Live review: Chelsea Wolfe at Aisle 5 in Atlanta Sept. 14

California based artist Chelsea Wolfe brought her Abyss tour to Aisle 5 in Little Five Points in Atlanta Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. On her latest release Abyss, Wolfe plunges to darker musical and lyrical depths than on her previous four albums. Although metal influences have always found a place in her music and she has garnered a large fan base from the metal faithful, she has never ventured into heavy as deeply as on her current release.

Denver’s Wovenhand opened the show playing mostly songs off their lastest album Refractory Obdurate. Although often referred to as an Americana or an alternative country band, the volume, aggressivesness of the playing, and urgency of their delivery brought to mind Sonic Youth, the Cult, and even the Smithereens much more than the Civil Wars or Cowboy Junkies.  Charismatic frontman David Eugene Edwards seems to channel a shaman in his performance reminiscent of some of the great British goth vocalists from the 80s such as Ian Astbury and Peter Murphy.  Wovenhand’s sound and energetic live show could easily have them playing large theatres for thousands.

From a dark, backlit stage immersed in soft blue and purple lights, the pulsating bass intro of “Carrion Flowers” began Chelsea Wolfe’s set. The crushing riffs of “Dragged Out” and “Iron Moon” followed.  Much of the electronic sound from her previous record remains, but far heavier this time.  The density of the guitars and sluggish tempo of these first three songs take her far from her folk roots and closer to the post metal sounds of Neurosis, Jucifer, or Sunn O))).  The set was composed mostly of songs off the new album, but also included more delicate songs such “We Hit a Wall” and “House of Metal” from the Pain is Beauty album, and “Mer” and “Pale on Pale” from Apokalysis.

Whether playing the dark folk style that she has perfected or approaching the heavy drone of doom metal on the new album, the consistent elements throughout Wolfe’s work is great songwriting and dreamlike vocals that drape over the music like fog clinging to the night.  Her haunting vocals add a sense of fragility and vulnerability not often present in music this heavy. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Abyss then go see one of the 21st century’s most unique artists.

The American tour continues through Oct. 2, with a European tour beginning on Oct. 30.

Full Photo Gallery of Chelsea Wolf

Full Photo Gallery of Wovenhand

Review: An intimate evening with Amanda Palmer in Atlanta

Review and Photography by Danielle Boise

Thursday, April 9 marked the return of Amanda Palmer to Atlanta since 2012’s Theatre Is Evil tour, labeled as an ‘Evening With Amanda Fucking Palmer.’ It was just that, with Palmer, her piano and ukulele made a stop at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse in the heart of Little Five Points. Fans lined up hours before to be front and center to see their muse.

After all, who wouldn’t be excited to see Amanda Palmer? I mean it’s Amanda fucking Palmer after all. The creative genius that combines meaning into conceptual art, cabaret, theatre and breathes love and intent into each step of her journey, which she honestly, and carefully, shares with her fans in an utterly transparent and raw way. Palmer’s story is extraordinary, from her days as a living statue to being a founding member of the punk duo, the Dresden Dolls. Palmer made history setting records with crowd funding in 2012, with her album Theatre Is Evil. Being the first artist to reach 2 million dollars through Kickstarter, Palmer’s latest venture is in the realm of the written word, with 2014’s “The Art of Asking.” There is nothing she cannot do, and is willing to share her experiences with the world.

Palmer played to a sold out crowd in Atlanta. People were posting days and hours before on social media looking for extra tickets, with little to no avail. If you have ever been to an Amanda Palmer show before, you know exactly why – for the unique experience. One full of astonishingly intimate moments encapsulated in the human experience, from sheer happiness to the depths of sorrow, it’s a mixture of stark reality blended beautifully together with pure bliss and, of course, lots of laughter.

The alternative/punk songstress was mesmerizing to watch as she enraptured the crowd with songs spanning her career, like “Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing,” “Oasis,” “The Bed Song,” “Ampersand,” and “The Killing Type.” The really poignant moment was her cover of Ben Folds Five “Brick.” It was an interesting contrast of absorbing the content of the song while a pregnant woman sang about abortion. But the truly treasured moments were in between the  songs; she shared her experiences of life, politics and even her pregnancy with the enthusiastic crowd. There is a deep connection between Palmer and her fans, with these quiet moments mixed with pure unadulterated passion and the exchange is simply beautiful.

Palmer walks to her own beat, unapologetically so, not caring what anyone else thinks or does. There is a fearlessness to Palmer, even when she is scared she is willing to reach out and try, try something new. Like becoming part of a new platform, Patreon which is altering the music industry and landscape. This strong, proud woman is on her own journey and thankfully she’s willing to carry us along for the ride – and what a glorious ride it is.

Catch Amanda Palmer out on the road, because it may be a while after her eight-date Southern tour before Palmer hits the road again.

Upcoming Tour Dates with Amanda Palmer

April 10 – Birmingham @ WorkPlay Theatre
April 11 – New Orleans @ Civic Center
April 14 – Austin @ Paramount Theatre
April 15 – Dallas @ Granada Theater ***SOLD OUT***
May 8 – Chicago @ How Design Live Conference

Full Photo Gallery of Amanda Palmer