Believe it or not, Otep hasn’t played a live show in London since 2002. While the band might not be a sales success like other big bands, it has always gathered a bit of a cult following over the years and a few people were eagerly waiting to finally have a chance to see the band live and the expectations were high.
Technical problems forced Khaidian to get on the stage a bit later than expected and with a slightly reduced set, but that didn’t stop them from putting on a good show. Even being the first band on stage, they managed to get positive reactions from the crowd with their blend of groove metal.
Next up were tHOLA, a melodic thrash band from Switzerland who joined Otep for most of the dates of her European tour. The music was good and the band had a good chemistry on stage which was demonstrated with every song. This kind of music needs an energetic frontman though, and the singer didn’t show the same enthusiastic attitude and was holding back a bit, which brought the overall performance down a notch.
Psycho Village were a bit at odds with the rest of the bands on the roster, having a bit more of a pop rock sound. Despite that, their energy on stage was great and they kept interacting with the audience who even sang along when prompted.
At this point the audience was eagerly awaiting for Otep to get on the stage, but In Search Of Sun had yet to play their set. They were definite crowd-pleasers from start to finish with a solid set and a pumped up presence on stage that saw them frequently getting up close to the crowd. They ended on a high note with the crowd asking for more songs, but their time was up, unfortunately.
The moment everyone was waiting for finally arrived when Otep took the stage. She is a self proclaimed boss and that’s exactly how she walked onto the stage, like a boss. Through her career, Otep has always reinvented herself a bit and with each album her music style has changed slightly, with her beginnings leaning more towards a metal sound, and her latest albums leaning more towards rapcore.
The set list included a healthy mix of the styles, and while it would be expected that most songs would be from the recently released album Kult 45, most of the songs were actually from the beloved first album Sevas Tra. Surprisingly, three of the albums released in her career were completely left out, including my own personal favourite The House Of Secrets.
It was a very politically charged show, with fists and middle fingers up in the air and strong messages against Trump, part of the activism that Otep has become known for. In the end the crowd was left wanting more and Otep mentioned this had been the best show of the European leg of the tour so far. We all know artists say that to every crowd, but we still like to believe it!
It was definitely worth waiting all these years to see Otep, but hopefully it won’t take this long until her next show in the UK.
Photos by Luis Rodrigues
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