Wednesday, 29th March 2017. 8:37:12pm ET
Reviews Concert Reviews Gothic The Bizarre Vampire Bazaar: Hollywood, CA 10-16-04
Band: The Bizarre Vampire Bazaar
City: Hollywood California
Venue: QTopia
Date: October 16-17, 2004
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Photographer: Jena!!!

For its ninth anniversary, Gothic Beach Studio’s Bizarre Vampire Bazaar is back in Hollywood. Though the event was not without the snags of occasional rainstorms and overzealous security staff, there was plenty of entertainment for all who entered. Besides the huge vending area, which featured everything from dreadfalls to clothes to music to gothic furniture, this year’s Bazaar also featured two musical stages and the ever exciting Vamphear Circus.

Still, it’s all about the bands, and this year’s event was hard to top. Saturday night started out with Purr Machine, who delivered a surprisingly hard-edged performance, given their reputation as a shoegaze-oriented act. The Misfits-inspired spook-metal of Colorado’s Seraphim Shock was a bit lackluster, at first, and the absence of a live drummer certainly didn’t help. Thankfully they picked up a little more energy midway through their set when they started playing older material. New York’s Empire Hideous went on at around midnight, and frontman Myke Hideous was the consummate showman, strutting around melodramatically in leather rockstar pants and sunglasses. Hollering old favorites like “Power the Empire” and new material like “Heaven Raining Bullets,” Hideous’s live vocals were a bit reminiscent of Andrew Eldritch if he actually had a vocal range, and even the slower songs were delivered with plenty of driving, punk-fueled energy.

Empire Hideous

Hollywood’s own Collide finished the night out, and were nothing short of jaw dropping. Instead of the laid back, sensual groove of their recorded material, Collide’s live show was full of industrialized aggression, tempered only by electric sitar and dulcimer. Singer kARIN's voice is as sensual onstage as it is in the studio, and she has a spellbinding stage presence, mixing equal parts sultry and sweet, like some modern dark age Ann Margret. Stunning, just stunning, and despite a four album discography (plus numerous remixes), this was only their second live show. One can only hope that they enjoy the stage as much as the studio, especially now that we all know what we’ve been missing.

Collide

Sunday night at the Bizarre Vampire Bazaar was devoted to local talent, with Sixth Chamber starting off the night. This band’s main claim to fame is that their vocalist is Sevan Kand, the son of Christian Death’s Valor, but in all honesty their noisy brand of death rock is probably a lot more appealing to old-school goths than his father’s self-indulgent metal. Ghost Train, featuring Wreckage founder Tony Lestat, entertained with energetic psychobilly, but it was the junk punk of Babyland that really stole the show. Babyland are physically incapable of putting on a bad performance, and tonight was no different, with Dan Gatto shrieking the verses of “Guard Dogs” from their forthcoming album while percussionist Smith pounded away on oilcans and scrap metal. The pinnacle of the show, however, was the rare treat of the circular saw, much beloved by Babyland fans old and new, grinding against scrap metal and spewing molten sparks into the audience.

Babyland

Closing the event were horror punks Penis Flytrap, who have recently gone through some line-up changes. Dr. Satan has replaced Hal Satan (no relation) on the drums, and the legendary Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave has been replaced with Abby Normal on vocals, and though Dinah will be sorely missed, Normal holds her own on the stage. Her voice is more throaty growl than ghoulish howl, and it works well on the heavier songs like “Tears of Blood” or their new Beatles cover “Helter Skelter.” Given the fact that the band seemed to be going in a more hardcore punk direction anyway, it seems like Normal will be a good fit (fans of the old lineup need not fret, as Dinah Cancer is now fronting a 45 Grave tribute band called the Grave Robbers with Hal Satan on drums). Penis Flytrap finished their set just before midnight, and that was that: another Bizarre Vampire Bazaar over, and plenty of southern California goths already planning their outfits for next year.

Penis FlyTrap

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