There’s nothing quite like live music, right?
There’s also nothing like an Otep show!
Review from Phoenix Theater By: V De Montrond
Photos from the Boardwalk by Alison Toon
Petaluma’s famous Phoenix Theater definitely had its’ dose of metal madness the first weekend of April as headlining band Otep took the stage and delivered an adrenaline rush of a performance that included classic songs such as “Battle Ready,” and “My Confession.” I may have missed one count, but I’m pretty sure she drops the F-Bomb 37 times in the 3 minute song “Zero,” from their newest album, “Generation Doom,” which set to release April 15th.
The leading bands for the “Generation Doom” tour consist of a lineup of some very powerful women in the metal/rock scene, which is definitely a rare and refreshing attribute to experience all in one night. Outstanding female artists Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf, September Mourning fronted by Emily Lazar, and up-and-coming female rock group Doll Skin; who just bleeds total badassery.
This show in particular also featured three talented Sonoma County rock/metal bands: Without Prejudice, Vile Riot Villains, and Scrape the Earth. Quite an amazing deliver of performances from every artist indeed.
Anyone who has ever seen Otep live knows how powerful their presence is, and anyone who see’s them for the first time is sure to run to the merch booth to grab a souvenir. Not only is the band memorable for their unique music and focus throughout various genres of political activism such as animal rights and equality, but their commitment and interest in their fans makes everyone feel at-home and welcome amongst fellow Otep fans known as the “Tribe.” Singer Otep Shamaya is definitely one of the most driven artists in the music/art industry, and her passion is highly evident in her work as well as her everyday life (from what we see through social media.) A fitness addict and vegan, she is also a voice-over actor, published author, ruthless animal rights activist, and a strong entity in the LGBTQ and anti-bullying community.
There is no holding back or half-assing from anyone in the group, in fact. One of the most crucial aspects of a band is having a solid team you can work with, and right now it appears that they have just that! Drummer Justin Kier, guitarist Ari “The Spartan” Mihalopoulos, and new bassist Andrew “Drewski” Barnes all seem to work well synchronistically as they engage the crowd in what singer Otep refers to as “spiritual intercourse.”
I’m not sure what was louder though….Otep Shamaya’s roaring vocals or the exhilarated screams of pretty much every girl in the venue when Lacey Sturm wrapped up her set with songs she wrote for her former band, Flyleaf. The talented singer released a solo album earlier this year called, “Life Screams,” which debuted in February. Prior to the album release, she teased fans back November with her first solo single, “Impossible,” which earned her the title of the first female solo artist to top Billboards hard rock albums chart.
Kaycie Kentzell’s first ever interview with Lacey Sturm
Sonoma County was the second location, at the start of a tour set to wrap up at the end of May.
From the musicians to the event staff, everyone was professional and ready to just have some fun. The progression of this over-all event was excellent.