May 2, 2009 ·
A few people have asked me for a full write-up of the San Francisco gig so here it is... When I got in line outside the Grand Regency Ballroom, I found myself between a couple who'd seen TG at Coachella and a guy who'd seen them at the LA show. Nothing but praise for both performances which heightened my anticipation. Inside, we head to the merchandise tables to buy the new album (The Third Mind Movements - wonderful!) and the special per-venue T shirt (a very cool idea). Despite the very wild looking crowd, everyone is very polite and friendly, patient in line, smiling. You'd never think you were at a hardcore industrial music concert! I wandered into the main theater space and was able to get right up to the barrier at the front, just right of center stage (right in front of Genesis, as it happened) and found myself next to the couple from Coachella again. We got into a deep discussion of politics (pointless since we agreed on everything) and then the support band came out at 8pm. A bit surprising since no mention had been made of a support act... they seemed small and young... they said they would play just one song and it lasted 30 minutes. Check out Erika M. Anderson recording part of "Kind Hearted Woman". I liked it a lot and the album is coming soon apparently... can't wait! The stage cleared, much roadie activity (and Erika's band clearing up their own instruments) and then at 9pm, Genesis, Cosey, Chris and Sleazy took the stage for the main event. They opened with "Very Friendly" (about Ian Brady and Myra Hindley) followed by "Persuasion" (which was equally creepy). It was about this point that I realized just how shocking and controversial their music must seem to most people, even 30 years on. I recognized almost every song they played but I had to go look up the set list to be sure. We got a creepy/funny "Something Came Over Me", a chilling "Hamburger Lady", a beautiful "Almost A Kiss", an echoey "Endless Not", a romping "What A Day" and an immensely powerful "Discipline", the final number. In between songs we had humor (esp. the humiliation of Stephanie) and sweetness (the introduction of Genesis' daughter and the admonishment for thinking bad things about her). The sound was incredible, pounding bass making your internal organs shake (standing next to the right hand speaker stack helped) and being so close to the band added to the power of the performance. And then, very politely, it was all over and the wild looking crowd filtered gently out into the night, smiling. When I woke up the next morning, I was still buzzing from the concert and my ears were popping for days afterward. TG in SF will probably be one of the most memorable concerts of my life.