Part III: Rasputina
I have been going to see Rasputina for roughly over a decade now. They've been a musical entity as significant to my development as Nine Inch Nails. There's just something about Melora Creagor's band of corseted eccentrics that always resonated with me, and that resonance has some magnificent staying power. Here I am, ten years later, still listening and admiring Rasputina’s creativity and craft.
I got to Le Poisson Rouge a lot earlier than I anticipated. It was a lucky arrival however, because it made me roughly the 5th person waiting in line! This meant that I would get an ideal spot, something that I haven't had for a Rasputina show in quite some time. I haven't been to Le Poisson Rouge since Patrick Wolf played there in May of 2009. A lot of the the place has changed. Now a spacious little concert hall, it felt more like Irving Plaza did back in its prime days! I sat perched on the ledge of the stage for roughly an hour and a half, alone in my eager anticipation. I struck up a conversation with two lovely young women from Montreal (YES, Canada) and quickly discovered that this was their FIRST Rasputina show! Looking at them decked out in their corsets made me rather nostalgic, to say the least. Here I was, in my 10th year seeing Rasputina live... and still there are people who are only seeing them for the first time! This first timer theme was extended also to my good pal Jordan Cooper- who only recently got into them himself. I was REALLY curious to know what HE thought of their LIVE performance, considering he's a musician himself. With all this fresh blood around me, it made me feel excited like it was my own first show all over again!
The opening act was a strange little solo artist by the name of Larkin Grimm. Decked out in birdlike plumage, her mouth open wide and wailing, I felt entranced by her performance. She was LOUD, gifted, eccentric, and very much a nice supplement to the show about to commence. Her music jumped around in genre a LOT, but all was solid and creative. I would definitely go and see her again, and encourage you all to do the same!
A short spell after Larkin left the stage, my dear little trio of musicians known as Rasputina came on stage. There was Melora Creagor, Daniel DeJesus, and yet ANOTHER new face of a drummer (whose name I do not know, sorry). They started with a strong classic- "Thimble Island"! I could go on FOREVER about how much stage presence this group has, how complicated and INCREDIBLE the music is, how gracious they are when they perform... but I will keep this short and sweet.
Rasputina is one of the best groups to see live no matter what the venue. I have seen them in the basement of a pub, I have seen them at Goth Clubs, bigger venues, smaller ones, and on and on- no matter what the sound is pure, the cello consumes every pore in my body and I am always left standing there, riveted. I can't NOT mouth out the words to every song, whether just learned last week, or ingrained into my psyche since I'm 14 years old. I have nothing but the utmost appreciation for their creativity, talent, and unmatched CRAFT.
Their gift of music was lovingly bestowed upon us for a long and glorious set. I just wish SOME people who came would've SHUT UP! During their more quiet, somber numbers, it got increasingly harder to hear them! Melora even made note of this and bitched 'em out a little bit, but sadly, to no avail. It didn't ruin MY good time, but I felt bad for the new comers! I promised them a fantastic show, and although Rasputina delivered, I was a little disappointed in the crowd! I vowed to make it up to the sweet girls from Montreal! I wanted them to walk away knowing that there ARE New Yorkers who care!
My chance came after the closing of their encore. Being advantageously at the front row and center of the stage, I launched myself up and onto the stage, lurched forward and made a grab for Melora's set list. At that very same instant, someone from the right side had done the same. Both of our fingers had a grip on it. In a second of hesitation I felt the little piece of paper slip from my grip- then, I hoarsely whispered "NO!" and grabbed the list! As I brought myself back to the floor, I could hear the young man's entourage let out little wailing "ohhhs" and I didn't care. I turned around and saw the girls smiling enviously at my good luck. The smiles quickly shifted to their own great fortune as I presented it to them and said, "A souvenir from your first Rasputina show!" They shouted and gave me their nice smiles as thanks. It made me feel good to do it. If I had met someone all those years ago and they did something like that for me... man, it would've made my night. I believe in good karma I guess.