Photo by Steve Cross.
We've heard a lot of metaphors about female independence lately—80 million cracks in the glass ceiling, something about a pit bull with lipstick—and it's within this climate that the New York-based Girls Rock & Girls Rule Tour stopped at 3rd and Lindsley on Wednesday night. Consisting of five female-fronted bands plus a local band or two at every stop, the tour was nothing if not ambitious. Proceeds from the tour benefit the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, essentially the NYC version of Murfreesboro's Southern Girls Rock 'n' Roll Camp in which campers are taught to play instruments, write songs and be awesome. The various sponsorships, freebee swag and giveaways at the 3rd and Lindsley stop proved that these are some girls who know how to get shit done. Unfortunately, not many people showed up.
But we did. Musically, Joan Jett was the patron saint of Girls Rock & Girls Rule, with each of the tour's core bands owing a debt to the Blackhearts' influence. Loki the Grump set the tone for the night, which was that members of each band were going to pop up on stage during the other bands' sets a bunch. The opening set didn't particularly move us, but the guitarist happened to be a badass violinist. While the Grump focused on silliness, G-Spot addressed horniness head-on. Their best songs covered the poppier stylings of X and late Pylon, even if some of the quasi-funk left too much of a Red Hot Chili Peppers taste in our mouths.
Two local bands were chosen to share the bill, the first being ShotgunDiary, whose loud/soft Evanescence-styled modern rock would probably sound right at home on not just 102.9 The Buzz, but any of the many The Buzzes found throughout the country. We aren't saying the same for our earholes. Kink Ador's nimble almost-jazz ventured a little close to jam band for our comfort, but the sax and keys laden combo had the tightest sound and sharpest songwriting of the night, with lead singer and bassist Sharon Koltick reminding us of a female Sting except, you know, likable.
We caught most of Marisa Mini & Her Mojo's set of “hey, we're punk rock”-punk rock, which wasn't bad at all, but after five bands we didn't have the stamina for two more. After listening to some recordings by America's Sweethearts, we might be a little sorry we missed them. Five hours at 3rd and Lindsley on a Wednesday night proved to be a little too demanding.