The Church’s tour behind their latest record Untitled #23 made it’s fourth stop last night in Seattle, and from my perspective, they were firing on all cylinders. They played at one of the city’s premier venues, The Triple Door. Upscale as the venue was, nothing could get between the band and their rabid fans.
The opening song, “Tantalized” set the tone for the evening. After an extended introduction, they locked in, and the crowd went nuts. For two solid hours The Church played “hits,” near hits, and tracks from Untitled # 23 to a sold out house filled with rapturous fans.
The Church have been incredibly prolific over the past 30 years, and have a huge amount of catalog to choose from. Which is why the set list at this show was so impressive. Pulling out the obscurities made fans like myself very happy indeed.
I have always been a huge Steve Kilbey fan. His solo album The Slow Crack remains one of my all time favorites. But Marty Willson-Piper’s guitar work absolutely stole the show last night. Usually a person’s attention is riveted to the vocalist, but I could not take my eyes off of Piper.
He found an opportunity on literally every song to show off his amazing guitar skills. It was never about showboating though. The sounds emanating from his guitar were simply riveting.
And I have to mention the fact that Piper hung out at the merch table for a couple of hours before the concert, happily meeting and greeting fans. I saw a lot of cell phone pix taken, and it was pretty damned cool.
Adam Franklin opened, and did a great job. While I really enjoy his latest Spent Bullets album, somehow things seemed a little slow live. Until he pulled out an amazing cover of Roxy Music’s “Pyjamarama,” that is. His band absolutely turned my head with their version of this classic song.
The evening ended with the one two punch of “Under The Milky Way” and “Reptile.” The guy next to me had mentioned that he had proposed to his wife during “Under The Milky Way” some 20 years ago. I watched him pull out a new ring to reaffirm their vows during the song, and saw her say “Yes.”
It summed up the entire evening for me. A band who are 30 years into their career releasing one of the best records they have ever recorded, touring in a van, back where they started.
And loving every minute of it.
The Church live are as as powerful live as they have ever been. Maybe better even than when I first saw them on the Starfish tour, oh those many years ago.