I Am Woman, Hear Me Rock

April 16, 2017
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Three female driven groups rock Vevo dscvr at The Knitting Factory.

When Vevo comes to town, Vevo takes over.  From music videos in the bar to custom t-shirts, to branded cups, to custom bracelets, upgraded from paper to non-rippable cloth bands, Vevo never lets you forget who’s put on the show.

The show this time was Vevo’s dscvr (apparently you also get to discover the vowels), Vevo’s celebration of up and coming artists and performers.  This round, held at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, featured all female singers and groups.  Even in between the sets, women bands and songs were on heavy rotation through the speakers.

In a night where it’s impossible to forget the brand, it is interesting to see what does get remembered from the three groups.  Usually, your strongest or most popular performers close the night, the headliner so to speak, and one would hope, especially in combination with the open bar, that the performance would help secure the win for the evening.  Interestingly, at this dscvr, both the uniqueness of the bands, and the draw of the crowd, went in the opposite order.

The Big Moon:

Generally, the first band might be called an “opener” but in this case, The Big Moon may have stole the Big Show.  With a straight out of the 90’s sound that could have found its way onto the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack, The Big Moon, with their melodic noise, and well-rounded sound, are not afraid of the spotlight.  Then again, when you’re introduced with a “Come rock your faces off,” how could you be?

The success of four-female-fronted bands cannot be ignored.  Haim opened the door, and The Aces and The Big Moon have strode right on through.  That isn’t to say The Big Moon cannot stand on their own (they absolutely can).  But the time is right for a female foursome.

“This is a cover to win you all over,” one band member called (as if we needed to be won over) as they launched into a version of Beautiful Stranger.  It was fun and unpredictable, and memorable.

Big Moon’s mega mix of covers, quirks, energy, reverb, authenticity, and fun won me over.  Halfway through their set, one member confessed that they hoped their jet lag and “drunkeness” was endearing.

Don’t worry.  It was.

Dagny:

The energy and intent of Dagny’s songs makes it semi-ok to try to dance and move and sway in a crowded room with strangers.   Maybe it’s the songs.  Maybe it’s Brooklyn.  Maybe its Dagny’s on-point eye glitter.  Maybe it’s the open bar.  In any case, this feels a lot different than the last time I saw Dagny perform in essentially a living room at the Ludlow House.

In both cases, Dagny saved her best song, Backbeat for last.  It’s by far the best track, yes, and normal set lists would dictate that you close with something that strong.

But this is a discovery platform:  You want to start with something that will keep us around.  Knock us dead from the beginning, and we’re in.

So, Dagny, lead with your best song.   You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Phoebe Ryan:

Phoebe Ryan was introduced as a pop-star in the making.   But when do you stop being in the making?  With songs that have more than 30 million plays on Spotify, it’s probably time to say you’ve made it as a popstar.

Phoebe faces a hurdle that many in this field has faced:  The release of a cover made her famous.  In this case, it was the cover Ignition / Do You.  It truly is a beautiful cover of the two songs, and yet that feels like part of the issue.  It takes something raw and rough and made it pretty.  It is unique, beautiful, and at the same time, loses the message and the reason for its existence.  Williamsburg, where The Knitting Factory is located, is undergoing the same transition.  The grit and the grunge has shifted to the modern and the sleek.  Tonight, the crunch and grunge (The Big Moon) transitioned to the more polished pop (Phoebe Ryan).

As Phoebe took to the stage, green hair and all, her crowd was delighted and stayed with her.  At least in the beginning.  Soon, they started seeking something more.

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