For some individuals, going to a concert over the weekend is a highlight worth sharing with their co-workers come Monday morning, even if it meant standing behind a farter whilst listening to music lacking passion. For me, paying a small fortune to see a band I’ve followed since their inception brings me joy, BUT only if the band fulfills the expectations I’ve built up for them.
This past weekend, a friend and I headed over to the “new” venue, The Satellite, to be tortured for three and a half hours—we paid fifteen dollars each. I say torture because minutes into the first act, Dirt Bird, I was yawning as often as a normal person breathes to stay alive.
Dirt Bird are a duo comprised of two ladies dressed in Mozart-era wigs; one wore a black dress, the other a white one, both covered in overly dramatic make-up, which included black eye shadow and long, extended eyelashes. If this garb was a statement to be clarified by their music, then I must confess it was lost whilst I tried to understand what it was they sung. I believe describing their garb is as exciting as their half hour set, which was filled (in my mind) with a song that held too many pauses in between. The gothic, chamber pop ladies (one on a Rhodes keyboard, the other sometimes banging on a drum and at times torturing a tambourine barely did anything but support the lead vox) sang their hearts out to a very empty venue, only one fan in hand excited to listen to the repetitive jive they were selling. The only, and I mean ONLY thing worth mentioning about them is that they bring onto the stage a fake bird inside a cage where a burning candle sits.
Once their set ended, the venue filled up; it was Chelsea Wolfe’s turn to perform.
C.W. seems like a trio, being that the singer—Cher’s younger twin—does multiple things to deemphasize the drummer’s existence. She stands right in front of him, blocking anyone not watching from an angle, and drowns him out, if he’s even playing (I do recall hearing him play in one song). She also drowns the other guitarist and barely allows the keyboardist to be heard during his passionate playing. This overpowering comes from her annoying tendency to have her mic and guitar’s volume to the highest level possible…
When it comes to stage presence, Chelsea Wolfe lacks so much of it, the keyboardist stole the show, even though he hunches over his keys most of the time, and dies down when playing bass.
While my accompanying friend found the band’s last song compelling, I can only say that Chelsea needs to get her act together. Either she learns that live recording similar vocals to layer on top of one another (with a petal) comes through as muddled as feedback and at times irritating—and thus should be recorded under strict supervision—or she goes Kasabian on us and uses already pre-recorded tracks that she knows won’t drive any music snob insane.
Once the band’s set ended, the venue emptied out, and another waiting period began. By 11:20 p.m., The Black Heart Procession took the stage. They started with an instrumental song that brought much hope to me—at this point any omen would do to know the night wouldn’t be a total disappointment. With the song, the fog machine began to annoy the hell out of me. While I like the theatrics in a concert, I do not dig theatrics with a putrid stench able to nauseate me out of a concert. The fog machine, the boring set they went on to play for the next forty minutes, and the dull opening bands did it for me, and I left the concert, sick to my stomach, not only because of the smell, but because I had wasted precious money, my evening, and the ability to write a decent review about a band I was somewhat excited to see live.
Mind you, The Black Heart Procession, I will always like that one single of yours, but never again will I partake in any of your future live gigs.