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Neon Reverb Friday: Ladies rock the house at female-fronted showcase

Laura Davis

There are a surprising number of drinking adults (including the scene staple bum stumbling about) for an all ages show. As the night’s second band, Arizona gypsy folk-rockers Dry River Yacht Club prepare to board the stage wagon, accompanied by the heavy scent of patchouli in the air, the setting seems perfect for Friday’s Neon Reverb female-fronted showcase at the Gypsy Den.

Sponsored by Girls Rock Vegas—the non-profit organization that encourages young women to empower themselves through music—the five band showcase features all female-fronted acts.

Mama Zeus kicks off the event. The five-member act fronted by Nicole Sotile has been celebrating female vocal power since 1993—but since taking a hiatus in 2004 has only recently once again been hitting the local scene to reignite a following.

With the hypnotic vocals of Dry River Yacht Club’s Garnet (no last name), and the accompaniment of the frontwoman’s twirling dance steps and flowing garments, the eight-member group would make the perfect candidate for a Gypsy Den house band, if there were such a thing. The eclectic noise of instruments like bassoon, sax and tuba rise and fall with Garnet’s mesmerizing singing stylings, conjuring up comparisons to the ultimate mythical Greek female power—the sirens.

On an alternate route to female supremacy—Joan Jett-style, give me some respect or I’ll kick your ass— black-leather-clad punk singer of the Objex, Felony Melony, roughs the night up by igniting a mosh pit and proving the super powers of female brutality and anarchy (mixed with a little, or a lot, of sexuality) hold firm in the music world, as well as in comic book pages.

Of all the female vocal groups of the night, the act testifying highest to the glory of she-power is local pop punk quintet Ministry of Love, fronted by Meg Vitale. Having just been signed to New York City indie label Negative Procession Records, a subdivision of Sony/RED, the road warriors' (they’ve played 44 states) hard work and perseverance has finally paid off.

The night is rounded out by local punk quartette Robot Nixon, led by Kelley Karas on vocals.

The myth that the music industry is dominated by men can be debunked—at least in terms of local female rockers. Perhaps “Maddy,” one Girls Rock Vegas student speakers sums the night up best. “We have just as much talent as all those guys … Yeah, girls rock!”

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  • If the venue continues to book rising stars, it might just be the best place to see them before they get big.

  • There were loud sing-alongs and vigorous mosh pits throughout the night, but it was all still fueled by nostalgia.

  • The band, which turns Velvet Underground songs into pizza anthems, hits LVCS on November 16.

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