Auburn Afire On Stage: Melissa Auf der Maur Live

May 26th, 2011 by The Professor


Melissa Auf der Maur’s bass resonation batters Manhattan

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

Melissa Auf der Maur delivered an incendiary performance on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. This was the final date on her Out Of Our Minds World Tour and the only concert scheduled on U.S. soil. MAdM fans traveled from up and down the Eastern seaboard, across the border from Canada and afar as France to attend this singular event.

The second floor audience was eager for an engaging appearance by MAdM and she delivered 100% on all expectations. Dressed in form-fitting black attire and lengthy black boots, she and her trusty bass guitar rocked the intimate venue with absolute abandon. Auf der Maur enjoyed being in her element – live before an audience. Her impressive stage presence confirmed she is one woman who is secure in her sense of self as a professional female musician in a male-dominated field.

Melissa sang five titles from her old-new album also promoted as her multimedia project Out Of Our Minds. Surprisingly, seven songs in her blistering set were from her first phenomenal solo album issued in 2004. Having reached the climax of a world tour, her touring band of seasoned young musicians was tight and accelerated the jams on stage.

MAdM blew out a puff of smoke and opened her energized set with “Isis Speaks” off her sophomore effort. However, “Lightning Is My Girl” propelled the eclectic crowd into hyper activity with its kinetic melody. Her vocals were audibly captivating, and her spontaneous interaction responding to audience commentary displayed a raconteur sophistication.

“Happy Thursday New York, it’s Jupiter Day!”, proclaimed MAdM before she launched into a power-pop jam on “Real A Lie”. A lead guitar intro prefaced the band’s instrumental romp through “Lead Horse” from OOOM. “Merci Beau Coup, New York City”, MAdM said mentioning that this was the last date on her Out Of Our Minds world tour. She interjected her sense of humor during stage chatter between numbers.

“My Foggy Notion” was another high-octane highlight that prompted immediate gyrating. The energy level of the standing-room-only spectators spiked in response to the intensity of the music. In an unanticipated departure from her stage presentation, MAdM sang “Father’s Grave” as a prerecorded duet with Glenn Danzig. Her writhing body pulsed in time to the rhythm of the power-ballad melody.

Prefacing “Paranoid”, a tune Hand of Doom covered on her now out-of-print live 2001 Black Sabbath tribute album, she stated, “This is a song for those taken too soon”. To end the all-too-brief set, her distinct bass riff began “Followed The Waves” with her holding a note and hollering for maximum effect. Her band decisively cranked the volume, but Auf der Maur’s lone vocal finished in silence.

Returning for an encore, Melissa announced, “There are wild horses in my head tonight”, before kicking into high gear with a galloping version of “Skin Receiver”. She sang sans her instrument to the accompaniment of buzzing dual guitars with the charging music brought to an abrupt completion. Pausing to thank and introduce the members in her band, Baltimore was acknowledged with a shout from the MAdM.

The stellar one-its-kind concert closed with her rearrangement of the Doors’ classic “When The Music’s Over” reworked into a fantastic psychedelic blues vibe. Her unique rendition eventually surged into a climactic crescendo. Having sincerely thanked NYC, MAdM placed her throbbing bass guitar on the floor allowing the instrument to continue vibrating after she exited the stage.

17 countries in 17 weeks. Supporting MAdM on her 2011 Out Of Our Minds world tour were drummer George Donoso and dueling guitarists Alex Crow and Will Tendy. Segments of video clips from her 28 minute featurette The Hunt were projected on screen to introduce the show and then later shown behind the band to accentuate her prolific lyrics and stage action.

Melissa Auf der Maur is simply an incredible bassist, composer, singer and performer. Her live musicianship before an audience is unparalleled. Her movements on stage behind the microphone balance a subtle gracefulness with an alluring sensuality. She and her instrument of choice move and groove together on stage in a fusion of melodic bass animation.

Several dedicated Auf der Maur fans parked themselves in front of her merchandising table after the performance waiting for a meet & greet with the MAdM herself. Their investment in queuing up paid off as Melissa did indeed make a point to sign autographs and pose for pictures with a score of fans. Melissa has been blessed with an abundance of good luck being born in Montreal on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Auf der Maur built her bass career touring and recording with Hole in the 1990s. Billy Corgan later invited Melissa to play bass on The Smashing Pumpkins final tour at the turn of the millennium. Considering that she has spent a decent amount of her time as a backing musician touring with popular stage attractions, it’s amazing just how sincerely defined MAdM is as her own original artist before an appreciative audience.

Melissa Auf der Maur, Highline Ballroom, New York, NY, March 3, 2011 setlist: Isis Speaks * Lightning is My Girl * Real A Lie * Lead Horse * My Foggy Notion * Out Of Our Minds * I Need I Want I Will * Father’s Grave * 22 Below * Paranoid * Followed The Waves * Encore: Skin Receiver * When The Music’s Over




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