The Church at Turf Club
The Church Setlist
Oct. 20 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Oct. 21 - Montreal, QC - Cafe Campus
Oct. 23 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
Oct. 24 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
Oct. 25 - New York, NY - City Winery
Oct. 26 - New York, NY - City Winery
Thirty years later, we find only original members singer/guitarist Steve Kilbey and bass guitar Peter Koppes, and by our definition, it’s still the same The Church, as we know and love. The new members are drummer Tim Powles and lead guitarist Ian Haug, both officially joined The Church for touring post-2014 (when Marty Willson-Piper left the group in 2013), although they’ve previously worked with The Church in one form or another (Powles worked with the Church since 1996). Also, for live shows, Jeffrey Cain joined the group since 2017, as extra guitarist and keyboards/production work.
As a unit, the band looked and sounded great, playing songs after songs without any problems. There was a guitar tech, who made sure each guitar was tuned correctly for the next song. There were very minutes wasted on tuning, or finding the right instrument, but it also meant very few banters between songs. It was all business, with an occasional “This is song number six” joke, which is good, because The Church had about two hours of music they had to play before curfew.
As expected with the Anniversary tour, their first set was dedicated to playing Starfish, from start to finish. For fans who knew the album well, they were aware that “Under the Milky Way” was the second song, so many of them turned up to the show very early and waited in the front to hear the band’s signature song. Understandably, it was a work night (Monday), and a few fans left after the first set was played in its entirety.
For those who stayed for the second set, which, personally speaking, was a far superior set, we were treated to some rarely heard songs (with the usual hit songs from the past: “Metropolis” and “Tantalized”).
Personally, for me, hearing “Ripple” live was a rare treat. According to setlist.fm, and I don’t know how accurate it is, but they said that “Ripple” was last played in Minneapolis at First Avenue in 1999. In the past ten years of seeing the band on and off, I can verify that I’ve never heard the group had never played “Ripple”. I’ve even previously complained about it. The band re-introduced the song into their set in 2016, but managed to skipped out the Twin Cities. They did eventually return to Minneapolis in Oct 2017, but did not include the song on their 2017 set.
Another highlight of the second set was for “Undersea”, which featured a special guest bassist, introduced as Rob (or Ross?).
If you love The Church, chances are that Starfish was your first album you own. So seeing them on this Anniversary tour is a must. Plus, with a double set of pure The Church, this is a great tour for any diehard fan.
Can’t wait for the 30th Anniversary Priest=Aura Tour in 2022!
The Church at Turf Club, St Paul (15 Oct 2018)