This post supplements my article on Examiner.com.
Those who know me personally or through other blogs already know that one of my passions is to celebrate and support the voice of the woman in our culture. It isn’t a political thing for me, but rather a deep sense of conviction that God doesn’t play favorites, that the female of our species is blessed with every bit as much giftedness as the male–but in a culture long dominated by men, the talents of women aren’t always seen or acknowledged or taken seriously. That said, some of the most amazing art around is created by women, and I appreciate anything that celebrates the voice and talent of women in our culture, especially when it comes to creativity. So when Angie Stevens headlined a lineup of four top-notch acoustic/vocal female-fronted acts last Friday, my photographer wife Shelby and I made a point to be there.
Of the four acts that appeared at the Toad Tavern that night–Angie Stevens, Wendy Woo, Goldie and the Bears and Megan Burtt–I already knew three of them to be exceptionally talented, so my expectations were pretty high going in. But I’m happy to say that my expectations were even exceeded. It’s rare that I go to a music event where I thoroughly enjoy every performer on the bill–and that even goes for larger tours with big names. This was one of those rare times. Every one of these ladies could easily have carried the show on their own; we got to see all four of them on one stage in one night.
You can catch my full recap of the concert on Examiner.com, but just to give the highlights:
Megan Burtt (whose new record I reviewed here) performed songs from the record and some new tunes, and did a great job opening the show with just a voice and guitar (she had left her band on the road to come home for the show).
Megan Burtt. (Photo: Shelby McQuilkin.)
Goldie and the Bears, the newest band and the one act I had not yet heard, blew me away. Goldie is young, yet has one of the strongest, yet controlled, set of vocal pipes I’ve heard in someone her age. Her band (all guys) has a rich, bluesy, neo-soul vibe that matches her voice. I’m already looking for the CD.
Goldie (Photo: Shelby McQuilkin.)
Wendy Woo and her band filled the dance floor with fans with the first song. This was the third time I’ve heard her perform (once solo, once with the band), and despite a few technical difficulties, this was the strongest set of the three–one of those times when the sound quality was there, the band was together, and the crowd was connecting. Just felt right.
Wendy Woo. (Photo: Shelby McQuilkin.)
Angie Stevens’ set was less like a performance, and more like a jam session with old friends–not to suggest it was less than a good performance, but just that it was relaxed and fun. She’d invited the band Something Underground to join her, and the set was a mixture of performances with different combinations of Angie and the guys and her own bandmates, all done with an infectious energy that just made you love the music right along with them.
Angie Stevens. (Photo: Shelby McQuilkin.)
Thanks, ladies, for sharing your gifts with us. What an awesome evening of music.