And lastly, here's part three of three: The Church performing their U.S. breakthrough record, "Starfish", in its entirety earlier this year. Like so many of my fellow 'Mericans, this was my first Church album - hearing (and seeing the video for) the record's second track, "Under the Milky Way", led me on a journey through the Aussie quartet's back catalog, where they secured my forever-fandom. When "Starfish" arrived stateside in 1988, the band already had a 7-year (and 5-album) history, so tracking down LP imports and finding songs like "The Unguarded Moment", "Almost With You", "Tantalized", and "Columbus" was a true treasure hunt. But "Starfish" was the gateway record, and therefore remains closest to my heart.
Some personal highlights from this particular part of that night in Foxboro...
As pro as the band generally is, it's nice to see some looseness creep in - like when guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper accidentally tried to skip over the song "Lost" and head straight from "Blood Money" into his top notch opening riff for "North, South, East, and West". "That was the New Zealand release that was in that order..." quipped drummer Tim Powles. Frontman Steve Kilbey added that Marty "just wants to get off stage and back to those glamorous models he's chained to... actually, it's like a sneak preview of what's coming up on The Church Show!" They launched into "Lost" with "this appropriately titled next track is called...". Cue more laughter.
Also highly amusing - Ace Boston-area rock photographer and writer Tim Bugbee's attempted break for the bathroom just before "Reptile" was about to begin. Revealing the dangers of being up front at a seated show, Kilbey called him out with a good-natured "Where are you going? The restroom? What do you need a rest for, you're sitting down." I don't think Tim ended up escaping after all, so I hope he, um, held out. Good thing there were only 3 more songs left to go.
Speaking of Mr. Bugbee, check out his photos and review of the show over at Prefix. His 1st-person account of the failed bathroom break is noticeably missing from the write-up, though.
Before album-closer "Hotel Womb", when Steve noted they were at the end of the night, an almost-argument took place between him and the crowd: "No!" Steve: "Yes!" Crowd: "No!" Steve" "Yes!". And so on. Says something about Church fans, and the band's performance, that after a few hours and three full albums, many still wanted more. Other bands should be lucky to have such greedy followers.
The band's merch table (above) is truly a wonder to behold. I challenge any other band to measure up to this amount of music - albums, EPs, side projects, boxsets, live discs, you name it. It's a daunting task, but do yourself a favor and dive in - pick up some Church merch and help them keep doin' what they're doin'.
If you're a Church fan, take some time and step inside the mind of Steve Kilbey and his thought-provoking personal blog. He lets it all out there, and sometimes I'm not even sure what it is. But I like it.
Remember, you can easily stream any and all 'Nac-hosted Mp3s at the Hype Machine. Be sure to check out their new iPhone app, which allows you to stream blog-specific content on your fancy little handheld. From my minidisc recorder, to my computer, to my blog, to the Hype Machine servers, up to a satellite, and down to your freakin' iPhone. How's that for a delivery system? We're living in the future, man.
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 256kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are usually not reposted once removed.