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.