First Annual Flint Vampire Ball - 2008/10/25

Through Voltaire's MySpace page, I found that he was going to be playing in downtown Flint at the First Annual Vampire Ball, put on by Vertigo Theatrics. Having grown into quite the Voltaire fan over the years I jumped at the chance to finally see him live.

The event actually had a semi-formal dress code, no jeans or T-shirts, although Halloween costumes were allowed. I spent quite a bit of time putting my costume together. I don't have any pictures, but I'll explain in detail.

I wore women's tight-fitting jeans which had a red and black zebra print on them, a burgundy velvet belt, an unbuttoned woman's velvt blouse, black and red gingham socks, and long black leather Italian-style boots. I also put on red eye shadow and some guyliner. I also painted my nails half red / half black. Over all, I think I looked damn sexy.

The group did a nice job a decorating and setting up tables and seating, all the while having a nice open dace floor. The very first thing I heard when I walked in was a fanged woman in her forties telling me I had a nice ass. Yup, I was in the right place.

I met several acquaintances at the show including some local mall employees and Renaissance festival goers. The opening act was a jazz band called Covert Operations who really didn't fit the scene. They played classic rock cover songs as jazz songs. Very wrong. Also there was a dance group called Lunatic Vagabonds which quite great eye candy.

Voltaire finally came on and everyone lit up. The crowd who was willing to actually stand in front of the stage was small, so I got right up close to watch.

He opened with the very upbeat, Death Death (Devil, Devil, Devil, Devil, Evil, Evil, Evil, Evil song) off his latest album, which was also my first time hearing it. It was a wonderfully chipper tune. After that he introduced himself as Rammstein, and then played I Am Rammstein!, another song I've never heard, which can be found on his live album. The song is hilarious, he basically rips on all of Rammstein's fans who adore him so much and hav no idea what he's saying. The third song was an oldie--Ex-Lover's Lovers--which he played as a drinking song. Each time he says "die" you take a drink. Of course, "die" is said 41 times, but who's counting?

The next three songs were themed off of zombies, pirates, and ninjas and how they're always grouped together. The zombie song was Zombie Prostitute, the pirate song was Cannibal Buffet, and the ninja song nobody heard coming or going... it was just pure silence; amazing! So then, he went back to the theme at hand, vampires, and played Vampire Club, one of my favorites.

He then talked about the problems of being a musician and having to deal with airport people. Whenever they see his guitar case they ask the inevitable, "Are you in a band?" Rather than watch people get disappointed when he mentioned his name (which they're certainly never heard of), he started saying he was John Talyor from Duran Duran. After getting tired of having to sign false autographs, he switched to the emo response of, "Since you're not wearing all black, you wouldn't know who I am anyway!" Finally, he just started mentioning that he did some of the music from "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy", and played Land of the Dead and BRAINS!.

He then played two more songs from his latest album, Coin-Operated Goi A spoof of The Dresden Dolls' "Coin-Operated Boy" done in Yiddish, and then Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend). His last song was another old favorite, When You're Evil. On the last verse he asked everyone who knows the song by heart to come up on stage to sing it with him, so I of course jumped at the chance.

He then spent the rest of the night signing autographs, selling merch, and taking pictures. I bought his first four albums, and told him that up until this point I'd pirated all of his music, but now I'm legal. He thanked me and signed each album. My hero!

After that Lunatic Vagabonds did another dance and Covert Operations played until 1:00 AM, much to the chagrin of most of the crowd. All-in-all, it was a wonderful night, and I hope Voltaire will be back next year, but with the turn lackluster out, he may not. We'll see.