Sisters Of Mercy – Powerstation Feb. 22, 2012

With all the smoke on stage, it was difficult to see them, but Sisters Of Mercy brought their brand of goth-rock to the Powerstation Wednesday night. These days the band consists of leader Andrew Eldritch on vocals accompanied by guitarists Ben Christo and Chris Catalyst. The band (meaning Eldritch) has never employed a live drummer, depending rather on “Doktor Avalanche”, the name given to whatever hardware (or software) is now keeping the beat for the group.

The trio came out cloaked in a haze of fog, generated by a machine that seemed determined to keep the audience from getting a good look at Eldritch, who was, upon closer scrutiny, wearing a goatee and shaved head. They opened with Ribbons from their 1990 album Vision Thing, although it was hard to tell exactly what song Eldritch was singing as his voice was buried deep in the mix, leaving the first 30 minutes of the show to be focussed mainly on the guitars and the omnipresent drum machine.

Once the mix was cleared up, it sounded like Eldritch was in good voice, treating the sizable crowd to favourites like This Corrosion, Mother Russia and More, with Andrew sounding very much like Billy Idol on the latter.

The crowd didn’t seem to mind the questionable sound mix, or the fact that bass lines and keyboards were also being generated by mechanical means. Like the Kitty, Daisy and Lewis show a month earlier, most of the fans in attendance took the show as an opportunity to dress up…not in rockabilly gear, but in black eyeliner, black polyester,  or black anything.

The songs were most effective when they featured strong guitar riffs, since those were actually being played by live musicians.

After a somewhat short regular set (just over an hour), the encores included a pensive Something Fast followed by a more energetic Vision Thing and crowd favourite Lucretia My Reflection. After a lengthy instrumental, they closed out with Temple Of Love.

All-in-all an entertaining, if somewhat unspectacular show that would have been improved a better sound mix and a live rhythm section.

Marty Duda

Set list:

  1. Ribbons
  2. Detonation Boulevard
  3. First, Last & Always
  4. Crash & Burn
  5. Logic
  6. This Corrosion
  7. No Time To Cry
  8. Gift That Shines
  9. On The Wire
  10. Arms
  11. Dominion/Mother Russia
  12. Summer
  13. Alice
  14. Anaconda
  15. More
  16. Flood
  17. Something Fast
  18. Vision Thing
  19.  Lucretia My Reflection
  20. Instrumental
  21. Temple Of Love