Since there was a tie in the Choose Your Own Adventure poll, an executive decision has been made to feature Warpaint next.
Warpaint setlist April 3, 2011
Late 2010, I hosted a holiday dinner party. My friend Jon arrived with a stack of CD-Rs for me, which included Warpaint’s 2009 EP, Exquisite Corpse and their 2010 album, The Fool.
When I got a chance to listen to the CDs, Set Your Arms Down (the first track on The Fool), immediately conjured up haunted memories of living in Greenville. All of the songs to follow had that same feel. And for once, it felt like there were others out there struggling with the same issues of being female, dealing with relationship limbo, having to quell primal feelings and still be taken seriously as an artist or musician without cheapening the sound and feel of the songs being created and produced. Aside from feeling a personal connection, this album was packed with solid riffs and harmonization and I had it on heavy rotation for weeks.
Fast-forward a few months to April 2011. Warpaint played a packed show at Kings Barcade in Raleigh and did not disappoint. Guitarists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman flanked both sides of the stage with ethereal presence, while Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass) and Stella Mozgawa (drums) kept all of the songs grounded from center stage. I was able to pick up this setlist after the show. There’s also a video below of Warpaint playing Majesty. The camera I used at the time was pretty heinous and I’m kind of cringing at the idea of sharing this with you, but I’m just an amateur and the audio is good (close your eyes or look at something else while you listen).
One undeniably great aspect of show-going is watching bands and artists grow and morph over the years. That being said, when Jeff Blinder booked The Emotron for Spazz Fest V’s huge Saturday late-night party, I was feeling a little bit on the fence. The Emotron’s past Greenville performances have become those of show lore and legend; his GG Allin-esque antics included nudity, bodily fluids, you name it. But sometimes (a lot of times?) you just want to go to a show and not have to worry about someone peeing on you. So, I felt more than a bit relieved when Jeff released the following info in the days leading up to Spazz Fest:
THE EMOTRON. REUNION SET. No words — just come get experienced. There will be no bodily fluids exchanged by him during this performance. It’ll involve tree branches. That’s all he’ll say.
By the time I was able to make it down to the party, it was getting close to 3am. Jumping out of the car, synth beats were echoing down the street, so I hustled my way up Dickinson and was met at the door by a wave of Nag Champa. Up on stage, The Emotron was in his signature cowboy shirt, a curly wig and a silver glitter cape. More subdued and focused, this version of The Emotron was more enjoyable than previous versions. His stage presence and performance were practiced, and had much more of an impact than the old Emotron’s spastic shock value sets. His last song, dedicated to a friend battling heroin addiction, was the most poignant of the evening. At intervals during the song, The Emotron grabbed handfuls of flour, put them in his wig and shook his head while screaming a chorus about depression. By the end of the song, he had made the transformation to an old man with white hair.
Although I didn’t get that song on video, I did record The Emotron talking about his 10-year anniversary of playing shows as The Emotron before going into a new version of his song, “The Guy”…