In an exclusive video interview with The Weekender that will soon be available online, The Birthday Massacre’s injured singer, Chibi, admitted that she was worried about her Sunday night performance at the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia.
Just days before, she had hurt her knee onstage in Virginia and had to postpone the subsequent show. Following a sold-out performance at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Saturday, however, she made it to the City of Brotherly Love on Dec. 2 and wasn’t going to let a little knee brace keep her down. By the end of the night, it was obvious that her fears were unfounded.
After slightly ahead-of-schedule performances from Creature Feature, Aesthetic Perfection, and William Control, the Canadian goth rockers took the stage around 9:30 p.m. with the instrumental “Night Shift,” then quickly shifted into high gear with “Down,” the first single and harshest track off their latest album, “Hide and Seek.”
The band showcased other tracks from that record, including “Calling,” “Leaving Tonight,” and “The Long Way Home,” but it was the slowed-down, sludgier version of “Alibis,” with heavier bass and scratchier guitar, that really stood out and proved that they weren’t simply satisfied with sounding like their recorded material – they easily surpassed it with pitch-perfect vocals and engaging theatrics.
The majority of the setlist was taken from their fourth release, “Pins and Needles,” blasting through the title track, “In the Dark,” “Always,” “Control,” “Midnight,” “Always,” and “Sleepwalking,” though they delved deeper into their over decade-long catalog with fans favorites like “Happy Birthday” and “Video Kid,” encouraging head banging and dancing in equal doses.
TBM’s ability to deliver hard-hitting, chugging riffs with Chibi’s beautiful, soaring voice attracted a crowd of both men and women in love with their beat-driven sythpop and new wavey sound, most decked out in their black-and-pale Sunday best, a look shared by the stage blood-stained group.
Despite Chibi having to sit for several songs due to her knee, the frontwoman thrashed around in her schoolgirl outfit and pigtails and interacted with the crowd throughout.She shared genuine laughs with guitarist and backing vocalist Rainbow, whose lively performance was as colorful as his name, and she jumped right along with him so frequently that he jokingly warned her to take it easy or else she’d be piggyback riding the rest of the tour, a task he was not volunteering himself for.
Rather than leaving the stage, they moved right into the three-song encore, which ended with “Blue” from “Violet,” the band’s second album, finishing around 10:30 p.m. The audience seemed very satisfied with the songs they were treated to that evening, and Chibi overcame her earlier fear without (hopefully) massacring herself.