Pussy Riot bring a different kind of live show to Echoplex

Pussy Riot Echoplex 2018 mainbar

The prospect of Pussy Riot as a live act has always been a curious one. Following years of speaking events, Pussy Riot solved the mystery on their U.S. live debut back in December at the Lodge Room and Bootleg Theater with a high-energy spectacle that embraced the art of performance. Less than four months later, Nadya Tolokonnikova shook things up with a dramatically different sort of show.

Self-described as “live music performance art” and a “fake band,” Pussy Riot’s dramatic Echoplex set featured Tolokonnikova without the synchronized dancers wearing body bags. Solely illuminated by projected visuals that channeled everything from Duck Hunt to Star Wars into protest art, she belted out English and Russian vocal venom over electropunk beats behind her signature balaclava.

Opener Bebe Huxley got the crowd bumping with a mix of soaring vocals and thumping beats. During one of the evening’s most intriguing moments, Huxley performed a number from the perspective of Stormy Daniels before ripping a copy of Forbes magazine featuring the big orange elephant in the room.

Dorian Electra — along with special guest London Jade — followed with a musical crash course on the history of the clitoris, high heels, drag and more. All in all, it was hard not to feel like smashing the system in urgent defiance after such an evening of protest.

Words and photos by Frank Mojica

Editor’s note: It was strange to see Pussy Riot covered in LA Weekly for this show (in which the outlet erroneously stated they had three sold-out nights at The Echoplex — two of the shows were at The Echo upstairs). LA Weekly is currently engaged in a battle with boycotters (full disclosure: I’m a boycotter) who have pointed out the numerous ethical violations they’ve made since undergoing new ownership late last year. The new LA Weekly launched a propaganda campaign on Monday that’s continued every day this week, spouting Trumpian slogans like “fake news” at the boycotters while failing to refute any of the claims lobbed their way.

I think if Pussy Riot had any idea what was happening at the largest alternative-weekly newspaper in the country, they wouldn’t have allowed themselves to be featured. But they are an inspiration to me and many others who have been given hope when fighting a nefarious power figure. — M.O.

Bebe Huxley
Dorian Electra
London Jade