Monday is hard to put into words but I’m determined to try. Almost last-minute, the Missus and I purchased tickets to Voltaire’s Forgotten Cities Tour with Ego Likeness, The Iris, The Spider Hole, and Amnestic. Since the last time I saw Voltaire in 2013 (if I recall correctly), I swore that I’d have to go to another show. He was a treat to talk to and a true gentleman, not to mention he’s a wonderful musician. He was also a wonderful confidence boost that helped me in my decision to create this blog. So, Voltaire’s playing in driving distance. I think deep down I really didn’t have much of a choice but to go. In the end, I must say, it was well worth the experience and truly a wonderful time.
I had never been to Club Red before but it’s a nice little venue. Though, I must say, I really didn’t spend a whole lot of time looking around the place. You find that when your wheelchair-bound at an event, you find the best seat you can and you stay there for as long as possible. This actually work to our benefit because we were some of the first in and snag some of the best seats in the house, front row center. Despite being at numerous concerts and only being upfront on one other occasion, I’ve never been so close to the bands. The only downside is that I may have made what little hearing I have left a bit worse but I can assure you it was 100% worth it.
The first band to come on was Amnestic. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that I say about the band. Their sound was decent and their stage presence was enjoyable but their performance was very quickly blown out of the water by the following bands. Their bandcamp page is tagged with such things as electronic rock and industrial metal and I can agree to this to an extent. Yet, it’s the tag of “angry robot noises” that sums it up perfectly. Not only does it make me chuckle but they quickly reminded me of Shadowrun with the electronic industrial sound and some of the dark subject matter within their songs. Unfortunately, I did find some of their lyrics the rather repetitive at times which made my interest wane a bit.
Shortly after was The Spider Hole. With a total of six musicians, The Spider Hole was a huge assault of sound and energy. The best I can really describe their sound is a jazzy, rockabilly style. Really though, this is a band that I would love to listen to late into the night until four in the morning with my speakers cranked up to eleven. What made me like them even more was the fashion style of the band. Suspenders, button up shirts, covered in tattoos… It only spoke to a style I would love to adopt some day. Unfortunately, while we did buy a CD, that amazing sound that we heard live doesn’t exactly carryover in the recording. It’s always a shame when this happens with a band. You hear something truly awesome and when you finally bring them home it doesn’t quite match and in turn doesn’t quite scratch the itch they left you with after the concert.
At this point, the Missus and I went to hunt down Voltaire at his merch table but I’ll save that for later. In the middle of this encounter, The Iris was doing their sound check so we hurried back to reclaim our rather advantageous spot. While this isn’t the first time that we have seen The Iris, the Missus and I have enjoyed them every time despite hearing most of their set before. Honestly, this really isn’t a bad thing. I know that when ever I go to see The Iris, I’m going to hear something that I like. In fact, I happen to really enjoy the few covers that they tend to play though they did not play them this night. Still, The Iris the loudest band to play and that might be, in part, what I like best about them.
He stayed put until the next band, Ego Likeness, took the stage. Now, what can I say about Ego Likeness? Ego Likeness… Well, where were you guys a few months ago? The energy, style, sound were all amazing and if Amnestic made me think of Shadowrun then Ego Likeness made me want to go back to it with open arms. It’s very likely doesn’t help that their guitarist had some of the most amazing hair I have ever seen. I mean, look at it move.
Now, let’s jump back to a little bit before The Iris came on stage. It was an amazing feeling when Voltaire recognized us upon walking in. I’m fully aware that people tend to do this with me but it never ceases to surprise me. So, in between sets, we decided to go pay him a visit while getting our copy of Oh My Goth! Version 2.0 signed along with picking up a copy of The Legend of Candy Claws. During this time, we debated around what time Voltaire’s last show was in Arizona and Voltaire tried swiping my wallet which was once my dads and his far too big for my coat pocket. Of course I caught him and put the wallet in my pocket where it belonged yet offered one of my cards and return. While my art site is still currently down, I still have the habit of offering them up whenever the opportunity arises. I was a little surprised when he agreed to take one and after a few photos and a good laugh, Voltaire wrote down the URL for my blog. So, Voltaire, if you are reading this, hi!
Onward to the actual show. Voltaire, like always, was absolutely wonderful. While there were songs that I hoped to hear and unfortunately didn’t, this is the way things. When he comes back through, I will certainly return to listen to him live yet again. That is the way with musicians though, isn’t it? There is that song you want to hear but they’re just not playing at this time through. This is why have nearly all his albums. Though, after many laughs and many more dirty jokes that I will not repeat here, the show was over before I knew it. All good things must come to an end as much as we don’t want to. Yet, for the first concert that I’ve been to in a long while, this is more than I could’ve asked for. With the house lights on, everyone hurting to the back of the room to either had out toward their car or wait in line for one last chance to buy some merch, get a signature, and maybe even a photo. We waited for a bit how the line would go and I remembered the last time we waited to speak with Voltaire and he asked me, because of the Missus’ name, to sing a song that I should’ve known about someone named Mandi. To this day, I still don’t really know one except for maybe Amanda by Boston.
The line was moving rather slow and we eventually decided that we had already taken up more than enough of Voltaire’s time and found it best to head on home. That’s where things turned interesting. Moving on past the line, making a quick stop at the Ego Likeness table to buy a CD, Voltaire held his line to say goodbye. I was completely taken by surprise but Voltaire stopped us to say goodbye. Did I not say he was a true gentleman? I seem to recall mentioning that. Yet it wasn’t the fact that he stopped us that was really surprising. I have made mention of the interesting encounters I’ve had with Voltaire before including the spontaneous lap dance (and believe me there was another one this time around). He gave warning that he was going to bestow a kiss upon me. Really, there was no way I was going to complain about this. So, I puckered up and kiss Voltaire on the lips. Again, not how I expected to end the night. At this point I’d like to make a note that his lips are incredibly soft and Voltaire does taste like rum. Good rum, might I clarify. Goodbyes were exchanged, I kiss the back of his hand and he kissed mine, and I reminded him that he promised to return next year. It is a promise that I hope one can keep as Voltaire continues to remind me that there are good people out there. People who are decent and kind. Someone who will not make you feel judged and except you as a person. Many endless thanks to you Voltaire. I greatly hope to attend many more wonderful shows to come.