Emilie Autumn Live NYC 2008 Review

This is an example of what I did NOT see

This is an example of what I did NOT see

Emilie Autumn’s 2008 show in NYC was one of the worst evenings I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with her music, she’s basically a violinist, though she can also play harpsichord, guitar, and viola; and has composed music for cello and bass. She’s been playing violin since age four and was considered something of a child prodigy.  She went on to be admitted into several prestigious music schools, but her tenure at same was abbreviated due to her unwillingness to conform to the musical and aesthetic tastes of her professors.  Oh, and she’s also a pretty damn good costume designer as well.

So why the harsh criticism of the show?  Well, it’s like this: I went to go and see an accomplished violinist.  Instead I saw five girls on stage singing while Vogueing and waving their arms around.  The more astute among you may have noticed that there’s something missing from that description: I didn’t say anything about any instruments.  That’s because, except for one song where Emilie played her violin, there were no instruments at this concert. The girls were all singing along to a karaoke machine.  The reason I knew they were singing, and not lip-syncing, is because of the atrocious feedback that persisted, more or less, throughout the whole set.

This performance was more like something that some sad little black emo kids in highschool might have done in their talent show.  I shall now attempt, dear readers, to enumerate some of the things they did.  In this way do I intend for you to suffer as I did:

  • Touching of One’s Forehead with the backside of One’s Hand, whilst rolling Both Eyes Heavenward, evoking Tragedy of Epic Proportion
  • Providing the Masses with a Benediction in the form of Several Stars, covered with Glittery Paint, Hung from a String, Attached to the Ends of Rods, thence to be Waved About over the Audience’s Heads
  • Swaying and Stumbling, as though Overcome by some Dark Madness
  • Elegantly Waving and Posing with Feathers, Scarves, Handkerchiefs, Stuffed Animals and other Accoutrements
  • Rehearsed Flirting with the Audience, reminiscent of what One might find in a House of Ill Repute

The whole time I felt like I was watching some female Spinal Tap, certain that at any moment Druids or a Stonehenge or some shit would appear on stage.  I kept wanting to laugh, but then stopped out of shame at actually having bought a ticket to this mess.

They were essentially trying to do something Victorian, but they are not actors and it was overdone to the point of embarrassment.  And, unfortunately, since there were no instruments, this absurd performance is all I am able to review.

Update: Thanks to whoever linked to this on Emilie Autumn’s site.  I’d recommend against reading the comments here unless you just want to hear a bunch of whiny art school dropouts tell me how wrong I am and how kareoke singalongs are actually what real concerts are supposed to be like.



  1. Oh I hate it when you look forward to sometthing and it becomes a HUGE let down 😦

  2. Yeah – lately it’s been a run of really awful shows. But Laibach was awesome, and Rasputina is coming next week and they never disappoint.

    Thank god someone on the alternative new media circuit doesn’t worship this new bullshit she’s trying to feed us.


    la fae violette

  4. Just because it’s something differnt. You’re very closed minded. We all know she can play the songs and they sang them beautifully (unlike most artists these days who are editted to fucking death). I thought the show was very theatrical and entertaining. It was different than the usual role of concerts that are quite boring in my opinion.

    But I guess that’s just what I think. Sorry if I was harsh at all.

  5. Closed minded? I was at the show wasn’t I?

    Anyway, my problem is that I bought tickets to, and expected to see, a concert. What I saw was closer to an off-off-broadway musical.

  6. You didn’t do enough research about her concerts.

  7. You really need your head examining. If the show’s were as crap as you say, then why the hell do we sell out before they even hear about them?

  8. Why would you buy a ticket but not do research on any of her previous shows to get a feel of what it would be like first, especially when it sounds like you have no idea what Emilie Autumn is all about? There are videos all over Youtube; if you had just taken ten minutes to look them up, you could have saved yourself an evening. She played the violin in at least four songs, by the way.

  9. F*CK YOU
    you’ve obviously mistaken an icicle for a rectal thermometer.
    The show was fun, let go and just enjoy the music. It’s not like other concerts where they just stand and play songs exactly like on the album, you get what you pay for: A live show. And a good f*ckin show at that.

  10. One thing that makes me laugh, if people hate our shows, then why do they even bother coming? The fans are who make the show and we love our fans. There’s always a small group who just come to try spoil the shows just for the fun of it. Some of our real fans have missed out on the show because those idiots bought the tickets. It’s things like that, that actually spoil it for fans, and it upsets us so much.

  11. Just because you were there doesn’t mean you’re automatically not close minded. Do research before going to a show and bashing it for not being what you wanted. End of story.

    *huggles Maggot*

  12. Di you even LISTEN to any of her music before hand?

  13. Maggot, while I did enjoy the show it was not what I expected nor was it what I paid to see. I was hoping to see more instruments in the show (though the venue’s size would not have been very accomidating to it) because I’ve been a fan of Emilie Autumn since “Enchant” first came out and I am more used to her earlier music. She is a very talented musician and she needs to use that to her advantage. I was saddened to see her rely more on sexuality (I know that not all of it was that) to sell her music at this show more so than her raw talent because she was so against it at the beginning of her career. Also, many people paid money to see this show because no one (unless they were someone who spent insane amounts of time on EA’s site and fansites) had a good idea of what they would be in for for.

    Also, that show SHOULD NOT, I repeat SHOULD NOT have been all ages. The show was a mild burlesque show. I’m not saying that burlesque is bad, but underage Hot Topic addicts (and their poor parents who had to bring them there) should not have been at the show. I also felt terrible for the young girl that was pulled on stage. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that girl could not have been more than 15 and she looked horrified. It bothered both me and everyone around me. For the record, this is not an attempt at gay bashing because I’m gay.

    Again, I ultimately enjoyed the show, but it did not live up to my expectations as a long time Emilie Autumn fan.

  14. Try telling that to the 350 million fans worldwide who come to see our shows. Our shows are about entertaining people and last anything between 3 and 6 hours.

    The price you paid, I don’t think you could really complain about as I’ve seen alot of groups perform a 50 minute show for anything up to $9000 a ticket and even they don’t have instruments on stage. Also if you noticed, the violin and keyboard were used during the show. They are the only 2 instruments Emilie really needs to play.

    As for not having a good idea of what they would be in for, Youtube exists you know. Our fans check the site out alot so please don’t tell me they don’t know what’s in store for them.

    Also with the girl, if she didn’t want to come up on stage then why did she put her hand up? I seen the Youtube video that was put up, and the comment she left on it and she seemed really happy to be brought on stage. Age doesn’t matter anymore with the performances because nowadays the kids act more mature than the adults themselves, and yes we did give advanced warning before the show.

    As for people being bothered, are you sure? I recall everyone enjoying the show apart from a small group of immature idiots who from what I could tell were homophobic.

    If you have any complaints in future, rather than blasting it on a page which no-one really looks at, why not join the Emilie Autumn Forum at http://forum.emilieautumn.com and speak in there, where the millions of fans actually read stuff.

  15. You’ve had 350 million people come to all of the shows?

    I was not complaining, I was merely responding to what you had said. My girlfriend came across this review and showed it to me. Also, if no one reads it then why did you respond?

    I thought that the label decided whether or not the shows were all age. Correct me if I am wrong. Additionally, the negative comments that I heard were not homophobic. For example: I had a couple standing near me during the show that I shared a conversation with and they told me that they would not have been comfortable with their daughters attending the show. I have a 13 year old sister (around the same age as many of the show’s attendants) and I would not have brought her to that show. Just because people enjoyed the show overall does not mean that they enjoyed every single part. It’s good to take some criticism into consideration otherwise you will never improve.

    I’m not sure what you meant by your maturity comment. Burlesque shows (which is what the show was a mild version of) are 18 and over. I don’t think that minors should be exposed to that kind of thing. Just because 90% of the entertainment industry has no qualms about exposing kids to it earlier and earlier does not mean that you should as well. I thought Emilie Autumn was not into conventional methods of selling music. It just comes off that she doesn’t care anymore and that saddens me. If that is not true then I will stand corrected. Her stance against not having the music industry changing her image to make more money is one of the numerous things that drew me to her. I developed a great respect for her as a result. Now that she has signed onto another record label instead of being self-produced she seems to have changed. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, I just wish artists weren’t so willing to change themselves to do it (even Ani Difranco has done it).

    I wasn’t complaining about the price. It’s just not what I paid to see. I paid to see a very talented musician utilize that talent more than she did. I am not saying that the show was so terrible that I never want to see it again (I would gladly pay to see her again) nor am I discouraging anyone from attending. I was just disappointed slightly because it was not what I had expected. This is because it would seem that she has changed drastically from what she was. I was hoping to see her play some of her older music as well.

  16. I responded because one angry, really upset fan showed it to me. That doesn’t mean everyone reads it.

    If you really think she’s changed then that’s just your opinion. She’s still one of the loveliest, most honest people I have ever known and I wouldn’t change her for the world and she does still stand by what she said.
    The record label has not changed her. As for the show, she played quite a bit of her old stuff unless you didn’t notice. The majority of songs were between 2 to 9 years old and then some and if you were a die hard Emilie Autumn fan, you would know that.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the show you wanted to see but with a hell of a lot of traveling and the short amount of time we have to fit an entire concert in, do you really think she’d be able to perform an extra 3 to 5 hours to play all of her old music before traveling hundreds of miles to the next destination by bus?

    It’s a very very tiring job and we strive to give our fans what they want.
    As for your comment about not wanting to bring your 13 year old sister, that’s your choice. You admitted you’re gay yourself, so of course the sight of women baring a tiny bit of flesh would sicken you.
    We do it in a tasteful manner without any nudity or nipple slips. It’s like telling a janet jackson fan that they can’t go see her because she accidentally popped a nipple on stage, or telling a 12 year old they can’t see britney spears because she wears next to nothing.
    Times have changed and so has entertainment. The difference being, we’re one of the very few bands that people actually pay for, who don’t mime to pre-recorded tracks and we are here to entertain our fans, who we love so much. If it was up to us, we wouldn’t charge people to see the concert, but we do have lives away from the concert and we do have rent, bills and food to pay for just like everybody else.

    p.s. We do take criticism seriously, but stuff like this pisses us off

    Thanks to whoever linked to this on Emilie Autumn’s site. I’d recommend against reading the comments here unless you just want to hear a bunch of whiny art school dropouts tell me how wrong I am and how kareoke singalongs are actually what real concerts are supposed to be like.

  17. I’m the one who was on stage and I’m 17. Thanks. I was not horrified, I was nervous and I don’t regret being picked at all.

  18. Note to the update: That most certainly shows just how open minded you are. Thanks so much for clearing that up.

  19. Veronica apologizes for making you nervous hunnybuns. But she’s glad you enjoyed the show and even more glad you was definitely of legal age lol.
    We’re hoping to try to do another show in NYC again some time in spring or summer and even more better, we may be doing it in a bigger venue.

  20. No need for her to apoligize it was only my own stage fright 🙂 And being next to Emilie of course.
    Please do come back soon! Bigger venue would be amazing and it’d be neat to be in the Spring because then it might be around the time of my birthday 🙂 I’m going to Europe for a month over the summer so hopefully it doesn’t happen then.

  21. I’m going anonymous here, but as a musician who often draws comparison to Ms Autumn, if my fans ever act this whiny I will cry cry cry.

    This is a concert review. It’s constructive criticism. And thank you for making it! I still want to see Emilie live at least once because I enjoy her recorded music. And you know what’s really awesome? Maybe if shows really were the way you describe back when you wrote this, maybe her muffins will have taken a hint and shaped it up a little by the time she comes around my town again.

    And maybe you’re totally wrong and the show is artistically fantastic, but I’m still glad you expressed your opinion here.

  22. Iv seen her live… i didnt even like her at the time, but i gotta admit it was amazing….dont know what this “review” is talking about to be honest

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