concert memoirs pt. 22 – wire, killing joke & the waterboys

Wire

6/22/88 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Wire is just so cool.

They had just released my two favorites of their albums: Ideal Copy and A Bell Is A Cup… I know their earlier albums were great as well, but those two just rank high with me. It doesn’t hurt that Ideal Copy has one of the greatest songs ever – Ahead.

Wire’s lead guitarist played with his back to the audience while making feedback at his monitor. You’ll remember that two of the trio, The Jesus and Mary Chain (First Avenue 12/15/85), did the same thing. But Wire still was able to be engaged with the audience, while Jesus and Mary Chain didn’t give a damn. Besides, Wire had much better songs.

The bass player’s bass had a sliding pick-up built in. He would slam it back and forth to making the way cool bangs that open the song Ahead. Did I mention that Ahead is one of the greatest songs ever?

Killing Joke w/Rifle Sport
4/19/89 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Possibly the most serious band in music history. But, I haven’t seen The Henry Rollins Band so…

Lead man, Jaz Coleman, dressed in a grey jumpsuit, his face painted as if for battle, exuding intensity. He was hopping, shaking, quaking with importance. His behavior can seem silly, but he pulls it off.

This also appears to be the first all-ages show that John and I attended at First Avenue. I have noticed an interesting phenomena at all-ages shows. As the audience waits for the band to take the stage they sit on the dancefloor. They just sit there.

The first time John and I had witnessed this behavior, we were mystified. What the hell were they sitting for? We asked a First Avenue staff member what the deal was. He told us he didn’t know why they did it, but the youngsters sit on the floor before concerts. Very strange.

The Waterboys
10/27/89 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

This was a good show, but it didn’t live up to the first time we had seen them (First Avenue 11/6/85). It may have been due to the fact that Kurt Wolinger was no longer with the band, having left to form World Party. The violin player they added didn’t quite make up for Wolinger’s absence.

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