Metal as a theatrical act

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Metal as a theatrical act

Post by bjorn agin on Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:24 am

I read a recent Alice Cooper in this article here where he said

On whether his real-life persona of Vincent Furnier has become closer to the character of Alice Cooper over the years:

Alice
: "Maybe more distant on a level that my real-life is, you know, I'm a father, I'm a grandfather now. I have two twin grandsons, Falcon and Riot; great names. My son has his own band, my daughter's in BEASTO BLANCO and she's an actress. My youngest daughter is a makeup artist. I've been married 41 years. Everything is in order in my life. Alice, on the other hand, is this part of me that just will not go away. He's the rebellion part. He's the angry part. And, we're nothing alike. Maybe the only thing we have in common is our sense of humor. But now, I really like the idea of playing Alice. I love the idea that if I had a show tonight, I'd be sitting here talking to you like this and laughing and everything, then realizing that for two hours tonight, I was going to play this character that is totally opposite of this character. He's an angry villain and the audience wants him to be that. They don't want him to be weak and kind of passive. They want Alice to be in control, total control. I really enjoy playing that guy. But, when the show is over, I leave him there. I don't take him off the stage. He doesn't come with me. He has to stay there."

The important factoid here (that absolutely no one here doesn't already know) is that Alice Cooper - the villainous front man of a rock band who beheads some one on stage every show - is a stage act. It's theatre, a theatrical performance meshed together with a musical band.

It got me thinking... what other bands are theatrical performances? Well... Marilyn Manson probably belongs in that category too. But who else? Are there other traditional metal bands where the way they act on stage is in no way representative of the lives of the musicians on stage? How about regular metal bands that you wouldn't typically think of as theatrical in nature?

Viewing metal bands through the lens of theatrical performance, I think of all the protests back in the day over the imagery of metal bands, the PMRC, church groups protesting Marilyn Mason shows etc. etc. where the protesters didn't grasp the idea that what was being portrayed at a concert wasn't any more real than the Batman movie at the movie theater? Granted, a lot of those protests still had merit because the material portrayed in the concerts is objectionable (whether it's the macabre imagery of Alice or Mason, or the Satanic imagery of a metal band). But I wonder how different the attitudes would have been had everyone realized that certain acts were theatrical in nature?
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Superjuice on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:59 am

Lizzy Borden
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Andreas89 on Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:04 pm

Rammstein. How could you forget that one Razz
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by eatbugs on Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:40 pm

Only marginally metal but TSO.

In Christian music, One Bad Pig and Grave Robber.

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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Erasmus on Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:36 pm

Slayer.
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Superjuice on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:12 pm

Erasmus wrote:Slayer.
Saw them once and there was nary a theatric... Fairly bland....
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by WildWorld on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:14 pm

Lordi
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Motley Crue (if just for Tommy's drum solos)

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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Soldier777 on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:16 pm

There are some secular and Christian bands that come to mind like KISS, Bloodgood, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Stryper. Some of these bands may not of had the theatrics on the level of Alice Cooper, but the stage set up, the costumes and the mascots take it to another level.
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Superjuice on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:39 pm

Rackets and Drapes used to do some theatrics like spitting fake blood or some kinda liquid.
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Superjuice on Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:43 pm

Saviour Machine (if considered "metal")
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by eatbugs on Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:21 am

Superjuice wrote:Saviour Machine (if considered "metal")

Good one!

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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by Erasmus on Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:05 am

Superjuice wrote:
Erasmus wrote:Slayer.
Saw them once and there was nary a theatric... Fairly bland....

Agree. I meant in regards to the acting part.
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by New Creation on Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:06 pm

Not metal, but Joy Electric and L.S.U. used to put on very theatrical shows with alter egos and costumes on stage many times.

Also mentioned above was Rackets and Drapes. I do not know what they were trying to achieve, but one time they had a submissive slave on stage with them in Denver. Wearing leather, crawling about like a dog, with a chain around his neck. Very strange act and I felt awkward being there and watching it at a Christian show.
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by messiaen77 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:24 am

Yes, much of metal is theatrics. A lot of the satanic stuff is pure theater, a gimmick to get people to talk about the band. Sure, there are some who believe it, but I would be willing to bet somewhere in the 90% range of bands just use it as an act.
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Re: Metal as a theatrical act

Post by ThomasEversole on Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:26 pm

bjorn agin wrote:It's theatre, a theatrical performance meshed together with a musical band.

Any performed music is theatrical, not just music. As soon as the visual element is added to the music (performance) each genre and sub-genre and sub-sub-genre has their own posing/gestures and wardrobe. ....from the scariest black metal, to the backwoods-iest bluegrass.

That being said, and not to derail the thread, theatrics aren't limited to the visual presentation. Lots of bands include theatrics in their lyrics. (singing about what they wouldn't necessarily "do"), just like they would look or act different on stage vs being in the line at the DMV...

Which only adds to the confusion when Christian's will recoil from satanic black metal as if its the most sincere thing on the planet. To me, that's comparable to seeing a production company LARPing in the park and calling the police that there's "maniacs swinging swords out here".
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