When: January 26th, 2013
Chelsea Wolfe is a doom folk goddess whose dark lullabies take you into the forest at night, lit only by the full moon glowing on soft snow. Her voice is as pure as a mountain stream. Her songs transport you to a place where spirits roam and the forecast always calls for overcast skies. Her garb is that of a gothic queen from the wild lands beyond the wall in Westeros. I expected a heavy night of quiet metal. Chelsea delivered.
Standing in a packed club in Brooklyn on a Saturday night is an odd way to experience her music. She's so painfully shy and subdued. Hers is not the sort of music you listen to with others. It is insular, hermitic, and nocturnal. I wondered how it would play out as a performance.
From the start her voice was magical. The music was simple and mesmerizing, providing the perfect canvas for her to paint in deep blues and blood reds. Candles glowed off her full length white dress. Her dark hair hung over her even darker eyes. It's easy to see why she's so popular with folks who like their metal black.
When a song ended there was enthusiastic applause followed by pin drop silence. It was as if we were watching her as a crowd, but all being sent off into our own worlds. She truly cast a spell on everyone there. After a while though, the weight became a bit heavy to hold. I'll make an analogy. Dark chocolate is a favorite of mine. I love a square or two and the depth it offers. I don't, however, enjoy eating large quantities in one sitting. By the end of the show, I was longing for a glass of milk and some sunshine.
Erik and I agreed that one of the highlights of the show was when she brought out the opener, King Dude, to join her for a couple of songs. One of them, Fight Like Gods, had a deep kick drum accompanying them as they sang the sinister folk song. This was music the devil might find spooky. We were into it. It's not often you get to see someone nowadays explore such dark territory. It was also the only song of the night to have any sort of drum. This tour is billed as acoustic and she made true on that promise. Hopefully, she'll plug in with a bigger band next time around.
For a bite of her dark chocolate, watch the video below:
I was obsessed with this album for a while: