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emilie01Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
7th April 2012
Emilie Autumn

EMILIE AUTUMN is a well known US performer, composer, singer and prodigy violinist with prominent “Victorian-industrial” visual style. Her performances combine dark lyrics, energetic melodies and striking performance in burlesque style. Very gifted in music, she abandoned a classical musical career to become what she is now. Brought to us by Finnish promoter KingFoo (which is behind such large Finnish acts as NIGHTWISH and AMORPHIS), she appeared on 7th April in one of the best city venues, club Nosturi. Upon our arrival, we noticed a packed club with the majority of girls, as the whole local Gothic Lolita community gathered up for a (quite rare) occasion of a gig in Dark Scene-related genre. The present tour is supporting EMIELI AUTUMN’s new album ‘Fight like a girl’, due in summer 2012. http://www.emilieautumn.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/emilieautumn / https://www.facebook.com/emilieautumnofficial

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Music & Performance
Showtime started with dim lights and a rather long intro, but waiting finally rewarded us with the slow appearance of famous showgirls - The Bloody Crumpets - followed by Emilie herself dressed in a bird mask and bearing a rat tail; the show kicked off with full force from ‘4 O’clock’. The extremely visually rich Victorian-style performance put up by herself together with three other highly artistic girls, known as Naughty Veronica, The Blessed Contessa & Captain Maggot. Immediately after start, a very dedicated fan from first row starts to copy every single sound of songs, including even laugh in between of words. Truly dedicated crowd I must say. Most of heavily orchestrated score is recorded, but Emilie does her part on vocals, keyboards and electric violin. Veronica had quite a bit of her own time onstage, and girls work extremely well in professionally staged scenes.

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The music here is integral part of the show but it stays on par with other parts of performance, and does not take over. If Emilie would just record her songs and sing them without an artistic performance, she would not be that widely known. Her composing skills are good but I certainly wish for stronger vocal on records and on the live performance, as it sometimes “sinks” in the music. The show takes us to a psych ward - it is decorated with cages, chains and rich amount of Goth-styled accessories (hanged teddy bears and skulls here and there, at your service). The stage decor is backed up by actual stage performance that employs plenty of lesbian-suggestive moments and elements aimed to deliver a “crazy people” impression - they would throw bite-off cake pieces or spill some tea towards public - all  from performer’s mouth. (Still, of course, nothing makes front rows more happy than getting connected with the performers via a piece of cake arrived by air). 

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Close to the end of the gig, one (aged over 18) individual from the crowd benefited even more - a cute girl was asked onstage and after quite a theatrical sensual preparations received her very real mouth-to-mouth kiss from Naughty Veronica. It’s quite apparent that show largely targets a women audience. Emilie is crazily popular among girls - she makes quite a role model of alternative, crazy, strong independent girl. Her actual diagnosis, bipolar disorder, along with unfortunate issues in her biography apparently have a lot of compassion in audience and it seems that the girl, sadly, not just imagined all these things that her songs are about. Impression from the show is, no less, overwhelming, as stage presence, extremely sophisticated (yet rather revealing) clothes and well staged artistic performance is rich, energetic, and unique.

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Setlist
01. Best Safety Lies In Fear
02. 4 O'clock
03. Dr. Stockill (Speech)
04. Fight Like A Girl
05. Time For Tea
06. The Art Of Suicide
07. Take The Pill
08. How To Break A Heart (Poem) (Speech)
09. Liar
10. God Help Me
11. Dominant
12. Girls! Girls! Girls!
13. The Rat Game
14. Gears (Sound Effect)
15. We Want Them Young
16. Gaslight
17. One Foot In Front Of The Other
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18. Madgirl
19. Thank God I'm Pretty

Rating
Music: 6.5
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 7.8 / 10

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All pics by Askar Ibragimov


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