For the Spring ’15 Edition 3.0 of #blkgrlswurld Zine share with us the wildest most surprising things you’ve seen go down at a rock show. Photos, drawings and prose welcome. Send your submissions with your name and website to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Manson in the flesh, I never thought it would happen,” remarked a girl standing behind me in the swarming crowd of fishnets and studded black boots. A vision had finally come to fruition for all of us. Marilyn Manson was back in New York City, in Hell’s Kitchen blessing us with showers of glittery nightmares and whispers of industrial canticles.
With a music career now spanning over 20 years, the excitement of his return to the stage with new work from the album Pale Emperor has been well received amongst fans and critics. His latest songs like “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge” and “ The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles” generate soulful chants and rolling beats amongst a fuzzy, scratchy atmosphere of blues rhythms. It’s a warm bath my ears have been dipping into during my subway commute ever since the album dropped earlier this month.
Arriving to the performance a bit late I found the audience buzzing with anticipation minutes before his first appearance on stage. With intentions of hanging in the back of the venue to snap photos, I found myself in the bewildering situation of being pushed/carried towards the front of the stage once the show began, tumbling among the flaying hands and wet bodies. My eyes peered up from behind spiked mohawks and ornate corsets as I swayed breathless in the crowd getting ever closer to the singer. At one point I was pushed so far ahead that I was directly in front of Manson, arms outstretched, terribly close to the absolution he offered. Our hands nearly touched as he smiled at me and then, ACK!!! My body was pulled under into a sea of bodies going wild at his song, “Rock Is Dead.” Next thing I remember is standing in the entrance of the venue attempting to catch my breath—eyes stark white, hair disheveled. After a few moments I stood up, looked back at the crowd and whispered, “Wow…”
Some of the heaviest guitar riffs in black metal rattled the Webster Hall crowd on Saturday night, causing hairs to stand on end and paint to peel from the walls. An intoxicating spell of grimy death and doom was offered up by co-headlining bands Watain and Mayhem as part of their Black Metal Warfare Tour. Featuring the band Revenge as their opening act, I was pleasantly surprised by the sharp energy and theatrics presented by veteran band Mayhem. Considered legendary in the black metal genre since the early 1980s, I’m always thankful to see bands that have been playing and pushing new boundaries since before I was born.
I discovered black metal as an orchestra kid, finding both the drawling chords and speed metal riffs similar to classical music compositions I had been studying for the violin. For me this show was cathartic…
Ah, the holiday break! A new year is here and we’re back in NYC after celebrating the close of 2014 with my people in south east Michigan.
While hanging around the “D” we were able to catch a performance by Erykah Badu downtown, with artists Tank and Dej Loaf opening for her show. Not sure what it is about R&B but it’s become common for artists of this genre to be late to their own performances. And I don’t mean fashionably late, I mean 2+ hours delayed and the theater staff are going home before the audience late. A similar situation went down at Afropunk Fest this year when D’Angelo and the Roots were scheduled to close out the event. Plenty of folks waited for over 2 hours for them to appear, while I gave up and headed home some 45 minutes into the milling around.
Hardcore rock and metal fans descended upon Webster Hall during a chilly Friday night to wild out at one of the largest shows Every Time I Die has ever performed. With some 30+ stops on this tour, the band has been making music for over 15 years and released a new album this year calledFrom Parts Unknown. Architects (UK), Hundredth and Backtrack opened the show.
The great thing about tours that feature several bands is the variety of rock styles you can sample. If the bands are different enough, music cliques will start claiming space in different areas around the stage. The punks stand in the back of the room while the hardcore rock is playing and the thrashers glare in disbelief at the kids chanting melodic metalcore anthems. On a good night you might discover a new band with a style you hadn’t thought you’d enjoy…
My obsession with contrasting musical arrangements continued last night when I attended the Met Opera to see La Traviata, composed by Verdi. The original story, “La Dame aux Camélias” or known in America as “Camille,” was written by Alexandre Dumas in 1848. He is most recognized for his classics like “The Three Musketeers,” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”:
Dumas was a French nobleman of Haitian descent who was able to to use his father’s station to navigate a time in France when slavery was common practice. The story of Camille was so wonderful and yet sad, , there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
If you’ve seen the classic American film starring Greta Garbo, you get the gist of the story. Camille or in this case Violetta is a French courtesan (kept woman) who knows she is dying and has committed herself to burning out in a life of partying and pleasure. Alfredo is one of her many suitors who declares his love for her, but the true irony of his character comes from his inability to recognize how ill Violetta is becoming. It’s so clear to everyone but him, which shows his love is immature and naive. In my opinion Violetta’s attempts to hide her tuberculosis are halfhearted and he should have realized what was going on. Still, in the finally moments of her life, Alfredo emits a blind love for the woman, only to have her die in his arms. Grand romances like this are similar to Romeo and Juliet, where the lovers are terribly self centered -consumed with the idea of love and rarely paying attention to the other person. So sad! :( Add these elements to the robust melodies of Verdi’s opera and you make for a stunning evening at the theater.