Category Archives: 2017

Combichrist. Moscow 13.07.2017

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Perhaps, I’ve been more of a shut in recent months. Perhaps, my music taste is too narrow and I don’t enjoy most mainstream bands but, in my eyes, 2017 has seen a decline in foreign musicians performing in Russia. At least the ones *I* like. Despite this, new albums and singles have been pouring out all over web, and I’m having trouble keeping up. It’s so good to see many of my favourite musicians continue to create art regardless of political changes. In fact, I envy those who can pour their worst moods and emotions into a creative outlet as my own productivity has suffered the past 2 years, as can be seen by how little I post here.

But I digress.

The last time I saw Combichrist was sometime between 2014 and 2015. Many industrial, metal, and alternative bands were touring at the time, and Combichrist was drowned out by bands I enjoy more. Not to say that I don’t enjoy their music, but since they’ve shifted from EBM to industrial metal, they have become less my cup of tea. I have found their latest album, “This Is Where Death Begins” the least memorable as a whole, though there are some standout tracks.

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Nevertheless, their plan to come Moscow was a much needed excuse for me leave the house. I had been worried about being late as I arrived past the official starting time, but like many bands, they started an hour late so I hadn’t missed anything as there weren’t any local opening bands anyway.

When the band finally took to the stage, the crowd erupted in relieved and eager applause and screams. Andy’s charisma and energy pulled the crowd together like a priest directing Sunday mass. People of all ages, all around me, bounced, screamed along and punched the air along to the beat. Despite the band being known for regularly changing band members, the chemistry between all the band members are undeniable. They had all come together to satisfy their fans and play their hearts out. Most of the songs came from the last 2 albums, but some old favourites like “Blut Royale,” “Shut Up and Swallow,” and “Get Your Body Beat” appealed to new and old fans alike. Andy also expressed how much he enjoys playing in Russia for the very warm welcome he always receives from fans. I would agree as Russians as notoriously passionate to the point of sometimes becoming crazy obsessive.

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The whole concert lasted about an hour and a half and it flew by in a blink of an eye. Once Combichrist had played their last song, I was stunned that they had finished as I had felt that they had just started. In fact, I felt more energetic at the end than I had at the beginning and didn’t feel any fatigue despite having screamed my head off, jumped, danced and thrown my arms up for over an hour. And this, is what I believe to be a test of a truly good live band who are so dynamic that both the musicians and audience leave the gig full of positive electrifying energy that will carry them long into the night. Thank you Combichrist for returning to Russia and I hope you’ll keep coming back.

 

Set list:
what the fuck is wrong with you
blut royale
scullcrusher
throat full of glass
no redemption
zombie fistfight
exit eternity
my life my rules
get your body beat
shut up and swallow
can’t control
maggots at the party

the evil in me
never surrender
sent to destroy + we were made to love you


Music Tattoos

It’s 2017 and to get out of my writer’s block funk and to increase the content on this blog, I decided to branch out beyond just albums and concert reviews and also get more personal. Today I’ll be discussing my music-related tattoos.

The art of tatooing has been around for thousands of years. The more commercialized forms of tattooing we see today is still somewhat stigmatized and considered especially taboo for women. I’m a firm believer in one’s own body autonomy and that anyone can modify themselves however they want regardless of gender. For some young people it can be a sign of rebellion and a way to show that they’ve broken free from their parents at 18. Some people get tattoos solely because they like the image or design at the time. And for others, myself included, each tattoo represents an important piece of themselves and tattoos become a written history on their bodies. While I will never judge someone’s reasons to get a tattoo, tattoos with stories and especially fandom connections are the most significant and interesting for me personally.

I currently have 8 tattoos on my body. Since my very first tattoo in 2010 till today, there hasn’t been a single tattoo that I regret. Each of them signify a significant achievement in my life or something I am proud of, be it a movement, ideology or fandom. Even if I get older and may not necessarily agree or like what I have tatooed on me, it will be a reminder of my journey in life and where I was at the time of that tattoo and how much I have grown as a person. No apologies. No regrets.

I currently have 4 music related tattoos which I will share below.

The first ever musician whose music connected deep to my core was Amanda Palmer. Like most fans, I began by listening to a few albums and then found myself following all her social media on which she is very active. Like any musician, her style changes with each new album, but the woman behind the lyrics inspires me every day with how she connects with the world and her fans. I have seen her perform 3 times and twice I got to meet her in person after her shows. It took me almost 2 years to decide on what sort of tribute to Amanda I want on my body and on my birthday in February 2010 I went in and got her signature eyes on my back. It was also my first EVER tattoo so I was especially nervous about doing her justice. Amanda is also the type of performer who wants to know her fans personally and will sign and hug each and every person after each gig. After the gig in November 2010, Amanda had “personalized” my tattoo and now I have a full Amanda face to be proud of. While I do not like every single one of her songs equally or agree with all her decisions as a person, her art has shaped me to be the person I am today. I’ve also been very lucky to meet some of the most incredibly kind and wonderful people through her fandom and will be eternally grateful for her existence.

 

My most painful tattoos have been my feet and I choose those quite deliberately. The music of Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan and their various bands (Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, etc)  have always spoken directly to my dark side which I battle with almost on a daily basis. Their music reaches into the darkest parts of me and soothes those demons. To take a metaphor and make it literal, they “ground me” when it need it most and thus they are represented on my feet. These have also been the most painful tattoos since the skin on the feet is the most sensitive and that had also been a conscious choice.

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Lastly and most recently in my collection of music tattoos, after having seen Aurelio Voltaire in concert 3 times and not only fallen in love with his music, but with him, I decided it was time to permanently show that love. Not only does he write wonderful music which brightens up even the darkest days, but having met him, I’ve see the kind and generous soul who also embraces his own darkness and goth style much like myself. I’ve found a kindred spirit in the music and the person behind the glamorous musician. So just last week shortly after Voltaire’s 50th birthday and close to my own 29th, I decided to add more permanent “goth” to myself that’s not just disposable clothing or makeup. In such way I am embracing myself in a world where often alternative people aren’t always accepted.

Finally, semi-related to music, I also added more “gothness” by adding bats to my head not only because they are cute but also because of Voltaire’s song “Raised by Bats” and further embracing my weirdness and choosing to celebrate it.

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What music related tattoos will I get in the future? I have no idea. I usually dwell on a tattoo for a long time considering design, colours, size and placement. I have many more musicians who mean a lot to me but it’s always tough to choose good representation. Song lyrics are a popular choice among fans but I find that to be unstable as favourite songs change and new albums are always being put out. So who know? I would certainly like something to represent my love for IAMX and Placebo next but I haven’t decided what.