It’s not difficult for me to become obsessed when I discover something I like. Wendy’s sweet & sour chicken nuggets? I lived on those for about a month. Doctor Who? Oh, yeah, that one’s still going strong.
But my latest and newest and most splendid obsession? Abney Park. I knew I loved them the moment I first heard “Sleep Isabella” on YouTube, and it wasn’t long before I had all their albums at home and their blogs favorited. But now that I’ve been to a live show? I just may explode.
The show we took in was “The Circus at the End of the World”, held at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle, and it was made of epic win. Dressed in my finest new Steampunk regalia, we were there early enough to snag standing room against the stage itself. First, the fire dancers performed, and they were excellent.
Oh, and please excuse the sound quality. This is NOT how Abney Park sounds! We were so close to the stage and equipment that something really interfered with our camera’s ability to record sound. 😦 However, at the very end of this post I will embed someone else’s recording of “Sleep Isabella”.
Then the aerialists performed. They were so close to Jon and I that if we’d been standing even five inches closer, we would have gotten wacked with a foot.
And yes, they really ARE that close!
Then, Abney Park came on stage, and they were AWESOME – so dynamic and energetic. Again, since we were actually touching the stage, when Robert (the lead singer) leaned down over the audience, his face was literally right above mine. If I’d reached up a few inches, I could have touched his face! Finn’s dancing was gorgeous (especially when she danced to ‘Herr Drossmeyer’s Doll) And the guitarist/violinist, Nathaniel, was incredible. He held constant eye contact with us in the front and would play directly to us – and if he saw we were filming him, he’d come even closer and be flamboyant for the shot. Besides being really, really talented, he obviously truly enjoys performing. And he wears a kilt. (And has really good legs for it!)
All the band members were having such fun on the stage. Whenever one of them would make a mistake, they’d rib each other and throw jokes out to the audience. When Nathaniel screwed up the beginning to one song, Robert asked “What was that? It sounded like ‘Tainted Love’!” So then they played and sang a few bars of Tainted Love. In all, they played 21 songs, including a few new ones that are coming out on the new album. In the Fall. Squeee!!!! One of the new songs “Victoria” was this lovely slow ballad, and Kristina played it on the Grand Piano. Instant love.
For the final song, they brought an aerialist and the fire dancers on stage, and it was so spectacular that we couldn’t let it end, even after the band exited the stage. The whole audience shouted and screamed until Nathaniel, Kristina, and Finn came back. Robert and Daniel somehow managed to disappear completely. Finn began to negotiate with us: “One more song? If we play one more song you’ll all go home?” but it wasn’t working with us. We demanded two. Robert and Daniel were still missing, and Nathaniel asked if the folks near the bathroom had seen them. They hadn’t. Okay, then, he said, “I’m just going to start playing my guitar and see what happens!”
Right then Robert and Daniel started making their way through the crowd the stage, and Robert began his own negotation. He claimed they’d already played all the good songs. “They’re all good songs!” someone in the audience roared back. He replied that there were a few he wished “weren’t Abney Park songs” and asked what we wanted to hear.
“What about “Change Cage?” he countered.
Well, he asked for it. We demanded both, of course.
“How if we play both “Change Cage” and “White Wedding”, and then you let me sing “Creep”?”
Silly question! So the grand total of songs performed was 24. They had to be friggin’ exhausted!
And what was really awesome, is that not only are they releasing the album in the Fall, but they were recording for a live album and DVD that night!!! And Finn directed us in unison clapping and chorus shouting for one of the new songs. It was deeply cool. And also, King 5’s Evening Magazine was there filming, and I know for a fact they got a shot of Jon and I entering the theater. So with any luck we’ll make in onto tv. *fingers crossed* 🙂
As the ticket lady said to Daniel (when he wandered out front while we were waiting in line, champing at the bit and most dressed in steampunk fashion), “Your fans are hard-core!”
Well, after this concert, I most definitely am.
If you want more pics and info on my costume, please visit my costuming site. (It’s on the page titled “steampunk 2”.)
And as promised, here’s Abney Park as they really sound: