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The Sisters of Mercy:The Wiltern, Los Angeles

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The Sisters of Mercy
The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA —10/08/99

Almost forgotten after a decade without albums, the SISTERS OF MERCY, emblematic group of the goth movement of the eighties, knew how to remind us of a good memory though a surprisingly sold out concert brimming with energy.

The rearguard of LA goth was assembled at the Wiltern Theater on a Friday night to celebrate the coming of the SISTERS OF MERCY, gothic icons. The group sold out the theater for a second show this year in the City of Angels, and the crowd was even more impatient to abandon themselves to the incantations of their gothic gods.

While the cult group has always had a following, they are better known as a studio band than as a live animal, and the primitive side of their drum machine (Dr. Avalanche) hinted at a flat and monotone show. Just the contrary. They released an unexpected energy and succeeded in communicating their fever to an entranced public.

Besides leader Andrew Eldritch and Dr. Avalanche, the group was composed of a guitarist/bassist and a second guitarist. While the voice of Eldritch was more cavernous than ever, the guitars turned out to be scathing.

The show opened with "Ribbons" and alternated classics with new songs. If the first half was more gothic, the second half gave way to guitars and sounds of the nineties. One of the major trumps was updating their early hits where the album versions now sound outdated. We had the right to hear excellent versions "First & last and always", "Dominion", "This Corrosion", "Temple of Love" among others. The strongest moment was without a doubt an enraged "Vision Thing", a veritable live bomb.

As for the new songs that will be on their next album, they were more than convincing, straightforward and tenacious and hinting at a return in force to the studio.

The only shadow on the tableau was the surprising absence of "Marian" and "Lucretia My Reflection", however unavoidable. Through a simple yet effective show, the SISTERS OF MERCY are sure to remind their fans that they havenít been buried yet.

  Fred Thom

     The Mission: Aura

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The Sisters of Mercy:The Wiltern, Los Angeles

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