The Mission


As a lead up to their May 11 performance at Pasadena’s Cruel World Festival, The Mission UK treated the West Coast with their “i5/24” Tour, including their final waypoint at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall. Featuring original band members Wayne Hussey (vocals, guitar), Craig Adams (bass) and Simon Hinkler (guitarist) along with Alex Baum on drums, the evening promised deep cuts as well as the classics.

Openers Nuovo Testamento (also slated for Cruel World) kicked things off promptly at 8:15 and ripped through their 45 minute set with aplomb. The 3-piece fronted by the mesmerizing Chelsey Crowley on vocals clearly had some fans in San Francisco but proceeded to win over the remaining crowd which watched raptly, involuntarily moving with Crowley’s swaying and the synth-laden thump from the electronic drum kit. Overall a perfect complement to what was to follow.

With the crew making quick work of the change over, The Mission UK took the stage and launched into “Beyond the Pale” (humorously written as “Pale Ale” on the setlist taped to the stage) from their 1988 release Children. The band sounded absolutely fantastic as they expertly maneuvered through the “classic” material from the 80’s before playing what frontman Wayne Hussey introduced as a “new song” — “Within the Deepest Darkness (Fearful)” from 2016’s Another Fall From Grace — using the opportunity to lament about the state of the music industry before giving shit to the enthusiastic guy up front for wearing a bootleg shirt.

Wayne clearly was enjoying the evening, introducing “Can’t See the Ocean for the Rain” as a country song written in San Francisco before launching into “there is a house in New Orleans…” lyrics from the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” turning the audience’s “woos” into chuckles. As the song ended, he quipped, “lots of fucking rain on that trip!”

The band did a great job of mixing up the setlist relative to their September visit to San Francisco although Hussey acknowledged that there were certain songs that they couldn’t ignore before launching into “Wasteland” as a tuft of what appeared to be confetti seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Before wrapping up the main set, The Mission delivered the second song of a 1-2 punch with “Deliverance” which had a woman standing on a gentleman’s shoulders cheerleader style for most of the song before security finally intervened. As Baum and Adams wrapped up the outro Wayne passed out a few guitar picks before strolling off the stage with, “thank you very much, you’ve been great!”

Of course the crowd didn’t budge, cheering in anticipation of the certain encore which thankfully came quickly. “You didn’t think you’d get rid of us that easy did ya? Haha! We’re going to give you your moneys worth!” “Butterfly on a Wheel” kept the energy level high and when Wayne shouted, “sing it,” that was all the encouragement the crowd need to completely lose their minds.

The encore ended with “The Crystal Ocean” and “Tower of Strength” and rousing applause from the crowd. While the attendance was modest, the passion of the crowd made for an incredibly intimate and memorable show. There’s still one last chance to see them on Saturday in Pasadena — the Cruel World lineup is stacked but The Mission is not to be missed!

Setlist

  • Beyond the Pale
  • Hands Across the Ocean
  • Into the Blue
  • Within the Deepest Darkness (Fearful)
  • Naked and Savage
  • Severina
  • Can’t See the Ocean for the Rain
  • Wake (RSV)
  • Raising Cain
  • Child’s Play
  • Wasteland
  • Deliverance

Encore

  • Butterfly on a Wheel
  • The Crystal Ocean
  • Tower of Strength

The Mission UK

Nuovo Testamento

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