TVD Live Shots:
The Sisters of Mercy
at the Palladium, 5/23

Iconic rock band The Sisters of Mercy took the stage at the legendary Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, and the sold-out show was truly a night to remember. From the moment the band stepped on stage, it was clear that they were here to deliver a performance that would be talked about for years to come. When the dust settled (and after an unannounced special guest appearance), the show ended up being that and a whole lot more. The Sisters are back and better than ever.

Wednesday’s 22-song setlist was a tour de force of The Sisters of Mercy’s greatest hits, featuring fan favorites like “Marian,” “Dominion / Mother Russia,” and “More.” Each song was delivered with raw power and emotion, as singer Andrew Eldritch prowled the stage with his trademark baritone growl. In addition, fans got to hear a handful of previously unreleased tracks including one of my new favorites, “Don’t Drive on Ice.” It’s an instant classic and one fans have been praising it since it was first performed live in April of last year.

Eldritch was a commanding presence throughout the performance, delivering his trademark vocals that were both haunting and powerful. His distinctive style has influenced countless musicians over the years, and it was clear that his fans still held him in the highest regard. The audience sang along with every word, their passion and devotion evident in every shout and fist pump. By the way the crowd was reacting, you might have thought they were magically transported back to 1984 during the First, Last, and Always Tour. Truly incredible.

But it wasn’t just Eldritch who stole the show. Guitarist Ben Christo was a clear standout, shredding through solos and adding an extra layer of intensity to an already powerful sound. His additional vocals on many of the Sisters tracks highlighted his immense talent as a musician and his importance to the band.

Dylan Smith took the already dark sound to a whole new level as he riled up an already raucous crowd with mind numbing guitar madness and a killer stage presence. Meanwhile, “Ravey” Dave Creffield (aka Nurse to Doktor Avalanche) delivered pounding rhythms that shook the floor and rattled the bones of the faithful all night long. Definitely the glue that keeps this sound so unique and special—well done.

The stage production at the Palladium was simple but effective, featuring a backdrop of minimalist red, blue, and green lighting with dry ice effects that added an extra layer of murky atmosphere to the already intense performance. The band members themselves were dressed in black from head to toe, creating a striking visual contrast against the colorful backdrops.

As the night went on, the energy in the room only continued to build. During “When I’m on Fire,” (a song born in the depths of the pandemic) the crowd erupted into a frenzy, jumping up and down and singing along with abandon. It was a perfect embodiment of the passion and energy that The Sisters of Mercy have inspired in their fans over the years.

Now on to the encore. After a brief intermission, the band reappeared on stage to a thunderous ovation and it was clear to all in attendance that something special was about to happen. Under a flood of green stage lights, the multi-talented Terri Nunn of Berlin joined the Sisters on stage for one of my all-time favorite TSOM songs, “Temple of Love.”

While the original featured Ofra Haza, Terri made this version her own, reminiscent of her feature in 1993’s “Under the Gun.” What an amazing moment in Sisters history. Terri was simply brilliant and took an already killer show to a whole new level. When the final notes of “Temple of Love” rang out, the crowd once again erupted into a deafening roar. The Sisters of Mercy wrapped by crushing their two final songs including “Lucretia My Reflection” and “This Corrosion.” Both left the audience breathless with smiles from ear to ear when the house lights flickered back on.

In short, The Sisters of Mercy’s performance at the Hollywood Palladium was a night of music and energy that will not be forgotten any time soon. The band’s passion and intensity were on full display, and it was clear that they still have the same raw power and emotional connection with their fans that they did when they first burst onto the scene in the early ’80s. Andrew, Ben, Dylan, and Dave were incredible, and did true justice to this iconic band and their brilliant catalog.

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