Sisters of Mercy Return to LA: After ten Sisters-less years, Los Angeles’ goth/darkwave/death disco fans can be forgiven for feeling a little starved. Frontman Andrew Eldritch may have mixed feeling about that, and those labels. As readers will rediscover from our Sisters of Mercy / Cruel World Fest cover story (out tomorrow), the man wants nothing to do with any such scene. He seems to hate the idea of “pasty-faced dweebs” waxing nostalgic to old Sisters tunes, and he certainly hates the term “goth.”

And yet, let’s be honest, the crossover of fans attending this gig at the Hollywood Palladium and those going to Cruel World is pretty thick. Despite Eldritch’s protests, there were plenty of pasty faces on show on Monday night. The clothes were 99 percent black, and much of those were leather, latex and/or lace. The frontman can moan all he wants, but his adoring audience is what it is.

That said, we wouldn’t want him any other way. The unwilling dark prince isn’t supposed to be cheery and chipper. So his complaints about sound issues track. We do get a “we wouldn’t be here if you weren’t here” towards the end, which is quite charming. But he’s generally not for between-song banter. He and his current lineup of the band just get on with the business at hand.

He was right about the sound issues, to be fair. The vocal mix in particular was rough all night. Most of the crowd didn’t seem to notice, particularly those on the floor intent on dancing and chanting throughout the set. Sat on the balcony it was pretty obvious but still, the songs were strong enough to carry them through.

Those used to Eldritch can rest assured that there were plenty of deep cuts and new songs in the set. Eldritch is gonna Eldritch. Hardcore fans rejoiced at the inclusion of “Giving Ground” from the Sisterhood side project.

But there were plenty of those classics — the morbidly romantic gems that many of us listened to through our formative years, eyes wide and staring at the ceiling. “Dominion/Mother Russia” remains a monstrous anthem, and “More” is glorious (though it misses the female vocals).

“Something Fast” from the Vision Thing was magnificent in Hollywood, and the unrelenting trio of encores — “Lucretia My Reflection,” “Temple of Love” and “This Corrosion” was spellbinding.

Hopefully the sound will be better when the Sisters of Mercy return to this venue next week. But my god, those songs. To quote the man himself, “I want more!”

Sisters of Mercy Return to LA: The Sisters of Mercy play the Hollywood Palladium again on Tuesday, May 23.


The Sisters of Mercy Setlist Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA, USA, North American Tour 2023

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