Gothic rock was born in the 1980′s. Many bands came and went during that time and many influenced an entire generation to follow. When Wayne Hussey (guitars/vocals) and Craig Adams (bass) left Sisters Of Mercy and formed The Mission in 1986 something special was born. Over the years The Mission has sold nearly 4 million records worldwide and have released 12 albums in that time including their newest offering The Brightest Light. Now 27 years since the release of their debut album God’s Own Medicine and an 11 year absence from playing in North America The Mission UK have returned! The Mission UK clearly still are relevant to their fans as they received an overwhelming request for this tour to happen. Although an abbreviated tour of 10 dates here in the states, it’s definitely an exciting time for fans. With original members Wayne Hussey, Craig Adams, Simon Hinkler (guitarist), and the band’s newest member Mike Kelly (drums) this proves to be a special tour.
On Thursday September 5th, on a cool evening in NYC , The Mission UK came to Irving Plaza. Opening the evening was Brooklyn based dark synthpop 2 piece band Light Asylum. Shannon Funchess (vocalist) and Bruno Coviello ( synthesizers) opened things up with a unique set of dark electronic songs. Funchess provided an energetic performance which caught the eye of fans as they gathered in.
As the evening went on, eager fans piled into the venue providing a solid audience for The Mission UK. When Hussey and company hit the stage the crowd rejoiced in cheers. Opening things up with a track off their soon to be released album The Brightest Light , “Black Cat Bone”, the track was an excellent start for the set. With melodic guitars and enchanting vocal performance by Hussey the song shows the band still has a knack for writing quality tunes. Wasting no time the band went right into their 1988 classic single “Beyond The Pale” to an enthusiastic response. Keeping the adrenaline pumping the band went right into the 1987 tunes “Serpents Kiss” and “Naked And Savage”. Mixing in some new tracks the band decided to concentrate on the First Chapter (1987) album throughout the set. Engaging the crowd in between tracks, Hussey seemed humble and happy to be playing in New York City again. A high point in the show was when the open notes of “Butterfly On A Wheel” echoed through the venue. Fans sang and danced as this memorable track filled the air. Focused on the performance the entire show, it was during this track Hussey noticed the only little girl in the sea of fans and reached over the barricades to directly hand her a guitar pick. This was a truly exciting experience for a young fan as much as it was their parents which most definitely turned them onto The Mission UK.
The band closed out the set with the track that started it all “Wasteland” and a powerful new song “Swan Song”. After an a rousing ovation the band came back out on stage for a encore. To the satisfaction of fans, the band treated them to a medley of a new track “Drag” into the Jimi Hendrix classic “All Along The Watch Tower” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”. As if the experience wasn’t exciting enough, they closed out the evening on a high note with “Deliverance” and “Tower Of Strength”.
For a band which has not played North America in over a decade, and with this line-up, the set was balanced with new and old tracks. The newer tracks fit well with the bands classic material and kept fans attention. The stage chemistry between The Mission UK was clearly there and they sounded tight and energetic. Dedicated fans surely will not forget this rare concert.