After having seen Emilie Autumn at Summer Darkness, for which I like to regard myself as the catalyst that made it happen, and sadly having missed her show in Utrecht last december, I obliged myself to visit the show at the rather revamped Effenaar in Eindhoven. I haven't been in there in quite a while; the last time was just over a year ago, when Laibach was on their Volk tour. In the months leading up to the concert, I got more and more excited to see Emilie live again, and it got even better when Sieben was announced to tour with her. Of course, being on the same label, and both playing on the violin, it's a rather logical choice, despite the differences in music.
It was apparent that most visitors were there for Emilie Autumn. One way or another, her biggest fanbase are teenage girls, and a lot were dressing up trying to have some of Emilie Autumn's style. Some succeeded, some were, sadly for them, pale copies. It's all good though, as long as they do what they like.
First up was Matt Howden's musical outlet Sieben, who I was thrilled to see live, especially after having reviewed his latest album, the wonderful 'Desire Rites'. The crowd was a bit surprised to see one man, dressed in a stylish yet simple black suit, picking up the violin, introducing himself, and start playing. I'd love to have on record what everyone's thoughts were, but I guess there were a lot of "what the hell?" and similar ones. When one person with a normal violin is on stage, you do not expect the kind of music that Sieben performed. Anyone familiar with his music knows that it's layer and layer of violin loops, played with different techniques. It was really impressive to see Matt building up the loops live, and do crazy things with a violin. I bet most of you never saw a go going frenzy while beating and tapping on a violin to create 'drums'.
After the first song ended, the crowd went wild. A massive amount of applaus arose, fueled by Matt's spectacular performance. I really believe he gained a few fans that very evening. Ultimately, the performance was to my taste too short. I can enjoy this music for a really long time, but as timeschedules go, they have to be followed somewhat. Sieben's show was very entertaining, with some nice interaction with the audience, and the continuous alternation of playing techniques. This truly was a performance that deserves the title " Sieben, or 'what you didn't knew you could do with a violin' ". I'm still rather ecstatic, and just this performance alone was worth the money.
But the night was long from over. Next was the main reason why most (all?) visitors where there; the victioriandustrial muze of suicide and her bloody crumpets. The show lasted for around two hours (!), and was more a theatershow than your normal concert. There was a lot of talking and interaction, really a lot. The crumpets on stage did more this time than at the Summer Darkness show, which was very good. Now they were not just pretty and nice stagefilling, but actually part of the show with singing, playing instruments and more. The performance was more a whole thing this time. Wonderful!
After the intro, the first two songs from the Opheliac album were played, and I was rather afraid of going down the whole Opheliac CD. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful album, but I'd rather hear some songs from Enchant as well. Lucky me, the next track proved to be Shallot, one of my favorite tracks from Opheliac, and rather close to the Enchant album. Then there were.. more tracks from Opheliac, but also violin solo's, which Emilie said she found very selffulfilling. After two encores, the show was finally over, sadly, but the night was not yet.
Until 4 AM there would be a cybergothic afterparty. I stayed for quite a while, also because I wanted to talk with Emilie a bit if possible. But around 90% of the audience had that idea, and it wasn't until 2 AM I finally had the chance. It was a nice little conversation, during which she signed a limited edition of Enchant, and actually remembered a message I send to her around a year ago, concerning she should play at Summer Darkness.
Also, Matt signed Duo Noir's 'Marseilles' for me. When I bought it, I had at first no idea he was standing right next to me, which was kind of embarrasing. Still, we had a nice little conversation.
All in all it was a fantastic evening. Thanks to everyone that made it happen, and of course especially the performers.
The wonderful photo's are courtesy of Nancy Ploeger, used with her kind permission. For more, and larger, photo's of this evening, go to her site.