Screaming Females – Bowery Ballroom, NY, NY 5/29/13

It was all about of power punk trio’s in New York’s Bowery Ballroom as the crowd was late arriving on this hot spring night. Opening up the show was New Jersey’s Black Wine who played a noticeably percussive form of pop-punk with the drums and bass leading the way. Jeffrey Schroeck on Guitar, J Nixon on Bass and Miranda Taylor Drumming (all sharing vocals) seemed like a rougher around the edges version of their label mates and New Jersey neighbors who were following them on this night as they plowed through their half hour opening set.

After a short break Screaming Females took the stage with their minimalist setup as the crowd filed in. The trio (Marissa Paternoster, guitar; Mike Abbate, bass; Jarrett Dougherty, drums) are just starting their tour, but seemed locked in as a unit for the opening pair of “It All Means Nothing” and “Extinction.” During the early stages, Paternoster seemed to be focusing on singing strongly before “Ghost Solo” found her shredding riffs.  The low-end thundered majestically for “Fall Asleep” as the fret board and vocal flares propelled “Buried In The Nude”.

While the band was gelling on all fronts at this point, “Light’s Out” exploded into outer space. The crowd felt it immediately starting the first mini-pit of the night during the balanced intro that gloriously took its sweet ass time. When things kicked into overdrive sound reverberated from all corners as Paternoster was found soloing from her back, knees, and being held up by the front row, while the drums and bass pummeled forward. This performance was simply a happening proof that live rock and roll remains vital.

A new unnamed song was next, and it had a Cheap Trick vibe to it. “Starve The Beat” strutted fourth with an angular bass line before a massive breakdown and ramp back up.  The jamming nature with which Screaming Females attack their catalog is one of the most exciting aspects to their live show; the songs live, breath and grow with the band, vital for any performing act worth its salt.

The aggressive “Sheep” followed as Dougherty stomped and Paternoster proclaimed “You’ll count sheep with anyone/anyone will do” via fury before a scruffy version of “A New Kid” roughed up its shiny metal edges. The mellowness of “Little Anne” closed the night even if it seemed like they could have played for another two hours. Already known nationally this trio is a force on stage and is as exhilarating as any rock act out there, catch them ASAP.

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