Milla wanted to go see OTEP, so we got advance tickets and noticed the eccentric One-Eyed Doll and the um shamefully named but remarkably catchy Picture Me Broken were opening (and once again I was more interested in seeing the openers rather than the headliner). However, a wrench was thrown into planning when I noticed that it was an early show- a hip hop event was slated for 10PM or so- the time I was expecting Otep to go on. Empire announced that Otep would go on at 8:10 and Otep's bookface announced she would be on at 8. So, I realized that with our current plan we'd miss Picture Me Broken ( :( ) and maybe One-Eyed Doll. We saw Scott there, he loves Otep.
So we got there a little before 7, and noticed that it was pretty full (a few hundred people I think) in the main room. Not a bad thing! There was no band on the stage and I noticed Brooklyn from Picture me Broken had a loooong line of fans, so they must have finished their set already. In a turn of less metal, yes I wanted to see them, but I wasn't too depressed cause they are a young/new band and WILL be around again. One-Eyed Doll had a ridiculous lights and flashing black dry erase board with all sorts of merch. Otep had several shirts, Picture me Broken had shirts and posters, maybe CDs, I'm not sure
As with the other Otep show we went to, the fans were rather diverse. You saw metalheads, hardcore fans, black people, white people, gay people, straight people, younger kids (Picture me Broken crowd?), old timers, and even a couple kids under 10.
Shortly after, One-Eyed Doll took the stage with their unique energy. It was her on guitars and Junior on drums. They, bizarrely similar to Inquisition, brought a lot of sound and energy for just 2 people. Now I will say I didn't really dig most of her songs, but the way they were presented and the on stage antics were immensely entertaining. There were pits for several songs, and the crowd was pretty receptive. The antics included sing alongs, calling the location Austin Virgina Texas, rambling, silly story telling, odd voices, going into the crowd, climbing the speaker on the side, and in a theme of the night many hat (cowboy, pope hat, cardinal hat, devil horns, grand poohbah furry, glittery top hat, police hat) changes.
I'm glad we saw One-Eyed Doll, even if her music itself was... not my thing. Otep and her were rather enthralling despite my complaints of their actual music. I think the highlights of her set were the changing to a cowboy hat and encouraging the crowd to give a 'metal yee-haw' after a guitar riff in a song AND the end of the set where she instructed the crowd to 'Follow Me...' to the predictable merch booth!
Shortly after one of the quickest set changes I've ever seen at Empire, someone was pumping an odd selection of music over the PA- some lame dance song, Journey, Neil Diamond, some hip hop, some slightly better dance song before Otep's intro. As she took the stage, the crowd erupted and got rather rowdy. I think she's def gotten bigger. I immediately noticed that her bassist and guitarist (the guy from Destrophy) were wearing BATMAN VILLAIN MASKS. The bassist had a Batman Begins Scarecrow Hood, and the guitarist had a combination of items to make it look like the comic BANE (luchador!!!). I was disappointed that the drummer didn't have a Two Face mask or something.
Otep's songs, again, I thought were not really my style with all the odd song structures and rapping lyrics. Her live presence and command of the crowd were eclipsing this, IMO. I think she and her band sounded better than last time. It seemed that Destrophy (basically her backing band) was rather tight and cohesively augmenting her performance, getting very into the performance. Continuing the hat theme (masks, hats, similar)- her band not only had masks, and Otep herself had a couple hats/masks (sleeping mask, military hat, lace face mask thing). She had a couple more props (the infamous pig head) that I def appreciated on the theatrical level. The crowd was totally into it and were rather loud.
Otep herself had several fun rants, like shouting at roadies at the back of the stage, 'massaging' the mic stand, calling something "retarded"... then quickly correcting herself, dissing the hip hop event that was to follow- and suggesting she show up and show those 'cats' how to really mosh or whatever. Overall, a pretty entertaining show, even if her screams felt like they were somehow louder than other shows. I still think her best song was the Nirvana cover. And I don't like Nirvana. Some guy walking by got a kick out of my look of disgust when Otep called Kurt Cobain 'Great.'
Now, the show ended at around 9:30, plenty of time to see Lich King and Possessor (who would go on at 12 and 11 respectively). Well we were already out... and the place was on the way back ish, and not expensive...So we made an executive decision to roll over to Silver Spring to see LICH KING, POSSESSOR and whomever else we would get there in time to see.... Part II of the evening
One-Eyed Doll on top of speaker
One-Eyed Doll hats
Otep w/ henchmen
One-Eyed Doll (7:05- 7:44)
- Plumes of Death
- Be My Friend
- Nudie Bar
Otep (8:13- 9:31)
- Eet the Children
- Crooked Spoons
- Apex Predator
- My Confession
- Blood Pigs
- Battle Ready
- Breed(Nirvana cover)
- Rise, Rebel, Resist