Emilie Autumn and her comrades, The Bloody Crumpets, took the stage in the Fight Like A Girl Tour. On Feb. 17, Emilie Autumn made a stop in Maryland and transformed The Recher Theatre into The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.
Emilie Autumn has pursued the farthest career choice from what most classically trained violinists desire. Anyone has to wonder what experiences brought Autumn to pursue music in a genre she labels as “victoriandustrial”.
Autumn began her endeavors as a violinist at the age of four and because she practiced eight to nine hours a day and wanted to pursue a career as a world famous performer, she was in and out of school. At the age of 18, she left Indiana University because she disagreed with their ideas of classical music.
After touring with Courtney Love and having an accidental pregnancy followed by the difficult decision to have an abortion, Autumn attempted suicide. She was then hospitalized for her bipolar disorder, likely triggered by abuse she experienced at a young age, which has caused her to experience mood swings and auditory hallucinations. Her life experiences, specifically in the psychiatric ward, have inspired her to own up to that time in her life instead of pretending that it didn’t happen.
Knowing that Autumn is a phenomenal violinist, I expected there to be more violin performance within the set. Though she sang with every song, Autumn occasionally sat at a harpsichord (more likely a keyboard imitating a harpsichord), and played along with the recorded music. It would have been a much more engaging performance had the music been played by a live band instead of broadcast over a sound system.
Although I was sorely disappointed in the scarcity of live music, it was made up for in intricately detailed costumes and enchanting theatrics.
“As for the show, it has to be dramatic, ridiculous and over-the-top to balance out what we’re really talking about,” Autumn said in an interview with Bizarre Magazine. “It’s a burlesque way of looking at issues like abuse, self-harm and suicide… I want to make my asylum what an asylum should be – a sanctuary.” She did just that as she and The Bloody Crumpets had a tea party on stage and tossed dessert items into the audience all the while singing about dark themes, such as suicide. Though it was more of a theatrical than music performance, she easily kept the audience captivated for the duration of the show.
“We all fight on the same side and because of that, this asylum belongs to you,” she announced before exiting the stage, leaving her loyal corset and petticoat-clad audience in silence.