All words: Jenn Bress — All photos: Joshua Feldman and Jenn Bress
On Saturday, the 9:30 club was a giddy mob of children, teens, parentsand female DC music fixtures as GirlsRock! DC’s camper showcase presented what could be the future of the DC music scene. Tikes, tweens and teens took the stage by storm with raw talent and passion for music that had everyone leaving the matinee with nothing but pride and smiles ontheir faces.
GirlsRock DC is a nonprofit organization and member of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, a network of Girls Rock Camps scattered across the United States all sharing the same mission: to empower women of all ages through music. Girls Rock camps create a supportive, inclusive and creative space for girls to develop their self-confidence, build community, stand up, and rock out!
During camp, girls ages 8-18 not only form their very own bands, but theylearn how to play an instrument for the first time, attend workshops tolearn about the history of music, of perhaps go a little in depth about thebusiness and marketing of music. The camps culminate in a showcase event that creates a supportive space for the bands to perform one song for friends, family and each other.
This showcase marks the 5 year anniversary of GirlsRock! DC and you can tell that the organization runs a tight ship and that the campers arereally dedicated because the level of skills acquired in such a short period is downright impressive. CNA, opened the night with a DJ set that showshow any young ladies can rock the decks. Black Screaming Devil Hearts followed CNA with equal parts attitude and rockin jams. A cutie with a guitar almost bigger than her body fronted the band, rocking knee highlaces ups and a snappy brimmed hat.
Between sets, GirlsRock! DC volunteers helped change out equipment,while ushering in the following acts. Each camp counselor introduced the band they coached for the week, unless one of the campers had the balls to do it, then they stood aside and let them take the lead. This ensurined each band was introduced with the level of enthusiasm they each deserved.
The Highlighters presented a soulful song lead by a shy front woman whose hands remained clasped and close to her chest the entire performance. Next up, More Than 1 took the stage by storm with a bandof five members, presenting a song with some of the more memorable noisy guitar jangly freak outs, proving the level of creativity and promise exhibited by GRDC campers is paramount. C-Cage Dynamite offered upsome of the more catchy lyrics to the effect of “I’ve got a headache, andit hurts, I took some Advil but it still hurts”. This chanted over and overfollowed by band rock outs, all fronted by a tiny little lady of probably 8 years old in a pink tutu and a fuchsia sequined hat.
Silver Rush were one of the more memorable groups, fronted by littlelady who just sang her heart out and begged the audience to join in: “It doesn’t matter, I won’t leave you…hanging around.” She introduced theband herself and exhibited a level of confidence we all dream of at her age (maybe 14?) . Later that evening, Silver Rush opened for Run For Cover, which also benefited GirlsRock! DC.
Finally, to end an amazing showcase of talent and pretty ladies, Bass BLouder, a DJ Duo of epic proportions blew us all by storm. The ladies played bass heavy dance music that made the entire club bounce. What floored me was how the ladies looked back at one another during their set, smiles wider than anything, vibing off their very apparent synergy. They wrapped up their show stopping performance with a synchronized dance.
There is just no way you could leave the 9:30 club feeling less than elatedby what GirlsRock DC camp accomplished. You just know that at the veryleast, the camp experience has made a huge mark in the lives of theseyoung ladies. Hopefully, it has inspired a wealth of new talent and will fuelthe future of music to come.
- Jenn’s shots: