Being a fan of many of the various musical incarnations of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (including Antemasque), I won’t deny being pretty excited heading in to this show. I was not disappointed, but the I was not expecting to be so thoroughly riveted by the opener.
I was already familiar with Le Butcherettes heading in to the show. Sin Sin Sin was a pretty wicked debut, however it wasn’t until I saw Teri Gender Bender and Auryne Jolene in action that my “ah-ha” moment happened. Watching Le Butcherettes perform was like being caught in a fucking hurricane, and I was already braced to see Omar and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (the forces behind Mars Volta and some of the most insane rock music I have ever held to my heart) bring the thunder. Teri Suarez’s stage presence is alot of things, and although about a thousand different ways to describe it have gone through my head both during and since, the one that keeps sticking is magnetic. I have rarely if ever seen someone who is so comfortable on stage, who not just owned the stage but who prowled it, and it was fucking fantastic.
Besides the theatrics of donning white aprons stained with blood (real or otherwise), it seems that Teri specifically is highly aware of her craft as one of performance and not just musically either. The Roxy also being an ideal venue in many ways for this kind of an act, and the confines of the venue contributed to the visceral intensity of the performance. There was nowhere to run or hide from the sonic force of the band, and I don’t think even a live record would be able to capture the abrasive quality that I know realize was what was missing from Sin Sin Sin for me.
Seeing Le Butcherettes in the flesh is a game-changer and has allowed me to approach the band and their music more wholly and understand the Butcherettes project on the terms set by the band. This is very much a group whose live performance revealed a component of the band that I never got from their in-studio records. Although it’s rarely a fair comparison, listening to Le Butcherettes live absolutely blows away their studio records and revealed a previously missing component of the band’s sound that I never would have gotten had I not seen them live.