Live at The Joint,

Los Angeles, CA 10/09/2008

Review by Travis Baumann

Ayria are more or less a one woman band in the studio. For her live shows she incorporates a live drummer and another member playing keyboards.

Her style is fairly pop-friendly electro dance music and she specializes in catchy, stick in your head type repetitive choruses that have you singing her songs whether you want to or not. This is the second time seeing her live and as before, she is the opening act for the Cruxshadows.

Due to problems with the originally planned venue, last minute arrangements were made for the show to be put on at "The Joint" in the Hollywood/Los Angeles area. I had never been to this venue before and it was apparent that they did not deal with this genre of music much. The stage was miniscule, sound problems plagued the night, the lighting was minimal in terms of stage ambiance, and the worst problem of the entire event was that there was zero air flow. It grew to nearly a hundred degrees in there just during the opening band and by the time Ayria went on it was insane. Everyone on stage and in the audience was dripping sweat.

Ayria is somewhat entertaining just in the juxtaposition of images and ideas in that she likes to mix the sickly sweat with the devilishly dark. The banner behind her as well as her lyrics emphasize this mix as does her personal aesthetic. If you like bands like Psychobitch, Nekkia RPM, or Angelspit you will most likely enjoy Ayria. I personally find her more enjoyable to listen to than Angelspit and while I am not that crazy about Psychobitch's turn on things on "Electrolicious" they are sort of the gauge by which other bands within the sub-grenre of female led dark electro dance are held up to.

I would have to say, I was a little disappointed that so much of the set was composed of tracks she had done last time we saw her live, which was quite some time ago and she has an EP and full-length of newer material to draw from. I think I only heard her announce two new songs and the rest came from her older material.

I honestly don't hear her played much at Los Angeles clubs but she did have a strong following in the audience and everyone seemed to be enjoying the performance despite the hair-wilting, sweat-inducing furnace the place had become.

Towards the end of the set, it seemed that the stage lights ceased to function which was ok because the novice house-lighting "tech" just kept them sweeping across the band at an infuriating pace for the previous act so a bit of constant was fine.

Overall I would say Ayria is an attractive woman who puts on an energetic show. Her music is more electronic dance based than Cruxshadows but both the band and audience must enjoy her company to repeat the line-up.

While not belting out the most complicated pieces or operatic vocals, she does sing quite well and is entertaining to watch and listen to.

Both times seeing her live, she joked about being from Canada and seems to have a genuinely nice personality. Her intelligence is apparent through her lyrics and music compositions but at times her vocal style seems a little bit bubble-gummy pop that goes in the opposite direction from the dark music and at times lyrical content. Hopefully next time she can play a better venue with air conditioning and a seasoned sound engineer and lighting technician but regardless it was good to see her again.

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