Review and photos: Emilie Autumn's 'insane' stage show enthralls the State Theatre
Emilie Autumn's Thanksgiving Eve show at the State Theater was billed as “An Evening With…”, and that it was.
This up-and-coming star in the goth/glam scene put on a two-and-half-hour show, with no opening act. That’s a bold move for most established artists. For someone on her first solo North American tour, it’s not only bold, but risky as well.
Autumn has been around the block, musically speaking. She’s an accomplished and classically trained violinist and singer; and can play circles around most people on the piano. As a violinist, she’s recorded and toured with Courtney Love and Billy Corgan. As a solo artist, her homicidally insane stage persona lives in “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls” (which is also the title of her forthcoming book) and is on a mission to spread her brand of soft-core goth lust and theatric misery to the masses. After working with Love and Corgan, the “homicidally insane” part might not be an act.
Despite the risk, Autumn managed to keep her fans captivated and engaged throughout the entire show. The bulk of the songs consisted of Emilie singing and playing her violin and piano along with pre-recorded backing tracks. The downside to this approach is that the songs lack any real depth that one would expect at a live show. The mix was often muddy and sounded like an iPod being played through a P.A. system, which it most likely was.
This unfortunate production misstep was a necessary evil, as Autumn’s theatrics take up the entire stage. There were a handful of songs on which she just played and sang with no backing tracks. These were easily the highlights of the night. Her vocals, violin and piano came across with power and precision.
(Keep reading, and get more photos from the show, after the jump...)
The epically long set wasn’t just song after song. Though she didn’t have a live band, fellow female residents of her asylum -- cannibals, anarchists, arsonists and the like -- joined her on stage to help her hold court.
The songs were really just interludes in a five-person one-act play. There were little skits and scenes acted out; very tame allusions to violence, their sexuality, and the general mayhem they partake in. However silly and watered down it seemed, the crowd of mostly 16- to 20-year-olds loved every minute of it.
Hopefully, if Autumn can continue her rise in this genre, she be able to afford a live band and will be playing at venues that can accommodate her “Victoriandustrail” vision.