The challenge to stay present in the moment of life and experience it in real time was a topic addressed by She Wants Revenge lead singer Justin Warfield as he embarked on stage at the Fonda Theatre.
Before breaking into his cover of “Don’t Change” by INXS, he implored the crowd, “You spend your whole existence staring at that thing in your hands; look and feel with your own two eyes.”
She Wants Revenge, a Los Angeles band formed in 2005, has been a well-known force in the post punk revival, new wave, and goth scene. Inspired by Bauhaus, Prince, Depeche Mode, The Cure, and New Order, they blend their musical influences with ever-present electronic synths and drum machines in a style of “darkwave,” reminiscent of the new wave and gothic rock sounds of the ‘80s. Their music has received recognition from their influences, and they have gone on to tour alongside their inspirational peers including Bauhaus, Placebo, and The Psychedelic Furs.
Their music has been praised by Lady Gaga, who encouraged their hit song “Tear You Apart” to be featured in the show “American Horror Story Hotel” in which she played a role. Shirley Manson, singer of Garbage, played a cameo in their music video “These Things,” which just fuels the support they have received as a distinct force in the music scene.
The band is comprised of Justin Warfield (vocals / guitar) and Adam Bravin (synths and keyboards). The duo has most recently added Thomas Froggati on bass, Spencer Rollins on guitar, and David Goodstein on drums. This was the first time they toured as a five piece and the collective energy on stage was a crowd pleaser.
For the two nights of shows at the Fonda Theatre, She Wants Revenge was supported by opening acts Creature of Doom and Darcy.
L.A. based band Creatures of Doom opened up the first night, giving off a melancholy mood. One song that stood out was their cover of Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl,” which they sang in a much slower pace than the original song, but gave it a hypnotizing kind of quality that would set the dark wave of emotion that would carry on into the night.
Darcy, based in New York, was the second opener, she is a solo act who sings, plays, guitar, and performs on synths. With a powerful voice reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan, Evanescence, and strongly resembled the vocalist of the Chromatics whom she covered the song “Kill for Love.” Warfield did a duet with Darcy as she performed her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” Her voice had a very angelic and raw aspect that pierced the hearts of all in attendance.
She Wants Revenge then graced the stage. Their set was covered in dark roses as Warfield serenaded the crowd in his deep intense voice while moving around in a wave-like motion that intensified the mood of the night. In the song “Out of Control,” the lyrics state, “We are slaves to the DJ and out of control, the lights that move sideways and up and down, the beat takes you over and spins you round. Our hearts steady beating, the sweat turns to cold. We’re slaves to the DJ and out of control.” The lyrics were acted out throughout the night as the crowd seemed to be captivated by the band’s passionate performance.
Smoke machines gave off a cloud-like atmosphere and the floor felt like it was vibrating as the beats reached an almost electrifying pace.
Both evenings included performances of “Red Flags and Long Nights,” “These Things,” “Written in Blood,” “This Is the End,” “Sister,” and “True Romance.”
Warfield ended the night with a captivating performance of their hit “Tear You Apart” which gave off an echoing mood as he captivated the audience with his infectious performance of resonating into an emotional sonic experience.
The Fonda was definitely the place to be, and the crowd was very happy to see the return of She Wants Revenge.