Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tea and Bloody Crumpets

Doors for the Emilie Autumn show were supposed to be at seven. They weren't. It was much closer to eight. My compatriots and I stood around in the autumn chill and the spitting rain shivering and talking and poking fun at the goth kids in line. There were quite a few of them (OK, that's an understatment). I was wearing a corset and black pants, and I still looked downright normal. Make of that what you will. There were actually quite a few kids in attendance, which I found highly amusing. There were parents there, standing next to their gothed out kids. I admire those parents their coolness. If I’d tried to get either of my parents to take me to a show at that age—let alone an industrial/goth show—I’d have been laughed at.

The stage was already set up when we were let inside. And the line at the merch table was a mile long. We headed for one of the bars and got drinks, then milled about with everyone else waiting for the show to start. None of us thought to try and get close to the stage at that point, so by the time I wanted to get closer, there was really no way to do so without pissing someone off.

This show? It was worth the wait. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was more than just a concert. The four Bloody Crumpets (Captain Maggot, Naughty Veronica, Aprella and the Blessed Contessa) made their entrance to “Best Safety Lies in Fear” which is a mostly instrumental track. Emilie made her entrance singing “4 O’clock”. It was a fabulous start to a fabulous show. And let me reiterate to make myself perfectly clear: this was more than just a concert. These women don’t just stand around singing to the crowd (who all sang back for the most part, myself included). They put on a show. The theatricality and the talent of these women is astounding.

Following the intro came “Opheliac,” to resounding cheers. Emilie ended up playing the majority of her album, but that wasn’t all she did. Maggot left the stage shortly into the show and reappeared on the balcony. To the left of the stage hung a big hoop, and Maggot deftly climbed over the balcony and dropped into the hoop, where she twirled and flipped for the duration of the song, finally dropping into the crowd at the end. She is crazy and awesome. During “Shalott” (which is definitely based on the Tennyson, in case you were wondering), Emilie took a break to chat with the crowd. Normally I think something like that would bug me—get on with the song!—but it worked well here.

Emilie and the other three girls took a break during Dominant, an instrumental, and Veronica, who is also a burlesque dancer, did a fan dance. To the vast disappointment of everyone, but especially the douche who would not stop screaming the WHOLE NIGHT (and not in a fun way, but in a drunk and douchey way), she didn’t lose any of her clothes.

Oh, speaking of that guy. We all remarked at one point or another during the night how badly we wanted to do grievous bodily harm to him. I can understand being appreciative of an artist—I did my fair share of screaming too. I can even understand being appreciative of the female forms on stage—Emilie and all the crumpets are extremely beautiful and they perform in elaborate corsetry and not a whole lot else, and they look damn good doing it. But this guy was ridiculous. He was the biggest annoyance of the night. He was practically the only annoyance of the night (the other being that my feet were killing me by about halfway through the show). Seriously, folks, please show your appreciation, but don’t be that drunken asshole that inspires anger in your fellow concert-goers.

I loved the interaction with the crowd that Emilie and the girls all worked for. They did a good job of it. Veronica played the Rat Game, in which she announces that she’s never kissed a girl in Baltimore, then pulled a member of the crowd up on stage and kissed her. It’s really cool that all the girls have their own talents. Maggot does her thing with the hoops, and Veronica has her dance. The Blessed Contessa, as it turns out, does some awesome Cirque de Soleil-style thing with a sheet. I wish I knew what it was called, but it involves twisting herself in a sheet and obvious acrobatic skill.

She’s also a fire-eater. During “Dead is the New Alive”, she performed that feat, and then lit up the fire hoop for Maggots to do her thing with. It was stunning. I was floored by the talent these girls possess, and I loved how involved the show was.

The thing about EA? Her voice? Her awesome (in the original sense of the word) voice? That huge voice comes out of this tiny creature. And it’s deliciously unedited. What you hear on her album is what you get, folks. She’s not one of those studio created artists—she really does sing like that. It’s sweet and scary and powerful and amazing. She really does play the harpsichord as well as the violin.

My favorite part of the night, which which I’d been looking forward to for weeks, was when Emilie got out her violin and played for us. I’m pretty sure words can’t even express how amazing she is with her instrument. Not only that, but it was abundantly clear throughout both of her violin pieces that *this* is what she really loves to do—and I’m pretty sure if asked she would consider the violin an extension of herself instead of a mere instrument. She is, first and foremost, an amazingly talented violinist. I was in awe.

Possibly the only disappointment I felt all night was that she didn’t play my favorite song from Opheliac, “Swallow”. It wasn’t really much of a disappointment however, considering the show I witnessed. They closed the show with a fucking awesome cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. Emilie played the guitar parts on her violin. Did I mention that she shreds on that thing?

Emilie Autumn’s Opheliac Deluxe Edition is due on October 27. Meanwhile, check out her website and show some love.

(Oh, and if you’re interested, the playlist below is as close an approximation of her set list as I could manage, for your listening enjoyment.)

This article is cross-posted on Lizzie's blog (where it appears in a longer and far more fangirly version).


George said...

I'm glad it was a good concert, but there's nothing in the world more annoying than "cool" parents who take their dumbass kids to a concert, it totally kills the mood.

And keep in mind, I myself am a dumbass kid, I'll probably hate it even more when I get older.

Lizzie said...

it wasn't the kids OR their parents who tried to ruin the show for everyone, so I can't complain about either.

TylerDFC said...

I've never heard of Emilie Autumn before now but after reading your review and listening to the songs I've ordered Opheliac from Amazon. Great review!

Anonymous said...

well i know alot about emilie autumn and the blody crumpets and i think she is just amazing... i've been to many gigs but i have never been to one like emilies. she get the audience invovled to. when she plays the violin she plays it so passionatly... she is just an amazing operson all over and i'm glad that i found out about her and that so many people look up to her as a role model........ =) xx