Thursday, January 31, 2013
Chelsea Wolfe : Live @ the earl 2013
First off for a Weds night the turn out was way better than expected as the last time I saw here was last year when she opened for Russian Circles yes there's a review for that show as well on here. I walked in as Woman's Work was playing , an indie rock band that I felt combined alt-country with punch to more modern indie rock though a reoccurring nineties vibe kept popping up as I got both Cowboy Junkies and Portishead from them at times, their bass player was in it to win it and when the singer pulled out her violin during the last song the sonic build was what they need to capitalize on in future song writing as it was the highlight, where the Hank Williams cover they did just drifted past me like back ground noise, they were well received and I wouldn't mind catching them again or booking a show with them myself.
Next up was Featureless Ghost who I had already checked out when doing a preview write up for Hiplanta, so I knew what the deal was going to be and it was a mixed bag of dicks being sucked here, sometimes in a hefty sometimes in a ziplock.They manned two tables of key boards and effects and to their credit the sound was fuller than what I had heard, so this was a hummer in a positive light the I'm bobbing my head after doing a bump in the bathroom at the club and the music is thumping into to the lips making some head way. The hefty bad came out in the irony drenched performance of the duos male half who at one point when we started a game to count how many notes would be sung in key only hit three. Like any time of pornographic display of fellatio there are elements I can appreciate , so the eighties throw back Black Celebration era Depeche mode meets new order moment ok...get it girl, but overall it came across like I was hearing weird B-52s remixes in a pseudo witch house style
Chelsea set up her Lear to her lyric sheets, lit some candle and left the stage to let some ritualistic music ply before she emerged with her keyboardist and Violinist in tow. The proceeded to create a very womb like cocoon of bleak beauty. the lights of this being " Boyfriend" from the new albums, and while you would think since she was taking a more stripped approach it would be in order to recreate the feel of the album, she still managed to put a darker more desolate spin on these , this one her vocals really stood out with more resonance than the studio version. Later in the set and I'm jumping around here , when she took over the piano for " Sunstorm " the vocals were delivered from more of singular point do view rather than the layer approach, which she could have done if she wanted as they violinist and keyboardist at times both sang harmonies.
"Flatlands" was met with surpassing applause when she went into it ,so I didn't realize the new album had garnered this much popularity, it was a compelling rendition , I like how she put more emphasis on the word fuck. So the more subdued approach was in no way her trying to be more accessible as I think her audience is broadening by nature of her talent. The weird backwards effect were not replicated on that one but her vocal performance made up for it as it had a more personal quality.
I liked how the older songs translated in this stripped down format live, "Moses" really let her voice shin in this context and it seemed she was in better for this go around and seemed to go into a soaring ghost wail Thea I don't remember her going into last time. Impressively she end the song performing accapella by using a looped delay on her vocals . While I would have liked to have heard more older sons , I think the taste I was give sufficed , the only ohhh I wish she played moment...was the fact I have had "Cousins of the Antichrist" stuck in my head for a few days now and it was absent. When she said after coming out for her encore that she didn't know what to play and asked us what we wanted to hear I yelled for the Burzum cover which was scoffs out and as the chorus of shhhh spread over the crowd before the last song she said its like grade school which I was amused at.
Someone commented that they wished she had been more animated and felt her despaired sulk with which she took the stage with was more of an act as she blew kisses and smiled to the audience when she left the stage before her encore and it didn't feel genuine . If I hadn't had the conversation after midnight I might have brought up what I felt was the most genuine moment energetically and dispelled any notion it was an act, it was later in the set and the exact song I don't recall but she was playing guitar and singing by her self on stage and the red flash of camera caught her stare and it was eerie but not frightening , and I was to under the influence of any drugs and dead serious when I say this, though it must preface this sense by saying due to my occult involvement I might be more sensitive to this type of energy that muffles might not be privy to ...but I saw so something in behind her eyes like she wasn't there , they seem beadier and not human and funny enough "Demons" just came on as I am typing this but it was similar to how possession was depicted in movie the" last exorcism " it wasn't the look of somebody call a Preist her heads about to spin crazy but that there was a very personal catharsis of her inner demons That came to the surface, you see it on stage in the majickal moments where the artist loses themselves and let's the act slip . Perhaps this it where it slipped l perhaps it layers of ego and the id, the music she writes comes for this place originally best she takes on an impersonation of herself in order to present her self to the public, to push past stage fight , to be. Vulnerable but in control. The little I know bout her personal, like how she won't do interview but in email or Message form tell there are layers there. Sure everyone has them but being an artist and not one who hides behind the band they are more open. Perhaps whatever that peeked out for behind her only managed to do so Becuase she was more exposed than the last time she came though with a full band. The shadow that into the light could be literal inner demons, as I know there is a mutual interest in the occult that she keeps personal , addiction , though she has always had water onstage or some other part of her subconscious she keeps at bay, whatever it was getting a glimpse or but her music in a different perspective, she is less of just a pretty goth siren singing doom laced folk but an artist who has grown into their demons ,letting the, out for fresh air only in the delicate sub space of her staged ritual.