onstage) anyway they were very nice people, and ive written to much already to review the show, but it was among the best
dustin eric gilbert
I asked if he would mind if we took a picture. He said not at all. I said, "Don't worry, I won't put my arm around you." He said, "Why not ? We have more gays in Australia than anywhere. We're used to that kind of thing." Nice jump there, Steve. So he put his arm around my shoulder, I put mine around his, he grinned, I smiled like a fool, and Claudine snapped the photo. What a bizarre feeling that just months ago I thought I would never even see them in concert, and there I was in that situation. I'm very happy.
A little later I walked by the dressing room stairs and saw Roger, another fan, hanging out at the top of them. I asked if the guys were down there, and he said yes. I asked if they had company, and he said "Oh, they won't mind if you go down there." So I went on down, poked my head around the corner until Peter looked over and said "Did you need something?" so I said I was hoping to get autographs. They agreed, and Marty said "Manualgraphs." He asked if I liked the new album, and I said '" love it." What else was I going to say? I told I wished that 'Anyway ' and 'Lizard' had been put on the album, and Peter said "You've got me to thank for that". I sat next to Marty and asked questions a bout 'Hanging out in Heaven'. He said it was going to be retitled ' Winding up in Hell'. He said it should have a disclaimer saying that none of the songs were really valid anymore.
I remembered that Claudine was still at the top of the stair, and motioned her down. Roger and his girl came down too. Claudine got a picture of me and Marty,with Marty saying "Claudine, we love you..." and one of just Pete because I was soaking up Marty the whole time. Marty when on about the '60's French singer, Claudine Longet, after whom my fiancee' was actually named. Then the band went up for the soundcheck.
They played part of 'In the Court of the Crimson King' with Steve's voice sounding quite different than I've ever heard it. They played snippets of 'No Certainty Attached' and 'The Great Machine', the latter being a favorite of ours, and we missed hearing it live in the actual set.
The blond soundguy picked his nose nearly the whole time he was back in the corner at soundcheck. This was funny up until he came up to Steve's mic and literally rubbed his hands all over it as if tightening the screen.Yecch!
What an inane opening band. I think Seancers could have done a better job.
The Church was amazing of course, and I was in heaven. I sang along
loudly. I was good to see Steve's smile as he sang. A hell of a night and it was good to meet you other Seancers! Take care,
She -- of course -- pulls myself, and two friends of mine backstage as well (that's why I married her).
After Peter, Tim, and Marty were done signing autographs (Steve took off right after the show), Peter asks us to join him and a friend of his (a very sweet woman named Pat) for a drink.
Once we changed our underwear, we did.
We went to a smokey little dive on Peachtree St. near the band's hotel called the Stein Club. That's where we -- for around two hours -- shot the breeze about politics, religion, The Church, family... any and every subject you can think of.
The evening was pure magic. A ton of laughs.
Some of the highlights:
We had a spirited conversation about the Clinton scandal. Peter thinks there's a certain amount of hypocrisy that Clinton can't be a human being. We argued that Clinton wasn't only the hypocrite but a liar and a criminal as well. He spoke about how Kennedy was on speed and he had women in the White House all the time. He really seemed to dig into American's stuffiness when it comes to the bedroom. Fun talk.
He spoke about the science of music. He seemed passionate about breaking his craft down to formulas and numbers. At times he got very spiritual and astrological -- I had a hard time following a lot of his points. Enlightening nonetheless.
He made a moving analogy about how music (especially a live show) was like a sporting event where no one loses. The energy, the vibe, and the competition is there -- but everyone leaves happy. That certainly was the case in Atlanta.
My friend, Kevin, seemed to accidentally discover the meaning behind "Under the Milky Way." Peter was talking about how impossible it is for a people to be monogamous. Fantasies of others invade a their consciousness (especially during masturbation) and prevent a true one-on-one relationship. Peter somehow related that to a Church song. Kevin (half-jokingly) said, "So THAT'S what Under the Milky Way is all about." Peter looked at him in stunned silence. He couldn't believe Kevin figured it out. Something that's shimmering and white? Huge laugh.
Unfortunately, I've got to get back to work. Lots more later. Peter was very unpretentious -- which was refreshing. I was hoping that, once some of the mysteries behind the band were revealed, I wouldn't be disappointed. And I wasn't.
Greg Return to Hologram of Baal tour page.