March 12, 1997
Irving Plaza, NYC NY

Review by Mike Dare. Check out the setlist and pictures.

NYC, NY - The fourth stop of the Cranes US tour. I don't know what it was, but I just had a bad feeling coming into this city. Manu, however, ended up getting the worst of the deal (explained later).

Irving Plaza is actually a nice place for a concert. It's in the Village and has a wood interior and balcony. It's just too bad that the people that work there are such shitbags. But of course, this is NYC.

This was the important night. It was considered as "the big gig" of the tour. A lot of media attention and record company reps were to be at the show. Cranes got to Irving Plaza quite early to set up and do promotional meetings. While, Jim and Ali were busy doing a slew of interviews in the day, Mark and Manu discovered a computer in the dressing room that was hooked up on-line. Manu's first time on the internet and he was having a blast. And yes, that really is Manu who signed the guestbook and voted on the poll. He and Mark were even in the chat room for awhile, but nobody showed up while they were in there.

A large crowd tonight, and a very goth crowd it was. The attendance was around 850, the biggest one yet for the tour. A lot of pressure, but the Cranes rose to the occasion. Definitely their best performance of the tour so far, and everybody around me at the show was thoroughly impressed. And for the first time, even the band believed they had a good gig. After the show, Ali mentioned, "Yeah, we were thinking about playing a different setlist tonight, but we were all freaking out before the show, so we decided to just stick with what we've been used to so far. But, I think we played really well tonight. We still made a few mistakes here and there, but we're definitely getting a lot better."

As for the highlights of the gig...They finally broke out the cloud backdrop for the first time. The venue even had a smoke machine which went over really well with the intro music. During "Sweet Unknown", Ali's hair got caught in her mouth and she had to stop playing for a brief second. However, she didn't miss a beat, and picked the song right back up where she left off... "Good luck, might see you again is our.......................road now". It actually added style to the song, and the crowd gave her a round of applause.

Jim's girlfriend, Jenny (along with her friend and Tuuli bandmate Claire), were present at the gig and they did not go by unnoticed. Everybody's attention in between songs was diverted to some crazed chics screaming from the balcony "Make some fucking noise, you people!!!" I had never met them before, but I just instantly knew who they were.

But despite the great performance, the night had to end on a somewhat down note. The Cranes were really into it that night, and decided to do a second encore for everybody, "Starblood". Manu was all excited because it would be his first time playing this song on the tour. But after the first encore, the idiots at Irving Plaza turned on the house lights and brought the screen down in front of the stage as if the show was officially over. The crowd began to file out, and out of frustration, Manu kicked the dressing room door. Not a good move, Manu. He ended up spraining his ankle very badly and is now on crutches. Some of you at the DC show may have noticed this.

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