Jennifer Parkin was one of those musicians that I had pretty much never expected to see live. Not that I wouldn't have jumped at the chance; since discovering her music back in 2006 her albums have never left my arm's reach. Her synthpop seductive vocals and passionate lyrics are the type of thing I eat up. But the Canadian goth hadn't visited the states for several years and I just am not that in tune with the electronica scene to know when people are releasing albums or touring. So it was kinda miraculous when I discovered that she had just released a third Ayria album and was part of the Immortal Tour (with I:Scintilla and The Cruxshadows). Living in "The Live Music Capitol of the World" once again payed off this past Friday (10.24) when Ayria played Elysium.
Parkin made her debut as part of the group Epsilon Minus before leaving to start her Ayria project. This group pairs her with a different producer on each album. For the latest Hearts for Bullets Parkin enlisted the skills of Sebastian Komor. Ayria's music is a great mix of industrial-electronica and synthpop that is sure to pulsate through your body.
For Ayria's performance at Elysium, Parkin was backed by her touring band consisting of Mike Wimer on electronic drums and Jeff M. on keyboards. Those two lay down the pounding beats while Parkin dances from one side of the stage to the other. She works the crowd by singing directly to them and at times kneels down at the front of the stage to interact with some of her fans. The performance is all about having fun and at one point the joke was even on Ms. Parkin herself; during "The Gun Song" two Elysium dancers came on stage to surprise her with a routine to the song. Parkin had to laugh her way through the song and joked about having to put on a serious "goth face" before going further.
The set stuck to Ayria's more BPM-obliterating electronica; consisting of oldies "My Revenge on the World" and "Disease" but mostly playing material off the new album like "1000 Transmissions," "Girl on the Floor," and the title track "Hearts for Bullets." Her vocals are just as alluring live as on the albums and her beauty is even more stunning in person. Jennifer Parkin is the pure definition of a industrial diva.