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Live Concert Review

Suicide Girls

Blackheart Burlesque (04/07/15)

Live At The Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver, BC
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A normal night at the Rickshaw Theatre for me consists generally of loud guitars, crunchy bass and thundering drums inspiring sing along anthem and energetic circle pits. I go there for punk shows, psychobilly and alternative shows. I’ve seen the odd spoken word or comedy gig there – Jello Biafra’s 50th Birthday Celebration was an interesting night of music, spoken word and short films. But last night, after four years of visiting the iconic venue, I saw something I had never seen before at The Rickshaw thanks to the Suicide Girls’ Blackheart Burlesque show – and something I hope to see many times again.

Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque (04/07/15)Now most visitors to the site will already know the concept behind Suicide Girls as an alternative look at the modelling community, a fresh face on the pin-up girl poster skewed to punk, indie and alternative lifestyles in an attempt to challenge the normal paradigm of feminine beauty. Formed nearly fourteen years ago, the site has grown to just under 27,000 official models and countless hopefuls posting unique content on a daily basis. It’s created a community of like minded individual with an empowering message to women of all styles – although, the site has been criticized for simply shifting the focus and still discounting certain size and styles in order to fit a pre-conceived notion of what a Suicide Girl should be in order to fit into their demographic, but that’s for an entirely other article.

No, today I’m here to talk about their travelling burlesque show Blackheart Burlesque that hit up the Rickshaw last night for the second show on their Canadian tour.  The line-up for the sold out event still wrapped around the block fifteen minutes before the show, as the crowd eagerly awaited the evening’s performance.  By the time the lights went down and dancers came out, the setting was bustling with excitement.  With a nearly fifty-fifty split in gender make-up, leaning ever so slightly to more males in attendance, it was clear that the Suicide Girl motto has empowered the women in attendance who were easily the loudest parts of the crowd.

Hosted by Sunny Suicide, who was celebrating her one year anniversary of hosting the tour, the evening’s dancers were Liryc, Whiskey, Peneloppe, Kayla Cadorna, Mahneeguh and Lolana. Alternating between solo dances, and group performances, they normally stuck with three or four dancers at a time until the final Stars Wars inspired dance that saw all six and the host on stage in storm trooper masks.

Stars Wars was just one of the many nerd fandom themed dances of the evening. Every dance was influenced in some way by pop-culture. There were old throwbacks  (Clockwork Orange, Michael Jackson‘s Thriller zombie dance, and even a Princess Leah nod), video games with a busty Laura Croft and scantily clad Link and some modern references with Orange Is The New Black, a bondage fuelled 50 Shades of Grey dance, Adventure Time and, of course, a superhero dance off between Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and Thor.  The greatest cheer came with the one-two punch of Lyric‘s Beetlejuice solo dance followed by the four piece rendition of Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s Time Warp.

The dances were energetic, comical, erotic and fun. Well choreograph with an air of improvisation as well; the one thing for sure was by the end of each song, the dancers were left in panties and black tape covering their nipples. Each dancer had their own flare – Mahneeguh seemed the more technically precise but Whiskey definitely worked the crowd and fell into the characters, especially Adventure Time.

Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque (04/07/15)Sunny Suicide entertained the audience during bigger wardrobe changes with interaction and some solo song and dance routines to Harry Potter and Little Mermaid. She pulled three Suicide Girl hopefuls from the crowd for a dance off and even gave one lucky member a lap dance as he attempted to read a short story. I will say though,  after a year of hosting you’d think she’d come up with a more interesting way to pump up the crowd than to repeatedly ask “Who wants to see my tattas!?

The biggest quote you hear about Blackheart Burlesque is that it’s a Comic-Con Nerd-Gasm, and that’s an accurate description. Chances are you if you’re opposed to Burlesque shows or the whole concept of Suicide Girls and nude modelling, you’d have no reason to go. But if you’re remotely intrigued by the concept, enjoy seeing beautiful woman dance to near nakedness and want a good welcoming vibe – then The Suicide GirlsBlackheart Burlesque is well worth the ticket price.

Plus, it’s good to try something new every once in a while.


 

Photos by Nick Dudar

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Tours: SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque

SuicideGirlsThe SuicideGirls: Blackheart Burlesque tour will be coming across Canada this April with a few stops in the States.

Beginning April 2nd in Oakland, the tour will cross the border into Victoria, BC on April 4th before crossing the country and ending in Montreal on April 20th.

The tour is billed as a burlesque show “unlike any other burlesque act you’ve seen filled with pop culture references, high energy indie soundtrack and the sexiest choreographed strip tease to make your inner nerd explode with glee.” The show will feature tributes to Star Wars, Orange Is The New Black, Donnie Darko, Clockwork Orange and more.

For those in the States wanting to get in on the action, the tour will kick off again in September. Dates and tickets can be found here.