First Avenue

September 27th 1999

marty1s.jpg - 3044 Bytes
Picture by Richard Ewald (rcewald@execpc.com)

Just got out of the show at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota -- another great one. Steve shaved his beard and looks extremely young! Everybody had a good time, lots of instrument swapping and fiery Marty solos. The set list was clumped together by album almost exclusively: Three from Priest=Aura, three from Hologram... The new stuff sounds great.

Tim trashed his drum set at the end of the first set... I didn't stick around to see if they were going to clean it up or not! (He did a pretty good job of it)

Kate has posted her review at Heliopolis, her Steve Kilbey website.
Jon (Bagodonutz@aol.com)
Just wanted to say: the Minneapolis show was outstanding! If memory serves me, the sound quality was better and everyone up there looked like they were having fun, fun, fun! Steve had a devilish twinkle in his eye and he grinned through 3/4 of the show.

They all looked amused/annoyed with some of Marty's antics, depending on what and when, but they geled wonderfully. Peter and Marty seemed to have some inside jokes they were grinning at each other about.

Tim's foot pedal on his bass drum broke near the end of I forget which song near the end, so he shoved the whole kit 'n kaboodle toppling all over and walk off. The roadies scrambled it together for the encore and Marty urged the crowd to give them a hand.

And as my friend noted, they looked much healthier this time around.

Impressive set list!


Ali Awan (http://www.teamnet.net/~alia/ChurchPhotos.html)
I got to First Ave. at around 9pm. It was great to hear Echo and The Bunnymen's new album playing on the main speakers.

The first opening band was actually pretty cool, though the guy thought he was Grant Lee Phillips (of Grant Lee Buffalo) with his black plastic framed glasses and suit. Even his mannerisms whilst playing guitar were like GLP's. I realized it was another couple of hours before the Church would come on, so I went to the bar and got me a stiff drink to last through the opening acts.

Contrary to other fan's thoughts, I couldn't stand the Glenrustles. I roamed the club with my Seance shirt seeing if I would run into anyone I could recognize from last year, or any of the descriptions that were posted on the Seance list.

Before the Church came on there were two projection screens (one big one covering the stage) displaying the Box of Birds artwork, interspersed with bits of the Goldfish, Jokes and Souvenirs video projected on the screen.

I thought, due to previous reviews I had read, that most of the people in teh club were family members, and/or record execs coming to see teh opening acts. But when I heard little to no response by the crowd to either of the 2 opening bands, and when I saw the club was just as packed, I realized what a huge turnout there was for the Church in Minneapolis.

Then when the projection screen went up, the crowd roared. I had strategically placed myself on PK's side of the stage, since the last 2 times I had seen the Church I had been on Marty's side. Then the opening drummachine beats to Hiroshima began and PK again played his guitar like a great ambient noise maker, I was amazed at the sounds he was coming up with. I had a huge grin on my face staring up at him, and then he smiled. SK's cheeks were a cherubic red, and he was looking great, the vacation with Ellie and Minnie must have done him good. After the song Steve said "good evening".

They all seemed to be having a blast. I think it was either before Myrrh or Aneasthesia, Tim played the drumbeat to the wrong song or something and all 3 of them stopped turned around and just stared at him, and then he played teh correct thing.

Steve's voice, reiterating what Tom said, and mentioned to me after the show, was spot on! His voice was much better this time around than last year, and Tim's drumming was just excellent. Especially on older songs, when Marty would go into an extended solo or something, Tim was right with him the whole time.

I was a bit disappointed with Anaesthesia, they all seemed to just stumble into it, and it didn't have the same epic feel as it does on the album. It was great though nonetheless.

Peter was moving around more, and later on in the show he even stood up on the drum riser.

Two Places at Once wasn't as good this time around as last year, but it was still great, at the end Marty was strumming and had a huge grin looking at the rest of the guys.

I loved the new song, before it, Steve was handed Marty's guitar, and said something like "haven't played the guitar in a while".

Everytime Marty played lead there was a gang of fans on his side that would scream and cheer. I attempted to do that during one of Peter's solos and everyone in my section looked at me as if I was breaking their Karma in the middle of the song, so I stopped. :(

Steve seemed amused by the fans dancing furiously and jumping around up front.

Before Endless Sea, Steve said "This is a song by Iggy Pop". Tim's drumming was amazing, and haunting, and the dueling E-bows were mind-blowing. I hope they do some of that on some new Church tunes.

I don't have much more to add that hasn't already been said. Before one of the encores, how Steve was the first to leave.

I will however say that I don't feel that the rest of the band were annoyed at Marty's antics. He's always been like that and it serves to fuel everyone's energy.

Oh before Cortez the Killer, I could smell the herbs in the air, VERY STRONGLY, and Marty seemed to be smoking something that did not look like a nicotine cigarette. :)

After Day of the Dead, when PK and TP started Tantalized, Marty did a funny sort of belly-dance/70's hippie-flower-child dance. Tantalized was much better this time than last year, and it blew my mind last year.

For the last encore, PK and MWP came out first, PK started the chords for Silver Machine, and then Marty joined in for an extended intro before Steve and TP came out. Again it was great when Marty was pulling out the strings from his rick, all the while still producing amazing sounds from it.

SK was playing bass better than before, IMO, he was really getting into it during Marty's extended jams and doing some funky improvisation too.

Grind was awesome with both of them on the Rick.

Question for the Chicago seancers, what did PK play on Grind, if MWP played the black Rick? Did MWP play the red and orange Rick? Becuase since the red one broke in Mpls, and both PK and MWP play ricks for Grind, I was wondering what each played if not Ricks.

Josh replied: Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believed Marty played the red/orange Fender 6-string and Pete played the black Rick 12-string.

I hoped to meet the lads after the show, but I hung around the side of teh stage with Tom and Chuck and got to talk to Marty. My Seance T-shirt did not get me backstage. But I got to get my Spirit Level signed, by a baffled Marty when I said make it out to "Ali Baba". I guess maybe SK would have remembered.

I just want to thank the Church for another amazing performance at Minneapolis, and I hope they continue to tour, in the future.

Peace and love, Ali

Return to the USA 99 tour page.