Bathed in blood red light and playing to a much smaller crowd than her typical concerts merits, Otep tore up the tiny stage at the Montage Music Hall in a manner befitting her image as a rebel rouser. She was every bit as militant and politically charged live as she appears in the news and on social media. From the Donald Trump bashing souvenir t-shirts being sold in the lobby to the miniature doll of Donald Trump tied by his neck to the microphone stand, she made a clear statement on her views without any wariness.
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The Convalescences, a hard thrashing death metal band, as well as 3 other lesser known bands warmed up the crowd, who were clearly there just to see Otep. They were treated to an intense session of hard hitting, head bashing death metal. The Convalescences, were so talented at involving the crowd in their show they were able to get a mosh pit formed in a venue that had prohibited moshing. They were successfully able to create an atmosphere where Otep was able to walk onto the stage with a crowd that was ready to rock and get rowdy.
Although very engaged with the crowd when she was on stage, she almost crept into the Music Hall. The house light were dropped to an almost pitch black and she came walking in like a boxer ready to enter the ring, head down and pumping her arms in punching motions, ignoring the fans on the sidelines with outstretched hands. Once on the stage she rallied the crowd to a fever pitch. Rather than the traditional horns in the air, she prompted the crowd to resist and rebel with fists in the air, to which the crowd obediently mimicked.
While her performance did not lack anything in the way of energy and showmanship, it was difficult to hear her lyrics over the other instruments. The sound quality was severely lacking. While her intense growls were easily heard, her signature raspy voice was drowned out and mostly lost to the intense bass of her music. She is jumped, kicked, danced and bounced all over the minuscule stage for over an hour. She had an almost endless amount of energy and didn’t appear winded at all. Singing songs like ‘Apex Predator’, she whipped the crowd into a frenzy and had them almost begging for more, which she provided in her over the top flamboyant way. At one point bring a pig’s head out and holding high for the audience to see and then placing it on the microphone stand and spinning it.
No doubt her very obvious left wing ideals and almost aggressive revolutionary and rebellious attitude doesn’t make her the most popular performer. But take away all of the political propaganda and ideology and Otep is clearly a gifted performer with boundless energy who has a talent for engaging the crowd and bending them to her will.