GIG REVIEW: Otep, The Convalescence & The World Over Live at The Machine Shop, Flint, MI
Wednesday March 8th, a night of rock and roll and good wisdom awaited all who came to The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. Otep, on their Resistance tour, brought a great night of heavy music with a message.
Opening the show was the band The World Over, a four-piece group from Los Angeles, California. Lead singer Tiaday Ball is a bundle of energy and came out with a fury that got the crowd pumped up and moving to the beat. I would attribute Tiaday’s vocal style to the likes of Butcher Babes, a lot of energy and screaming sans the long hair whipping around.
Keeping the show moving along was The Convalescence, who hails out of Toledo, Ohio. This group consists of five guys and one girl. All of them sport a heavy dose of body and face paint. The crowd was delivered fast in your face metal music with plenty of hair spinning and sweat flying. Vocalist, Keith Wampler even orchestrated the crowd into doing a circle pit. The moshing continued for the rest of The Convalescence’s set.
And now for what the audience was waiting for, Otep hits the stage. I thought I was late getting to the photo pit as I chatted with a staff member and bee-lined it up front, only to realize members Ari Mihalopoulos on guitar, Justin Kier on drums and Andrew Barnes on bass were having a jam session as the engineer fine-tuned the sound. It was a welcome happening to see them jam out, giving us a taste of what’s to come.
I could sense the anticipation rising from the crowd as we all waited for Otep to start the show. The lights go dark, the fans yell out in excitement. The crowd roars as each band member takes the stage. Then, the one and only, Otep Shamaya appears, her presence is magnetic and with flames, literally in her hands, she commands everybody’s attention.
Otep Shamaya is a woman who holds nothing back, not in her music or voicing her opinion on what concerns her, she could give zero fucks about what anyone thinks of her or her distaste for President Donald Trump. Even going as far as having a baby doll in the likeness of Trump hanging on her mic stand. Otep Shamaya’s passion shows through in her messages on her songs and she reiterates those points in between songs, she could lead an army into battle and have everyone pumped to win. OtepShamaya’s look makes me think of Mad Max, she’s a post-apocalyptic warrior who will do everything she can to make things right. With Shamaya’s band mates in tow, Barnes utilizing some face paint and Ari wielding a mask and chiseled body fit for a gladiator fight in a coliseum, they help her deliver the message.
Otep Shamaya is a champion for LGBT equality and animal rights. Being openly lesbian, Shamaya carries a lot of responsibility to make sure all humans have equal rights, which is why people listen when she speaks. As outspoken as Shamaya is, her talent as a singer, performer and song writer are up to par. The versatility Shamaya has is outstanding as she sings in ranges from soft to guttural to rap.
Otep had the crowd hooked along from the moment they began playing, getting things started with “Battle Ready” and sending a message on “Zero” about not caring what anyone thinks and to always stand up against those who oppress. “Blood Pigs” brought out an appearance of a prop pig head which was fun to watch, I’m a sucker for bloody pig heads. Otep made the Lorde song “Royals” their own as Shamaya displayed her tender vocal side. “Equal Rights, Equal Lefts” got the crowd chanting along.
Otep crushed through a twelve-song set that brought the audience on a journey into understanding that fighting the good fight is always necessary. With Otep Shamaya at the helm and spreading the message for humankind to treat each other as equals, then and only then can we understand the power of living life in all its richness.
Shamaya made an appearance back onstage after the show to dance and sing along as a song played over the speakers singing out against Donald Trump and what he stands for. Maybe just maybe, Shamaya can talk some sense into President Trump to open his mind up that all types of people deserve equal rights.
Until then, rest assured that Otep will continue their crusade in spreading their message to the masses and rocking city after city as the lyrics ring out. Equal rights, equal lefts. Fight for your right, to exist!