San Diego

Belly Up

September 16th 1999

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Pictures by Christine Readdy (

You can also see pictures from this show at Florian Trout's web site. Here's a more direct link - click on the camera icon next to the Belly Up show.

Henry McIntosh

The show was really interesting last night. The opening band, Grow, got a good response and had alot of energy. They had gotten there a bit late, so The Church didn't go on til later than I thought. Can't remember what time, but the night was over at midnight.

Overall it was a good sound. The first thing I noticed was that Steve looked like he could hardly move. He moved his mouth and fingers and....that was pretty much it. One funny moment was when he went to the mic and said," you're all really lovely, thank you...everybody is lovely, except for him ( pointing to Marty ),....he's gorgeous.." Marty laughed and Steve actually smiled! Yeah

Pete looked like he could care less, but that seems to only be his way. Tim was solid and kept everything together. The tempos weren't as hurried as last time I saw them last fall. "Tantalized" and "Myrrh" were ferocious and Marty just rocks and rocks and rocks. They played 4 songs off of Hologram and a surprising number of tunes off of Priest=Aura, which was a real plus for me.

After the show, everyone who wanted to meet them was being led back a few at a time. The minute I got in there, it felt amazingly awkward. Marty was very nice, as usual, and Tim was holding court at a table and seemed very motivated by the bands latest work. Pete was laying down on a bench almost melting into the wall and Steve just sat there looking at everyone like they were aliens ( which I can partly understand...). They just seemed weary and it made me kind of sad. Its like they didn't want anyone back there. Their music has been a great inspiration to me over the years and I just hope they can once again get the level of recognition they deserve.

Going to the Saturday show in San Juan Capistrano. Good luck guys, we're all loving the music!

This was a thursday night in San Diego, so the show seemed to kick off right on time. The opening band was still plucking away, when I showed up. But there weren't very many people showing up for them. I was kind of worried about a small turn out, but I guess everybody knew about the opening band. Everybody except for me, of course.

Anyway, the Church were punctual, and business like. The marched straight through a nice robust set list. The crowd I was so worried about finally showed up, and the show was excellent. There werent too many of the oldies in there, and they tend to steer clear of the radio friendly material, but the show was awesome. The cover album give's them some good versatility. The opener to show was Hiroshima Mon- Amour, and they did a fabulous rendition of the Endless Sea. My favorite's were the encore's though, there were two of those, and they played both Cortez the Killer and Silver Machine. They were playing a few more track's off of the Halogram's of Baal album, something they really didnt do the last time they toured here. Both Louisiana and Buffalo instantly becoming classic Church material. Ripple was another solid player, but then again, all of the song's played were superb. The crowd was responsive to everything that was played, and the band just cruised to the set. Oh by the way, they are debuting another new song, to a studio release that is probably about a year away. The song is in the same style as Halogram's of Baal, so it's another pretty number.

I cant remember the name of it, but it's another good Church moment. If you dont have ticket's, go get them. The Church are well worth the price of admission. And they are selling some of their solo project's on this tour. So, you can get some nice, obscure, material from them. I'll just have to sit around and wait for the Church 2000 tour. Have a good one!!

While my ears are still ringing I thought I'd try and replicate tonight's festivities as best as I can at 1:00 AM. First of all, I must say the set list was a welcome commodity for me. After hearing the usual songs over the past years, it was nice to bring the band into a more recent light. From reading all of the Santa Barbara and LA reviews, it sounds as if the setlist didn't change much. So as best as I can remember here it is:

Hiroshima Mon Amour (good crowd response. I think it surprised the band)

Ripple (this made the masses happy)

Dome (a pleasant surprise. It seems Steve has a hard time singing this one over the music. His vocals seems too quiet at times)

Kings (Fantastic! Tim really shines here and Marty adds so much, its scarry to think if they re-recorded this tune! This is why we need a good live CD from them)

*New song* (afterwards Steve says, "You're a lovely audience. Really lovely." He then points to Marty and says, "You guys are lovely, but he's beautiful."

Myrhh (fists pump and bear bottles were raised. I think Peter may have smiled here)

Anaesthesia (I think I sensed the crowd not believing their ears. This song made us very happy)

Grind (By now all of the focus is on MWP and his licks)

Tranquility (Afterwards Steve says, "You're not lovely, you're marvelous"

Buffalo (wow)

Louisiana (They seemed a little off)

The Endless Sea (Steve says, "This is by..." then the crowd yells "Iggy!" and Steve smiles and says softly..."Iggy." Tim was great. Peter played e-bow.

Two Places at Once (For me it kinda went on too long and peole seemed restless around me. One idiot said, "What's all the shouting about I haven't heard anything I've recognized yet."

Destination (good rendition)

Tantalized (the lights were white and stobing hard while the place goes nuts as usual. They leave the stage and begin the encore ritual. Marty hands over his guitar to someone.

Encore: Day of the Dead (sounded fresher than last year)

Cortez the Killer (a little bland)

Second encore: Silver Machine (awesome. Marty and Tim seemed to have a lot of fun on this one with Marty giggling "silllllva Macheeeeene" Tim whispered something lengthly to Marty during the opening riffs and then got back to his kit in perfect timing for the first fill. Cool moment.

The band left and other than Marty, looked spent and iritated. I guess they trade off the moods. One night Marty is deemed the devil, the next...well who cares. I enjoyed it!

The San Diego crowd was once again phenomenal and I am proud to say that it definately lead to a magical evening. I was so afraid I'd get one of those "tantrum" shows I've been reading about. Before the show, I talked with Marty about the tour and his solo stuff coming. He seemed more interested in talking about his solo stuff. He told me the tour was starting bad and that "we argue too much." That's pretty much it. Peter was his usual straight faced "bored" self. Steve had tunnel vision. Tim was somewhere in the back, hard to see. Marty was the show. I guess you could say it was a typical Church show. One guy apparently didn't get his money's worth and was shouting obscenities directed towards the band off stage. I asked someone around him what the deal was and he said, "they didn't play the songs he wanted." The crowd did chant "milky-way, milky-way, milky way" during the show and Steve said, "Don't do that." Some bouncers had to mop up a fight scene near the end of the show. Thank you and good night!

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