As j and the 9s were blasting away and their lead singer was rolling around the Rockwood Music Hall floor, I was reminded of the arduous process of booking this show.
I had this idea kicking around the last year or so to curate a special show with an all female-fronted, rock lineup. Simple enough, right? While the plan was simple, the execution was anything but, with bands backing out due to family emergencies, equipment issues and timing problems. Only a week before the show was the lineup set, but in the end New Myths, High Waisted, The Violence, Whiskey Bitches and j and the 9s put on a fantastic, high energy rock show.
When asked if we could also help out promoting the CMJ showcase next door at stage 2 at the same time, we happily obliged. The bands that played the larger and darker stage 2 were really all exceptional and included Karla Rose & The Thorns, Kingswood, Rococode, Pompeya and Slum Sociable. The sets between the two rooms coincided with each other so it was a challenge to get photos of all, but managed to snap everyone.
The afternoon started off at stage 1 with New Myths and their rhythm-heavy, rock tunes that you can dance to. Playing radio friendly songs like “Howl” and my personal favorite “Playing With Fire,” the ladies really set the tone for the rest of the day.
Over at Stage 1, Karla Rose & The Thorns were grooving to a different tune, one with gorgeous harmonies and a veteran presence.
High Waisted wasted no time in rocking the second slot of the day with a surf-rock type flair, but shouldn’t be pigeonholed into the surf-rock genre as they are so much more. They might be the ultimate party band in the city and showed us why in their 30 minute set.
Kingswood was raging with the heaviest set of the day over at stage 2, and when I walked into the room, it didn’t sound unlike Iron Maiden. While they weren’t Maiden (at all), they were a pretty damn tight alt-rock band and could have easily caught their whole set.
1:45 and it was time for The Violence. Led by Gia Jordan, The Violence exemplifies NYC with gritty lyrics, nasty guitar and a penchant for saying whatever the fuck they want. Gia is a force of nature who plays multiple instruments including the trumpet and by the end of her set had a few people thrashing around the small room, to the horror of the bartender.
At this point in time, the two rooms were complete opposites as Rococode had stage 2 dancing away with their infectious electro-pop and snazzy lyrics. I was happily surprised on how tight they were and stayed a few minutes longer than I had anticipated.
As soon as Whiskey Bitches took to stage 1, the sound seemed to get turned up to the max (thanks sound guy?) and the trio blasted us with short punk ditties including “Cookies” and “White Knight.” Having seen this band numerous times, it was obvious they’ve stepped up their game and were really on-point.
Meanwhile, stage 2 was bopping to the new wave pop sounds of Pompeya, who had the nearly full room in high spirits.
The final act at stage 2 was a great Australian group known as Slum Sociable, who had a crazy CMJ schedule but nailed their set to a packed house. Their self-described “Lo Fo, Washed-out Jazz Hop” music, was the perfect later afternoon treat.
If you like your lead singer dressed like a deranged pixie who has an affinity with getting up close and personal with the crowd, and plays the rock flute, then this is the band for you. Mixing rock, metal and punk, their 30 minute set was a frenzy of high paced songs and attitude.
As j writhed around the floor near the end of the set, the audience was caught up in the moment with wide eyed faces accentuated with enormous smiles. I stood in the corner, knowing it was a perfect moment and realized that the day was a success. Let’s do it again next year!
Article: Shayne Hanley