While June 14th may have been another ordinary Saturday for most Moscovites, for Moscow’s finest alternative folks, it was a night to celebrate everything goth. A crowd gathered at the entrance of Mona Club dressed in their best goth, steampunk and dark attire. The scene was set and everyone waited for Aurelio Voltaire to grace the stage. This was Voltaire’s first time in Russia, and after the gig in St. Petersburg just a few nights before, Moscow was eagerly awaiting their turn. Voltaire was making everyone was giddy with anticipation for his very first concert in the capital.
Prior to his appearance on stage, Voltaire signed the CDs he produced exclusively for Russia and met many of the fans. The opening band was a quartet of local string musicians who performed a selection of classical works. The MC also riled the crowd up with excitement for the upcoming act. While he did produce a few screams which could certainly be heard backstage, his presence did get rather stale when he invited some ladies from the crowd to stand on stage. When one pirate girl robbed him of his microphone and cane, he was quick to defend himself with misogynist remarks. I was glad my non-Russian speaking companion did not have to listen to his rnonense. Luckily Voltaire appeared on stage to soothe the fidgety crowd that he only needed another 10 minutes to ready himself for the performance.
The restless fans almost burst with anticipation when Aurelio finally graced the stage with his guitar. Voltaire started the set with “To the Bottom of the Sea.” The crowd needed a quick lesson in singing the chorus and soon after everyone rawred to each and every familiar song. Many favourites were performed such as “Ex Lover’s Lover,” “Straight Razor Cabaret,” “Zombie Prostitute” and “Brains.” During “Brains” Aurelio welcomed the fans to scream the words “mozgi,” brains in Russian. Each time Voltaire messed up the lyrics he had to drink a shot of his favourite Cuban run. For the steampunk audience members, which there were quite a few, Voltaire sang “The Mechanical Girl.” While not everyone may have understood Aurelio’s dark and dirty jokes, I certainly howled with laugher. Recognizing the strong Doctor Who fan presence, Voltaire included his song “Bigger on Inside” in the set. To finish the concert, Aurelio invited anyone who wished to sing on stage to contribute to the vocals of “When You’re Evil.” Thus the first ever Moscow Beelzebub choir, myself included, got to share the stage with Voltaire.
After Voltaire finished performing, he promised to stay for the afterparty and drink merrily with the fans, just as he had done in St. Petersburg. I joined the crowd to try and get my Voltaire toys, Pony of Doom and Candy Claws signed but alas my efforts were not rewarded. An unruly crowd of horny females quickly swarmed Voltaire with offering of drinks and kisses. I would have felt quite overwhelmed by the attention in such a situation and so I politely retreated. Despite not getting a photo or anything signed, it was one of the most satisfying concerts I have ever been too. Voltaire is a truly gifted performer. Despite whatever language barrier he might have encountered in his career, Voltaire’s infectious smile and charm can break through to any audience and stir-up excitement. The connection he has with his fans is extraordinary and I was lucky to be a part of that for one magical evening. I surely hope that Voltaire felt welcomed and loved in Russia and will return to his loving fans soon.
PS. Voltaire’s new album now can be purchased through multiple vendors HERE!!!