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Raise Your Fist: Doro, Sister Sin @ House of Blues Sunset, 2/22/13

A Friday night on the Sunset Strip has morphed many times throughout the years. Sometimes thinking about this depresses me, and this is exactly what I felt as I walked into a sparsely populated House of Blues. Looking around, I saw one commonality between those of us there; we’re all holding on to that magic we either read about or experienced of loud music and good times along this street.

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As the curtain lifted for Sister Sin, I was starting to feel more positive about the night. I couldn’t think of a more perfect opener for Doro. Like a female fronted Mötley Crüe – many of their songs sound very much like Crüe songs – they played a really fun set. Beyond her strong voice, I couldn’t help but admire how she could so furiously headbang and thrash around wearing the outfit she was wearing. It was the perfect Friday night music, good timin’, mildly angry, rockin’ tunes.

This was my first time seeing the legendary Doro, the “queen of metal”. From the moment she hit the stage, I could sense her charismatic energy. She smiled at the crowd non-stop, and is the kind of performer that seeks out faces and acknowledges them. Her voice is still flawless; it is obvious that she has taken very good care of herself, especially when flexing her arm with the mic revealed very defined biceps. Except for a drum solo that was a little too long, the band solidly backed her.

IMG_2029Quite a few Warlock songs- her original band- interlaced her solo tracks. The crowd had now swelled to a sizable bunch, and obediently obeyed frequent calls for crowd participation. This is the sect of American fans of Euro-metal. I’ve always found it interesting that the fact that America is an individualistic culture and Europe is a communal one tends to be represented in metal bands from each country. From the giant metal fests in Europe, to the way the crowd behaves at a show, and the way the band treats the crowd tend to always reflect this. And I am guilty of being the individualist American; if you see me raise my fist or clap along, I’m either in the front where I feel like I have to, or I’m wasted. No offense to the bands, it’s just how I am.

As a woman marginally in the metal scene, I’m so glad there are figureheads like Doro. I read some fascinating things about her, like that her custom-made outfits are made with synthetic materials that look like leather, but aren’t (she’s involved with PETA). She decided not to have a family to dedicate her life to her fans. That’s a pretty hardcore decision.

Deciphering her heavily German-accented stage banter was tough, but it was evident she was enjoying this show….which must have been a huge relief after playing the tiny dive bar that is Thee Parkside in San Francisco the night before. How did that happen?! The Sunset Strip may not be what it used to be, but when legends come through town, we recreate it as best we can.

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