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Though I am someone that loves the energy and aggression that comes with metal music. I have a soft spot in my heart for the softer side that comes with gothic rock. Even frequenting some goth night clubs in my younger days. When I heard that The Sisters of Mercy were coming to town, to be honest the name did not sound familiar. But when I looked up their music, I was surprised to realize how much of their music I had heard before. All those years spent dancing at my favorite goth club, Necropolis, was secretly making me a Sisters fan, and I didn’t even know it. I knew I could not miss their show when it came to the Hollywood Palladium, and the nostalgic feeling hearing their music live might bring. Bringing with them Strange Cities to open the night, I along with many others, were ready to dance through night.

Opening the night was San Francisco post punk quartet Strange Cities, and they brought the perfect vibe for the night. Lead singer and guitarist Daniel Nakazo Clark layers his voice into Strange Cities music beautiful as if he is cry-singing from the heart. Speaking out to anyone who would listen to him. Trading off licks with fellow guitarist James Levis who brought a type of mystique to the stage as his person, as he let his guitar do the talking for him. Bassist Clay Vorheis and drummer Dan Caporale were in perfect sync as they created, what felt to me, as walking melodies. Strange Cities had the perfect grooves that you could just put your headphones on, go for a walk, and get lost for hours in their songs.

Finally, when it was time for The Sisters of Mercy to hit the stage, hearing their music live felt like I was getting ready every Wednesday night to head out to Necropolis. Opening the night with “Don’t Drive on Ice,” the Sisters were there to set a mood first and foremost. Fogging the entire Palladium up, and casting spot through strategically throughout the stage. The band members were lost in fog on stage, letting their sound radiate through the venue. Lead singer Andrew Eldritch was like Nosferatu stepping in and out of the foggy shadows. Armed with his deep baritone voice that sunk into your ears and gripped you tight, like the fangs of a vampire sinking into your skin. Flanked by guitarists Ben Christo & Dylan Smith who driving guitar lines raised the energy into the venue. Manning the drum machine known as Doktor Avalanche was Ravey Davey. Doktor Avalanche is the heart beat of the Sisters of Mercy, as he drives the rhythm and synths that gets the crowd dancing and losing themselves in the atmosphere that is created. Fans could not be stopped from dancing through The Sisters 22 song set which included “Ribbons,” “Crash and Burn,” “Alice,” “First and Last and Always,” “But Genevieve,” “Giving Ground,” “Show me,” “More,” “Eyes of Caligula,” “I Was Wrong,” and “When I’m on Fire.”  The Sisters of Mercy couldn’t settle for a quick encore, as they knew their fans pleaded for more, and played a three song encore featuring “Lucretia My Reflection,” “Temple of Love,” and ending with “The Corrosion.”

I knew I was in for a treat with The Sisters of Mercy coming back to Hollywood. I was expecting to see many people come out in support of the Sisters and their legacy. What was I was not prepared to see was the attire of the night. Seeing people pilling into the Hollywood Palladium dressed head to toe in gothic fashion like black fabrics, torn clothes, pentagrams, chains, belts, big hair, striking black eye liner, and more. It was gorgeous. It wasn’t just the younger kids either, all the elder goths brought out their 80s gothic fashion from deep in the closet to show up in droves. As I mentioned, the show had people dancing all night long, and that includes the elder goths reliving their younger years without a care in the world. The night belonged to them, and no one could take that moment from them.


Matt Martinez

Editor - Orange County

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