Live Concert Photography: Chelsea Wolfe with Ionna Gika at Brooklyn Steel 11/1/19
With the exception of a trip to Midtown to see how desolate it was and to take photos, I’ve essentially been in quarantine for about nine of the past ten days. And while it’s been very difficult — I fucking miss bars, live music and people so much — I’m staying home to help flatten the curve, as the experts have said.
Of course, during this difficult and uncertain time for all of us, I’m hoping that JOVM will give you a few moments of levity and connection to others. In the meantime, I’ve been incredibly busy. And with all of this extra time without anyplace to go, I’ve had an opportunity to through some of my extensive archives. Last November, I caught JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe and Ionna Gika at Brooklyn Steel. Check out photos from that show below.
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe has a long-held reputation for channeling somber and haunting beauty in a variety of forms and her latest album Birth of Violence found Wolfe stripping her material down to a few key elements — guitar and vocals. Interestingly, the album is a a bit of a return towards her earliest recordings with Wolfe withdrawing into her own world of enigmatic and elusive autobiography. And yet, the material manages to wholly exist in the present moment with the material touching upon navigating the world as a woman, school shootings and the destruction of our planet.
Fittingly, Wolfe’s North American tour consisted of a stripped back set of material in which she played new and old songs in a much more intimate light. Opening the night was the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and Ionna Gika. Check out photos from that show below.
Ionna Gika is a Greek-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, whose music career began in earnest when she co-founded the acclaimed indie rock act Io Echo with The Big Pink’s Leopold Ross. As the story goes, Gika and Ross were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, and they bonded over a mutual lover of The Velvet Underground‘s “Venus in Furs.” The duo’s self-titled debut EP was released in late 2012 — and building upon a rapidly growing profile for around that combined rock music arrangements with Japanese koto harp and Chinese violin, they opened for The Big Pink, Florence + the Machine, The Drums, Nine Inch Nails, and Garbage. Io Echo supported their full-length debut 2013’s Ministry of Love with appearances across the national festival circuits with stops at Coachella and Lollapalooza, as well as touring with Bloc Party and Garbage. They also composed the score to Harmony Korine’s and James Franco’s Rebel. After many years, Gika returned to Greece for her father’s funeral. And while at her mother’s house. she began writing her solo debut album Thalassa, which translates into “sea” in Greek. The album thematically speaks about her home country but may be the most personal material she’s written to date.