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Club Candids: Otep Unleashes Alt-Metal Madness at Joe's Grotto

See also: Club Candids: Pattie's First Avenue Lounge See also: Club Candids: Labor Day Retox at Martini Ranch


Otep Shamaya certainly has some powerful pipes and she ain't afraid to use 'em. Just ask the mass of local music fans who were scorched by the 32-year-old lead screamer singer this past weekend during a gig by the alt-metal band that bears her name at Joe's Grotto on Sunday, September 16.

Shamaya breathed fire through a vintage-looking microphone and onto a rabid crowd of metalheads gathered at the North Phoenix bar and music venue, inducing moshing and other frantic activity during Otep's energetic set.

Thing is, however, the show came close to not happening at all.

Otep's bus suffered a breakdown after arriving in Phoenix, which also took out the vehicle's air conditioning. Shamaya was concerned that her dogs, which accompany the singer whenever the band's on tour, wouldn't be able to endure the stuffy situation on the bus thanks to the late-summer heat and considered calling off Otep's concert.

Thankfully, Joe's Grotto owner, uh...Joe Grotto found a nearby auto parts emporium that was open late on a Sunday night and helped get things restored to working order, much to the relief of Shamaya, her pooches, and all the Otep fans in attendance.

Besides blasting through a variety of Otep's heavy-hitting songs, the band also treated the crowd to an amped-up cover of Nirvana's "Breed" during the finale of their set, where Shamaya hollered out lyrics penned by the late Kurt Cobain and guitarist Steven Barbola, who wore a mask similar to Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, punished the strings.

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Much like Otep's opening acts included a diverse mix of musicians - including Austin, Texas-based goth duo One-Eyed Doll, L.A. chick metal band Butcher Babies, and local freaks Element a440, the crowd was equally eclectic (for alt-metal show, at any rate) and ran the gamut from black shirt-wearing burnouts and punks to corset-clad femmes in bad mascara.

Get a glimpse of who else was at Otep's show by perusing this week's Club Candids slideshow.

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