There are a lot of goth-related shows in NYC this month, including The Cure and Love and Rockets, but up first were The Sisters of Mercy, who played their first show here in nearly 15 years on Friday at Kings Theatre, presented by BrooklynVegan. The band haven't released an album in 23 years, but they aren't resting on their laurels, either, as half the set was new material. Some of it was good, too, including opener "Don't Drive on Ice," "But Genevieve" and "When I'm on Fire."
As for classics, we got five from Vision Thing, the band's most recent album (1990) and its metallic, hard-rock sound feels like the template for everything they do now, with many older songs getting a crunchier makeover. The current lineup of the band -- frontman/founder Andrew Eldritch, guitarists Ben Christo and Dylan Smith, faithful drum machine Doktor Avalanche and its operator Ravey Davey -- does not include a bassist, and I'm not sure why. Especially for something like "Lucretia My Reflection," whose bassline is amazing and basically the whole song, it feels a bit contrarian to not have Christo or Smith switch to bass just for that one number, but Eldritch has never been a "give 'em what they want" kind of guy.
These days Eldritch gets a lot of vocal help from Christo, who sounded higher in the mix than the frontman, who prowled and growled around the stage the whole time (except during the mid-set "Instrumental 86" where he was off-stage). Eldritch's pipes may not be what they once were but he still relishes the spotlight, and the genuinely adoring crowd ate it all up, especially when he'd enact the open-arm christ pose, soaking up the applause. The encore was all hits, with "Lucretia My Reflection" and "Temple of Love" before the whole place, hey now now, sang "This Corrosion" with them to close out the night.
As for those adoring fans, about 70% of the crowd brought their fashion A-Game and came dressed to the nines, and the wide array of black leather, latex, and denim, corpse paint, makeup, hairstyles, etc on display were almost worth the price of admission alone. It was a wide age range, too; there were a number of kids there, all dressed up, accompanied by parents I'm not sure knew who Sisters of Mercy were. The fans made the night.
Photos from the night by P Squared, including some of the fans and openers A Primitive Evolution, are in this post and continue below.
SETLIST: The Sisters of Mercy @ Kings Theatre 6/2/2023
Don't Drive on Ice
I Will Call You
Doctor Jeep / Detonation Boulevard
Eyes of Caligula
On The Beach
When I'm on Fire
Lucretia My Reflection
Temple of Love