Monday, November 17, 2014

The Birthday Massacre / New Year's Day / The Red Paintings @ Empire 11/15/2014

I went to see The Birthday Massacre ($17) at Empire, hopefully to play a full set this time! Last time, Chibi had an accident and her knee got screwed up, forcing a short set.  I met up with miscreants- Mari, Bridget T, and Spencer! I noticed that the parking lot was full and had to hustle in the cold from across the street. It turned out to be a sold out show, apparently. This was one of the rare Empire Sold out shows!

There were a ton of people there, as it apparently was a sold out show! I'm pretty sure I saw one of every colour of hair except orange. You had the goth crowd, some metalheads, and some other people there- all ages too, from younger kids going to their first show to clearly balding older dudes. That I thought was rather interesting mix of people.

 Merchandise wise, Pain! had a huge set up, shirts, patches, some CDs. The Birthday Massacre had a small section, with a few shirts ($25), I believe all their CDs, including their newest "Superstition" ($15 each). It was like Children of Bodom with their reaper on all their CD covers - all of TBM's were purple with those silhouettes of kids. New Year's Day had shirts, their latest album ($10), and something else. The Red Paintings had a bit of merch, too, but I didn't really observe.

I got there in time to see about 2 songs from The Red Paintings from Australia. They reminded me of stolen babies in that their sound was all over the place, quirky, and rather discordant. I didn't like their songs apart from the violinist. They were an eclectic mix- Drummer with some sort of Japanese facepaint and no shirt, a violinist with blue and black hair in a black kimono, a bassist also with blue and black hair in a kimono, but her hair down, and a guitarist/singer in a silver coat, R2D2 backpack, and a furry Russian hat. They also had some sort of live model with a painting on them and some large 2 faced mask on stage, to go with a hamster running in a wheel on top of a speaker. I really didn't "get" them apart from they are some sort of performance art based  experimental band with some very spotty songwriting skills and perhaps a bit too much of the "look at me I'm quirky" feel going on.

Their songs seemed like a mess mostly minus the violin. Even that was a bit much for the last song. I couldn't get into them, but I kind of see what they were trying to do- blend visual art, performance art, and ??? into one bizarre package. For some reason their singer was annoying me too. It was the birthday of the violinist Alix Kol  apparently, and some roadie brought out  a cake for her. That was cool. I can't say I enjoyed their performance but can respect them trying to do their artistic dreams.

The kind of poorly named New Year's Day was up next. I had last seen them with Combichrist and thought they ALSO "tried too hard." Frontwoman Ashley Costello certainly looked rather lovely, and the band was rather into it but I also couldn't get overly excited by them. The sound mix was horrible where I was standing- drums, guitar, and side vocals drowned out Ashley's lead vocals. Their energetic performance was enjoyed by some in the crowd, but their "trying too hard" to be edgy (Ashley and her filthy mouth again- it's odd how I have a complaint about the language, but I think it is more so the unneeded aggressiveness/nastiest that surrounded it) or to get the crowd to participate would be augmented by having better songs.

Ashley Costello aka Harley Quinn

I braved thru their performance, trying to focus on the Harley Quinn ish (New 52 version) Ashley and trying to hear her vocals. There was a lone 'mosher' who got a little too excited during one song (IMO unprecedented), but the crowd seemed somewhat into them. I just didn't think they were that good.

Kind of hard to see in the back

The Birthday Massacre finally took the stage around 10. I was secretly hoping that they would not be the 3rd disappointment of the night (if that is even possible). Tired from work and some less than great performances, and some chubby guy behind me leaning into me did not make for a good mood. Thankfully TBM did not disappoint! I had not realized until maybe Thursday that they were releasing a new album (ridiculous because I usually am good about that sort of thing), and my experience was impacted by not having that new album (picked it up this evening tho), as they played about 6 songs from it. On the way home I was listening to them, but at the time I didn't have much exposure to these new Superstitious songs. Their excellent last album was a bit overlooked IMO.

Chibi points

Lead singer (and shortest shorty) Chibi and the band were certainly full of enthusiasm and the crowd was the most lively for them (obviously). Chibi seemed very excitable and was rather animated, she was constantly waving, jumping, thanking the crowd, making that stupid little heart, etc. She seemed so genuine we were all pretty fixated on her for the entire show. For a sold out show, the crowd was loud but not as mobile as I would have expected. There were a number of jumpers at times, tho.  I  don't know if it was the other bands that put me in a mood or the many new songs that I was unfamiliar with, but I didn't feel that I enjoyed this show as much as I had anticipated. The new songs sounded good, but I just had heard them maybe once before, so my excitement over them was subdued.  Later on, Chibi went and mentioned the past 2 times were kind of cursed (1 at Jaxx, vomit was involved, the last time her knee got all screwed up), and that this time the "curse was broken!" So that was a relief.  The mix was pretty good, much clearer than NYD, which was a relief. Chibi's vocals could have been upped a bit, but the keys and guitar mix were pretty ideal.

The Blurday Massacre

Overall, I did enjoy seeing TBM again, a full set, but the touring bands just made them look better. It was also good seeing a sold out show at Empire again! I think I would have had more fun if I had remembered to pick up the new album (which does NOT have a booklet, might as well get the digital copy for cheaper) before.

Next show: come mosh with us, Exodus at Empire!

The Red Paintings (~8:32- 8:46)
  • Mad World
  • The Revolution is never coming
New Year's Day (9:02-9:34) (approximate, not sure on all the songs as other similar sets were pretty different)
  • I'm No Good 
  • Epidemic  (new)
  • Other Side 
  • Death of the Party 
  • The Arsonist
  • ?Brilliant Lies
  • Do Your Worst
  • ?Any Last Words
  • Two in the Chest, One in the Head
The Birthday Massacre (10:04- 11:32)
  • Red Stars
  • Destroyer
  • Divide
  • Diaries
  • Superstition
  • Pins And Needles
  • Video Kid
  • Lover's End
  • Alibis
  • Beyond
  • Kill The Lights
  • Leaving Tonight
  • The Other Side
  • Blue
  • Control
  • Forever
  • Always
  • In The Dark

  • Happy Birthday
  • Sleepwalking
  • Midnight