The concert felt like a live stadium show, a theatrical parade, and an after-party that celebrates the band's showmanship in the most ardent, rebellious way possible.
The Scarlet Opera Concert Recap Video
Before The Concert
The sold-out marquee sign in front of the Echoplex on April 12th justified the overwhelming support from their fans in Los Angeles, and it was only The Scarlet Opera's first headline West Coast tour for their debut EP, "Comedy." "We saw them at the sold-out Troubadour show, and it was amazing…so as soon as we saw they're touring, we're like, we have to go back," said Michael and Devin, who stood in line an hour before doors opened.
At 7 o'clock, fans started swarming into the venue while the speakers blasted the musical soundtrack from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which perfectly set up the gleeful and liberating energy for the upcoming show. Seamlessly, the supporting act, three dancers with glam clown makeup and one DJ, ushered the crowd into a throwback Rock N Roll era filled with their intensified sexual prowess energy. Under the dimmed scarlet and violet lights, it felt like an exclusive, enticing circus show. They made it an engaging and liberating experience by inviting audiences up on stage to let loose and let out until everyone was ready for the ultimate show.
During The Concert
The three dancers got "turfed out" by The Scarlet Opera as they entered the stage at 9:30 P.M., making it a smooth, playful transition into their first song of the night, "Riot." Compared to the studio version, the guitar strums in the beginning verses were more prominent live, which lifted the energy even higher. As Luka Bazulka, the frontman, chanted the verses "then run to the club/I'm buying a round/oh, the queens are in town tonight," it felt like the circus ringmaster was making an announcement to the crowd. The band then marched into "The Place To Be," and the little choreographed dance among the guitarist (Chance Taylor), Bazulka, and the bassist (Daniel Zuker) during the second verse demonstrated the quirky, freeing mood of the song.
Followed by three unreleased songs, "That Kind Of Woman," "Giovanni," and "Little Bit Of Love," the band uplifted the vibrancy of the venue with stimulating rhythms and melodies. Keeping the same momentum, the band covered "The Best" by Tina Turner but made the tempo slightly faster than the original. They also added a guitar solo and rearranged the ending to allow everyone to chorus together. "Can't Stop Falling" is my personal favorite unreleased song played during the show. It started with a romantic, majestic serenade that morphed into a carnival of jubilation that would make you want to dance.
Before performing the cover of "Believe" by Cher, Bazulka shared his reflection on his first love and said, "I've been in love, and then I was out of love, and the words kind of hit me different." To capture the mourning of lost love, the band slowed down the tempo, which altered the mood to a sorrowful one compared to Cher's version, with only the accompaniment of the electric guitar playing slowly with Bazulka. Everyone knew the lyrics and the crowd-singing scene felt like a warm hug to Bazulka, bringing the people to another heightened emotional stage, and Bazulka teared up a little as the song ended. "Do you believe in love after love," hit differently to everyone afterward.
"I've Been Waiting For You" has been my favorite song on the EP, and when Bazulka said that this was their first tour after being in the band for seven years and that they've wanted this for so long, it changed my emotional connection with the track. Now, it felt more than just a love song – it is the band's cathartic release to the world and their fans.
It wouldn't be The Scarlet Opera without any opera pieces. The band also covered "Nessun Dorma" by Luciano Pavarotti but rewrote the lyrics and made it a rockier version towards the end. "When we rewrote the lyrics to this one, it was like a manifesto for what we intend to achieve as a band. It's also been like a love note to the people supporting us and to the boys," said Bazulka. As Bazulka closed on the song's high note, the band players eased the crowd into "Big City Thing." People were clapping to the rhythm in the outro and bopping their heads throughout. In the band's encore song "Alive," which is also fans' favorite, Bazulka entered the stage, and Zuker put the red feathered boa on Bazulka's shoulder like a king's coronation. We also saw Bazulka's iconic mad conductor hands up in the air waving nonstop as people chanted "home, home, home." As fans shouted the lyrics with Bazulka, it didn't feel like they were exhausted from all the jumping earlier. They felt rejuvenated by the band's frantic enthusiasm.
After The Concert
As the band bowed and exited the stage, the Echoplex shined in blue and filled with the celebratory tune "Mamamia" by ABBA. People were holding their beers, dancing, and having the time of their lives. The concert proved each band member to be more than just studio recording artists – they are truly extraordinary performers. They were having fun instead of showing off skills – the perfect balance between showmanship and musicianship. The change in the dynamic of the cover songs was brilliant, showing their vulnerable side that contrasted with the upbeat original songs. The audience believed in them because the words they sang were true to their personalities. The lyrics are empowering just as themselves as humans are too.