Live at The Hollywood Palladium
June 5, 2023 Review by Fatima Kelley
A sold-out Hollywood Palladium was filled with adoring fans that had waited 15 years for the US return of The Sisters of Mercy, and the band delivered an iconic 22-song set that masterfully navigated through classic and newer songs.

I had never seen The Sisters of Mercy live before; it seems I have been playing a sort of intercontinental hide and seek with them, always finding myself in the wrong continent at the wrong time every tour! As such, I have been waiting a lot longer than 15 years to finally hear the songs that accompanied me into adulthood. I can concur with the saying, “The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives,” because tonight felt nothing short of perfection to me.

With a stripped-down stage featuring a red, warming light, heavy smoke added a layer of visual intensity that added to the extreme guttural punch delivered by their music
Andrew Eldritch’s commanding stage presence has withstood the test of time. His elusive stares, his baritone voice is still capable of turning you inside out with every note. The two amazing guitarists – Ben Christo and Dylan Smith – added dimension to the show, contributing a heavier, yet still melodic, side to each tune with rich, multi-layered guitar riffs.

Christo’s vocals also offered a little airiness to Eldritch’s depth, giving an extra dimension to each song. He also brought the stage closer to fans, constantly engaging the audience by leaning towards them every chance he got. Doktor Avalanche and its “guardian,” Ravey Dave Creffield, kept everyone stomping song after song, delivering a steady crescendo of heart-thumping beats that pounded the evening away.
While the entire evening was an unforgettable experience, there were clear highlights for me.

First of all, hearing the newer songs that have not been released as a studio recording yet was beyond exciting. I had only heard them through poor sounding recordings on YouTube, so experiencing them live was not only a better way to capture their musical richness, but completely changed the tone of the evening for me.
The show was no longer about reminiscing on the past of The Sisters of Mercy, but became a presentation of what they are right now as a contemporary, always relevant, incredible band. I can only imagine how fantastic “Crash and Burn,” “But Genevieve,” “Eyes of Caligula,” and “When I’m on Fire,” will sound on a polished studio recording.

The performance of “Alice” was another huge highlight as it is still my favorite song in their entire catalog. The entire audience seemed to explode with their performances of mega hits “More” and “Marion.”
The biggest surprise of the night came during the encores when Berlin singer Terri Nunn joined them onstage to perform “Temple of Love,” covering Ofra Haza’s part. I have to admit I was very skeptical.
Ofra Haza had such an amazing voice, which is truly irreplaceable and unmatchable, but while I acquired a whole new appreciation for Nunn. She performed the song beautifully and infused it with herself, making that moment another wonderful highlight of the night, and the room was filled with waving cell phones.

The band concluded the evening with full audience participation as everyone sang every word to “Lucretia My Reflection” and “This Corrosion.”
Tonight was a beautiful reminder that outstanding music remains untouched by the test of time.

The Sisters of Mercy still have a few stops on their US tour, and then they will hit South America and head back to Europe.


by Fatima Kelley Photography


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