When I arrived at the show, we looked about 50 feet in front of our truck and Brooklyn, vocalist for Picture Me Broken, was standing there getting things out of their trailer to prepare for the show. When she turned around and I saw the smile and the determination on her face, I knew this show would be amazing. Little did I know, that was only JUST the beginning.
Kicking things off, smoke and strobes galore as local metal phenoms Ashes of a Martyr took to the stage! Jarrod, their singer, immediately got the crowd moving and chaos ensued. For the rest of their set, a good 3/4 of the crowd moshed and absolutely destroyed the floor in front of the concert. My favorite part of their performance was when they started playing “Isla De Los Muertos” which is their newest song. Shortly after this, they had a “PIT BOSS” competition in which the craziest person in the pit was awarded a free “PIT BOSS” shirt which is not for sale but rather the person has to earn the title in the pit. Their final track, “Reciprocation For Your Malice” blew the roof off of the place and got the crowd moving one last time before our next band. Shortly after, the band met up at their merch table to sign things, sell merch, and talk to fans. This was only the beginning of what was already an incredible show.
Next, we have Picture Me Broken from Hollywood, CA. Now I’ve been listening to this band since their inception into the scene around 2006. Seeing them live will destroy any notions you may have had about them! Brooklyn came out, hair in a blonde mohawk and her signature leather jacket and started things off with an ear-shattering roar which got the crowd to scream and cheer. While I wasn’t familiar with the first track they played, it only got better as the show progressed. The 2nd track they played was “Torture” which is off of their 2012 EP, “Mannequins” and it was absolutely flawless. As if this show wasn’t already good enough, they got to their last song (which I turned to my wife and called out) when suddenly, my favorite PMB exploded into my ears. Dearest (I’m So Sorry) was the final track for the band and has always been one of my favorite tracks by them. Now that I’ve seen it live, all I wanna do is see it again, the band was definitely on top of their game that night! Of course, after the smoke cleared, the band went to their merch table to autograph/take pics with fans and to get to know the people of Beaumont. I met Brooklyn at that merch table and she was probably one of the sweetest people I met on the tour.
The 3rd band to take the stage was One-Eyed Doll. The name in itself is intriguing, right? Take my word for this, if you EVER get a chance to see them live, GO DO IT! When Kimberly Freeman came out onto the stage and said in a high-pitched voice “alright children, it’s story time” I thought….what is this?! Then the absolute ingenious horrific quality of the lyrics graced my ears and I fell in love. My favorite part of their performance was when they performed their hit song “Be My Friend” which I recorded in it’s entirety as Kimberly got the crowd to participate throughout. This was definitely the performance I thought was going to steal the show and it almost DID, but then, we get to the final performance of the night.
It was the moment we’d all been waiting for, the arrival of Otep FUCKING Shamaya. The band took their places on stage and Otep came out in her signature hoodie/sleeveless shirt combo and prepared to blow us away. “Hush little baby, don’t make a sound. Hush little baby, don’t make a move. This is gonna hurt me more than you.” After those words, the crowd erupted into absolute anarchy as Otep finished off the rest of “Eet the Children”. Then, the infamous speech before performing my favorite Otep track of all time, “T.R.I.C.” The crowd actually managed to get even more rowdy with this one! My favorite part of the performance though, was between her new single “Apex Predator” or “Confrontation” which also happens to be another one of my fav Otep jams. She was not letting up from her aggression throughout the entire concert, even despite her broken leg! The final track was “Breed” which she dedicated to Kurt Cobain and was a Nirvana cover, it was absolutely incredible. After Breed, I made my way over to the merch table to get my copy of “Caught Screaming” which was her first published collection of poems and short stories as well as my copy of Hydra signed. I also managed to get a picture with her and, despite the rowdy defiance of the crowd, she was incredibly nice and very open to her fans.
I am so glad that I was able to make it to this show. It was my last show in Texas for quite awhile, as I am moving to Kansas and I don’t think it could have gone any better! I want to give a shout out to Trey, Otep’s tour manager, as well as Rachel Rosenberg and Jessica Mayhew of Victory Records for this incredible opportunity. I wouldn’t have been able to score the amazing photos that I did without your help! The Victory Records team has been so kind to me over our short time of working together and I am honored to be able to bring you things like this!