Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rasputina: Highline Ballroom 10/29/11

Something happened this evening that in my 10 years of attending Rasputina shows, has never happened before...

They were late.

They were INCREDIBLY late. Thankfully, I'm a sociable person and got to meet very friendly and talkative people that helped pass the time rather beautifully. Unfortunately, because they were late, we got an abbreviated show.

There was a buzz in the crowd, you could feel the impatience elevating like heat. The demand for waitresses to fill patrons cups increased as the minutes waiting stretched on. We all kept looking over at the nude stage with eager embarrassment. We were all here for a show after all. Then a second event occurred that I'd never witnessed at a Rasputina show. A sudden stirred frenzy of activity began with a loud THUMP as equipment was hurled onto the stage by a roadie. An epic swarm of people began flying all over the place. Amps, pedals, a simple drum kit, and two large black cello cases were brought out. Then Daniel DeJesus stepped out and began tuning and prepping the cellos. All the clever mystery of their stage performance was revealed in the ragtag soundcheck. The quilts weren't even laid out!

Then a clearly stressed Melora stepped out in a pale lavender corset with a coordinating shredded lace lavender skirt, and a blue and white striped silk top that she wore only the sleeves of- the rest buttoned and worn across her back like a cape. One peekaboo glance at her legs and feet revealed a shock of bright cyan and dark blue vertical striped stockings with platform stiletto aquamarine pumps. She turned to us let out a strained smile and curtsied as the audience mildly applauded. Lead cello soundcheck let to a brief acapella rendition of "In Old Yellowcake" which, frankly, tickled me. An apology was given to the crowd. Apparently her home in Hudson Valley which normally only takes an hour or two to get to New York City from, instead took them TEN HOURS. That's what happens when it SNOWS in October, I suppose.

Melora is a professional, no two ways about it- she runs a tight and efficient ship- they plowed through an impressive and dynamic set that still maintained Rasputina's core outlandish stylings. Honestly, it boils down to the expression, "it was short an sweet." While I was disappointed that we didn't get more tunes, I've seen them enough times to not let it affect my love affair with them.

What was very nice to see was the mutual affectionate glances passed between Daniel, Dawn, and Melora. Their cohesion as a trio is becoming more seamless, and the music is benefitting greatly from it. They shared the same stress and trauma of their delay, and rather than being frustrated when they reached their instruments, they used the excess adrenalin to play wildly well. Eleven songs, all packing a punch were brought to the cabaret style tables. I hope it's not too long until I see them again, maybe with some new songs? Preferably when the weather is better.

The Shortest Rasputina Setlist I've ever seen, but it was still good...

Hunter's Kiss

1816, was the year without a Summer
Holocaust of Giants
Secret Message
Sweet Sister Temperance
Identity Tokens
Momma was an Opium Smoker
Transylvanian Concubine
Any Old Actress
Retinue of Moons/Infidel is Me

Oh, did I mention I was dressed as a Native American CHIEFT-RESS?!


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