Saturday, October 29, 2005

Suicide Girls Burlesque Show

Boobs and the Man
Neumo's, Seattle, WA

I know the Suicide Girls are famous in some circles, but I barely knew who they were before their recent controversy shone the bright light of pop culture on to their pierced and tattooed bods. This is the second of their live burlesque tours, and it comes as no surprise that Neumo's is completely packed. Seeing my first burlesque show seems like a good time for my first (and last) Vodka/Red Bull. You kids DRINK this? Willingly?

When we arrive, openers Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re are just getting started. For the record, this is the MOST ADORABLE ALL-GIRL BAND IN THE WORLD, and they are fantastic musicians to boot. Their songs are "hard! and fast! and cute!" and lead singer Mari teaches us bits of Japanese so we understand the choruses ("This song about tea! CHA is tea!"). We, the audience, love them and want to take them home with us. The line to buy their merch starts before the band finishes their set.

As this is 3 days before Halloween, some people are dressed up, but most haven't busted out the costumes yet. So the crowd goes like this: normal - normal - normal - pirate - normal - normal - zombie - normal. One girl wearing angel wings keeps whacking people when she walks through the crowd. This place will look much different tomorrow night.

My friend goes off to the bathroom and sees a small Buster Brown-type red shoe poking out of the handicapped stall, worn by drunk girl. Her friend is in there with her, and after many retching sounds, drunk girl goes quiet. Now drunk girl's boyfriend is calling into the bathroom "is she ok?? Can you get her out??" but her friend can't lift her. So boyfriend goes into the bathroom and scoops up drunk girl, who is now stiff like a mannequin with legs sticking straight out in front of her, and carries her off.

The Suicide Girls set consists of one to three girls doing a themed act to a song, during which they strip down to panties and tape X's covering their nips. As a result, people are crammed against the stage or the balcony railing, blocking all sightlines. I have a good spot for about three numbers, but then realize my friend is gone so I go find her. There is just no getting back after that. We try to lean over people to see the stage and instead catch glimpses of arm or face. Eventually the large effort and minimal payoff gets tiresome for a lot of people - the crowd at the back is thinning out, and people start leaving.

Of course, the people in the front are riveted and overjoyed as they have full body views, high alcohol content, and low expectations. Tonight was fun, but I still want to see a real burlesque show. This wasn't quite it.

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