all words: Katie Glanz
all photos: Rachel Eisley
WARNING: This review of JUCIFER’S show is mostly a self-indulgent digression about how I heart Satan and hate cold weather.
January 11th, 2011, I trekked through the frozen streets of DC to Black Cat, to appease the dark gods of metal. It seemed like a less than auspicious night. It was 1/11/11 (spooky), I had just drawn the “Death” Tarot card (très spooky), and I was not too thrilled to be walking in the snow, through the blackness, like a wet and frightened pussy cat.
I didn’t want to leave my cozy house, which called to me with Season Three of Californication, fun-sized Snickers bars, and Kahlua, but the gods of metal were beckoning, and I would never disobey their demands and risk inciting their wrath.
Black Cat was basically empty until around ten thirty, when a few underage punk kids and aging metalheads sidled in, eyeing me just creepily enough to cause me slight discomfort and anxiety. These feelings of anxiety compelled me to sneak out-front for a quick smoke, thus foiling my halfhearted attempts to “quit.” I blame temptation-Lucifer’s handmaiden for this failure.
Jucifer took the stage around eleven, and there’s was an entrance befitting the devil and her consort. Amber Valentine and her husband Edgar Livengood emerged through the smoky blackness as ragged trailer-park anti-heroes, cut through with cruel beams of blue light. The duo’s infamous wall of amps began to vibrate and then unleashed the hum of hell, and the strange nomadic pair began to shower the crowd with eardrum shattering metal.
Beautiful and blond, Ms. Valentine growled and thrashed in a way that rivaled the skills of that lady from Arch Enemy, while Edgar beat angrily on his ragged drum set with handfuls of drumsticks, and at times, a balled fist. Like true metal warriors, they deafened the audience and bawdily and repeatedly flashed the sign of the horns.
Their show, like their new album Throned in Blood, was pure sordid and wicked metal, and I expected this kind of performance; Throned in Blood is quite a departure from the band’s last few albums, which sounded more like grunge inspired garage-rock-metal. Hats off to artists that can create an album like L’ Autrichienne (a fantastic and incredibly musically diverse concept album about Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution-Rated 8.0 of 10 by Pitchfork) and then just a few years later come out with a balls-to-the-wall dark metal album.
Plus Jucifer is impressive on another level. The band is comprised of just two metal warriors, man and wife. Lest you question their romantic bonds, I can attest that they embraced and traded kisses just before the encore, in a moment of sweetness and light that took place at the witching hour.
I enjoyed my frigid Tuesday night in Hades; it was a perfectly evil and unsettling experience. Satan would be proud.
Befittingly, the evening of weirdness and satanic decadence was nicely capped off by a ride home in a shady limo taxi. The driver swore that his limo taxi would be on the new DC version of Taxicab Confessions, so what the hell, I got his number.
Oh, and hail Satan.