“When’s the last time you went to a concert and were shocked?” says Chuck D of Public Enemy. “Rarely does the crowd get fuckin’ taken aback by a combination.” So get set for the cultural shock of the summer. Sisters of Mercy frontman Andrew Eldritch envisioned a Sisters-P.E. tour and, with reality upon him, insists it’s a harmonious coup: “Any kids that can put up with a snotty english band that plays rock with a drum machine is bound to give Public Enemy a good ear.” - Rolling Stone, 1991
Unfortunately due to poor label support and a naive estimation of their fan’s cross genre interests as they appeared in a small club, as opposed to Lollapalooza’s maiden tour the same year as a large festival, poor ticket sales inspired the cancelling of the west coast leg of the tour.
The Sisters of Mercy wallows in the horror and illogic of the world while Public Enemy tries to make sense of it and shake things up. Gang of Four is alienated by society, while Warrior Soul wants to dismiss it with contempt. The result was a fascinating cultural event and a frustrating concert in which the groups’ disparities became more apparent than any shared bond. -Chicago Tribune on July 14, 1991
Although Sisters of Mercy topped the bill, part of the audience left after Public Enemy finished. “We should be supporting Public Enemy,” Andrew Eldritch, the Sisters’ leader, said from the stage; in England, “supporting” means “opening for.” But it was only lip service. Otherwise, the Sisters of Mercy might have shortened their overlong set and given Public Enemy more time… Each band was blunt and focused, but disappeared after its set. If the musicians really want to suggest a new community, they might consider playing a finale together.
-New York Times on July 26, 1991
Eldritch commented in a 1992 MTV interview: “I thought [the tour] might be interesting… unfortunately, it was too interesting for America. America’s got a big problem with anything that’s too interesting, particularly when it’s black and white… So, it didn’t go as well as it might have done.”
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