The Church’s ’30th Anniversary Starfish Tour’ celebrates more than nostalgia

Live Review

The Church

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Venue: The Palladium, St. Petersburg, Florida-April 24, 2019

Steve Kilbey of The Church

Rock At Night certainly loves Steve Kilbey (you can check out our interview with him about his solo album Sydney Rococo), so when we found out The Church was bringing the 30th Anniversary of Starfish Tour to America, you know we were psyched!

It seemed fitting that The Church performed at the beautiful Palladium theater, St. Petersburg, Florida, which actually is a converted church constructed circa 1920s. The congregation of 80s music lovers was quite content among the arched pillars and velvet covered seats.

The Church

The Church emerged with Steve Kilbey and the band breaking into “Destination” and then chatting with the audience about our “beautiful city and theater”, then seguing into the ever-popular “Under the Milky Way”.  A lively woman in the front row began to dance as others followed aisles beneath the pillars. Most of the 50-something crowd stayed seated during the concert, nodding along with the music, and mouthing the lyrics.

During the first half of the show, the band moved song-by-song through the Starfish album on a dark and moody stage with red lights, an occasional strobe flash, and yellow lasers.  The backdrop included a screen of swirling graphics, which enhanced the whole psychedelic, post-punk atmosphere.  The sound quality in the theater was amazing—as was the band, which tightly moved through classics like “Antenna” and a crowd favorite “Reptile”, which received heavy rotation on MTV back in the day.

Peter Koppes of The Church

During the evening, Kilbey chatted with the audience between songs, describing his “lucid dreams” and heady stories of attempting to play a vinyl record on a turntable with fuzz on the diamond needle.  At one point he joked about the pending intermission, and even played the pan pipes, saying “I give Skype lessons”, with his droll, biting delivery.

Standout songs in the second half of the concert, included recent hits like the psychedelic “Toy Head” (2014’s Further/Deeper) and “Another Century” (2017’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity), which both featured a heavier sound than their earlier work.

Members: Steve Kilbey (vocals, bass), Peter Koppes (guitar, vocals), Timothy Powles (drums), Ian Haug (guitar, vocals), and touring member Jeffrey Cain (guitar, keys, vocals).

Overall, it was a psychedelic walk down memory lane from a band that spans four decades—and continues to create thought-provoking music in the Millennium.





Tour Dates:

April 11 – Ferndale, MI – The Magic Bag

April 12 – Buffalo, NY –  Town Ballroom

April 14 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theater

April 16 – Jersey City, NJ – White Eagle Hall

April 17 – Annapolis,  MD – Ram’s Head Live

April 18 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere

April 19 – Carrboro,  NC – Cat’s Cradle

April 20 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West

April 22 – West Palm Beach, FL – Culture Room

April 23 – Orlando,  FL – The Social

April 24 – St. Petersburg,  FL – Palladium

April 26 – Houston, TX – Heights Theater

April 27 – Austin, TX – 3Ten @ ACL Live

April 28 – Dallas, TX – Kessler Theater

May 1 – Santa Fe NM – Mew Wolf

May 3 – Los Angeles,  CA – Regent Theater

May 4 – Santa Maria, CA – Presqu’ile Winery

May 6 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom

May 7 – Solana Beach,  CA – Belly Up Tavern

May 9 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriets

May 10 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theater

May 12 – Sonoma, CA – Gundlach Bundschu Barn

For More Information on The Church:
Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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  1. Excellent review, but you have the band “breaking into ‘Starfish'” – there is no such Church song. Was it maybe the first song on their album of that name, “Destination”? Tremendous band who, as you say, is so much more than nostalgia. Always ahead of the curve.

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