Artist: Emilie Autumn
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Label: The End Records
How does one properly describe what Emilie Autumn does in concert to the layperson? In all honesty it is not all that easy to do but I shall give it a go having seen her in concert two times before tonight’s experience. When you think of it, Emile’s Autumn’s show is not as much a concert as it is an “experience” because even though it features music, there is acting and shenanigans that present you with artistic theatre from beginning to end. This is achieved almost simply but with keen planning as Emilie and her merry band of players who call themselves “The Bloody Crumpets”, are unique characters that each play a particular role during a performance. This time around there would only be three Crumpets with Emilie in The Blessed Contessa, Captain Maggots and Veronica Varlow. Let the games begin.
According to reports, Emilie and her group were scheduled to do a VIP meet and greet before the show and during this Emilie would also be treating those fans to a special violin performance. Unfortunately that little set of plans would go down the stream as issues with the bands tour bus kept them a few states away and only arriving when the doors were supposed to open. As I arrived I learned that the group had literally just made it and were all rushing about in order to get the stage set up. Emilie’s theatrical setting is not something just tossed together and is rather involved so more waiting on the cold night was in store for all who were online. When they finally opened the doors to the Gramercy Theatre, the Victorian Wayward Girls who follow her all rushed to the stage and the waiting game until the show began. They play a strange piece of music that sounds circa 1920’s if I was hearing properly and while cute for a few minutes can get on ones nerves. Everyone was excited and then the show was on as the lights dimmed and Emilie’s companions came out first under dramatic visual behind what reminded me of a Stargate entrance backdrop.
Emilie has seemed to open with “4 O’Clock” for awhile and since this is almost like watching theatre the set list would not change all that much. “Opheliac” found everyone a bit more lively as its an energetic tune and from my vantage point I could hear the girls in the front screaming their lungs out along with her. Its always impressive to find that kind of response. I must mention that most of Emilie’s music while recorded by her is delivered to the audience via tape with the exception of when she is playing either the electric violin or the harpsichord. She does both extremely well and in my opinion should really do more of this in her shows. Again it as much a theatre experience as it is a concert so I will not gripe about this. After “Innocence” finds Emilie in a wheelchair being attended to by the Crumpets she leaves the stage as the Contessa introduces everyone. She returns with “Liar” which I think is a fantastic tune in its own right and one she should promote a lot more. “Unlaced” leads us to “The Rat Game” which is Veronica’s time to shine a little brighter on the stage. It is very crowd participation at this point and she makes everyone do what she does before she brings someone onto the stage for a little silliness that closes with a kiss. For “306” we find Emilie playing some violin and just showcasing how awesome she is at it before giving us my absolute favorite number in her repertoire “Dead Is The New Alive”. I must admit I would love to hear her Metal that one up a bit more and release it.
“Cookie Time” is both The Contessa and Captain Maggots being silly and essentially finds the Contessa spitting cookies at everyone. I had to admit I was glad that I was a little farther away for this part. As much as I love cookies, I like to completely eat them as opposed to sending them back. There is so much going on at an Emilie Autumn show that one actually needs a checklist to be sure that they didn’t miss anything and while I am only touching upon them lightly we do also get a feather dance from Veronica, a longer violin solo from Emilie, a silks performance by the Contessa and some crazy stage diving from Captain Maggots. The last time I caught them perform there were stilts and more aerial stuff done but I think the bus breakdown compromised some of the other stuff unless Emilie was trying to get her show under a little more control.
They bring the night to a close with a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and end with “Thank God I’m Pretty” which reminds me a little bit of Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls. As the “curtain call” music is piped through the girls take bows and touch the outstretched hands of the sometimes crying fans. Its really amazing to see that Emilie has this kind of effect on them but in the same sense really cool how she can touch their souls with what she does. The official show ended just around 11:45pm which was much later than hoped for but everyone got a long show from her that did a lot of things which will remain imprinted in their minds.
After the show, the fans that had purchased the higher priced VIP ticket were able to remain in the venue and congregate down in the lounge area of the Gramercy Theatre. It was here that Emilie Autumn would come out and address them for a few minutes with some light banter and then show off her skills on a traditional violin. The cameras were doing their thing with abandon and Emilie had to pause for a moment citing how while she loved the attention, that she would prefer that everyone instead enjoy and take it all in. I couldn’t blame her for this position and it was the chance to absorb something very different and yet such an important part of the entertainer. She would perform Bach’s “Partita” Number 2 – in D Minor. Of course I didn’t know this off the top of my head and would have to confer with the tour manager to get the proper scoop. Even though this was considered more of the premium package treat, I had to say that it made me want to hear Emilie performing more classical stuff if ever possible.
Summing it up after seeing Emilie Autumn three times I would have to stick with the need to come to her show with an open mind. Its not for everyone but yet there is something for everyone to enjoy. I know that must sound weird but if you arrive with reservations or a closed mind you have simply wasted your money. I think a DVD is in order for the musician and while some might view that it takes away the special nature of a live show, I maintain that it can also broaden her reach and that is never a bad thing.
3. 4 O’Clock
5. The Art Of Suicide
7. Contessa Gives Introductions
10. God Help Me
12. The Rat Game
14. Dead Is The New Alive
15. Cookie Time
16. Violin Solo
17. Mad Girl
18. Bohemian Rhapsody
19. Thank God I’m Pretty
Official Website: http://www.emilieautumn.com
Official Website: http://www.dangerdame.com
Tonight would be the first time ever that Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets would perform at the Gramercy Theatre so in keeping with our standard here is the musicians name in the bright lights. It looks rather nice to see that.
Emilie’s fans are also a unique bunch and they dress to the nines in their Victorian Gothic Wayward Girls fashions. After seeing the Hangry & Angry Fashion Show at NY Comic Con last year, I had a musing that an Emile Autumn centered fashion show of some kind would really go over well. She should do that in the future if she has time. Here are some of the fans against the barricade that was set up between the audience and the stage.
More fans from a different angle. They were really excited to see Emilie once again.
I had to ask the person holding the sign what in the heck was the “VKA” and I was told that it stood for “Veronica’s Kissing Army”. Once that was said it made sense as I have seen the show before and knew how it was referenced.
Dig this. The young lady in the next photo actually crafted her own little Suffer Bear. She said that it was so convincing that some fans thought she was the culprit that had stolen an original from Emilie’s stage. Wow, talk about a crappy thing to do. Steal from a musicians stage. I hope I never catch anyone doing that because I shall turn you in.
Some of the fans were interested in placing things like this on the stage and since it was so close to Valentine’s Day I helped them since they could not reach. I was a bit saddened that there was no candy in this heart. Not that it was for me in the first place. Oh well.
Another great thing about an Emilie Autumn show is the super cool trinkets and merchandise that she has available for sale. Take a look at some of this stuff that was downstairs in the lounge area. Not only did Emilie have cool little tote bags but a flask, a special t-shirt and some items listed as “Thunder Rats”. I really loved the “Thunder Rats” one since it was so unique.
The next batch of stuff for sale was that of the Bloody Crumpets and that means items related to the Blessed Contessa, Veronica Varlow and Captain Maggots. The cutest thing was Maggots own shirt that said “Don’t Fuck With Me I’m A Pirate” and also the “Contessology” shirt. There were posters also, and of course Emilie had those as well. You can also see that copies of Emilie’s “Opheliac” were on hand for sale. It’s an interesting album to say the least.
Contessa also was serving up these cool little cosmetics
And some interesting lockets and keys
The fans that had purchased one of the VIP packages got this cool laminate to wear in order to participate in the added fun. As we mention in the full concert report, for this particular show, Emilie would be doing the VIP meet and greet stuff after the show instead of before. Based on its design it was a little tricky to get a proper shot of it.
I made sure to leave you all with a full gallery of Emilie solo performing shots as well as the stuff from the live concert so I hope you enjoy them all. Here is a teaser of that special VIP coolness. By the way, the fans who did this were also served tea and got a cool poster that Emilie herself had drawn.