By Sharyn Goldyn
Election Day, 2004. DeVotchKa’s stage is all set: Theremin, glockenspiel, drums, upright bass, violin, accordion, and a tuba laced with Christmas lights. Front man Nick Urata emerges armed with his guitar and a bottle of wine, barely glancing at the thousands of Marilyn Manson fans watching him with indifferent eyes. Urata is quickly followed by Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder and Shawn King. All four are dressed as dead Mariachis in celebration of The Day of The Dead. The morbid Manson fans seem to miss the punch line and the band launches into song.
The band’s heart-slicing croons slip between English and various European languages. Hagerman’s violin sounds like Mendelssohn being chased by gypsies. Schroder’s tuba lights wink at the crowd. The crowd stares coldly back and it isn’t long before they begin throwing stuff at the band."It was a very, very weird day," Urata says of their first day on tour for critically acclaimed record How It Ends (2004). "The crowd was very hostile- just rows of thirteen year old angry boys yelling at us." Perhaps opening for Manson wasn’t such a great idea after all.
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