Event: Sharon Needles (Memphis, TN)
|Sharon Needles with Dalton Primeaux|
This past weekend, Sharon Needles, The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season four, gave an unforgettable performance at Jack Magoo’s Sports Bar in Memphis, TN. The show was exciting, shocking and extremely fun. The night started with local DJs spinning dance music and getting the crowd pumped. Everyone was gathered outside the bar under a large tent where the performance stage was set up. Despite the temperature outside that seemed to surpass a hundred degrees, and an overwhelming crowd of people pushed together in front of the stage, everyone seemed to be having a blast. All the guests were sporting fun Needles inspired outfits and costumes.The staff and producers did an amazing job. The cocktail waitresses and bartenders were busting their asses getting everyone drinks and keeping the party running smoothly, which definitely did not go unnoticed. The all around atmosphere of the bar and the crowd was pure party-mode; it was fantastic.
The show started with some local drag kings and queens doing a few performances. They were fun and definitely set a good mood for the night. Then foam begins to blow on the audience and a large projector scene is set up and an old news clip starts to play with the voices dubbed over announcing that Sharon Needles, “the first drag queen president” had been shot. As the clip ends a Marilyn Manson songs starts to play and a crew carries out a coffin… from which Sharon Needles rises from and starts her shocking, spooky performance.
During the opening act she takes sips of vodka (and some other white liquid from her blender) and spits it onto the crowd like the badass punk rocker she is. She took a bible and shredded it on stage and tossed the pieces into the audience. At this point in the act, an audience member next to me becomes offended and leaves yelling that she is about to vomit because the performance is so horrifying. (Good thing she didn’t stay for when Needles encouraged everyone to yell “hail satan”).
Later, after her performance, she explains that she isn’t necessarily against organized religions or spirituality but she is against how people have used the bible for many years to persecute the LGBT community. During her speech after the first act, Needles definitely showed that not only is she talented, creative and ridiculously entertaining but underneath the shocking images she also stands for something. She stands up for the freaks and outcasts and encourages everyone to be themselves and to not care about what other people think. Everyone deserves to be creative, express themselves and have fun doing it, just like Sharon Needles.
|Just a couple of crazy bitches.|
Needles ended the night with a meet-and-greet with her audience, where the whole crowd pushed and shoved for hours to grab an autograph or get a chance to take pictures with her. When she first came out she was fully dressed in drag. She looked beautiful, but the heat was too intense for her to stay dressed up… So, she stripped on the spot. She decided to trade in her black gown for a blood bath. She gulped a bottle of fake blood and let it run out her mouth and down her entire body. Only Sharon Needles could make such a horrifying look seem beautiful. The whole time that Needles was taking pictures and chatting with fans she was extremely kind, friendly, and warm. She made fun jokes and share encouraging words with her fans. It’s an understatement to say that that spooky queen has a big heart.
As Ren and I finally get to see Sharon, she asks the crowd for a cigarette. I was happy to give her one of mine and a light. “I love smoking!” she says to me after taking the cigarette. She thanked me, but not just in words. She showed her appreciation by autographing my Sharon Needle’s tacky, overpriced tank top with her loving bloody kisses. We chatted for a bit and stood for pictures and the whole time she was fun, silly and sweet. It’s hard not to love a performer that loves her fans back.
The whole night was a blast, and Sharon Needles went above and beyond my expectations. Her spooky style is unique and entertaining and her words are genuine. She is all about creativity and self expression, just like me and the rest of the WearHouse crew.