Remember those days when you found out your favorite band hit it big, and you said you wished you could have seen them back in the day, in a small venue without paying and arm and a leg? Friday night was that chance to catch the soulful and 70’s-inspired-throwback rock sounds of Connecticut’s own Saint Bernadette. Nestled in the back corner of the quaint Martyrs’ live music club, I was able to disengage myself with the everyday grind, and cherish the opportunity to take in the powerful, sexy and velvety voice of Meredith DiMenna and her au fait band mates. An illuminating light that permeated the stage was the perfect setting to admire DiMenna as she dominated the show with her sultry looks, while her dirty blond hair whipped around her face as she pranced around. I’m not going to throw out comparisons of other femme fatale vocalists since that would be doing a disservice to DiMenna and her compelling presence. She has her own broad spectrum of erotically charged melodies, and she puts her own staple on her music. Her vocals are a masterful mixture of the who’s who of past and present female rockers. She also incorporates her talents on the acoustic guitar and tambourine. Talent like this is the makeup for success.
The 40+ minute set was tight throughout and had a cozy psychedelic and jazzy feel to the evening. The other members of the band included guitarist Scott Metzger, bass player Dan Carlisle, astral slide guitarist Joe Novelli and drummer Kenny Owens. At times the four guys took over the performance and jammed together as they pumped out tunes such as “Play to Win” and “Suicide”. Their style was that of a quartet practicing in a basement as DiMenna strutted her stuff during the instrumental solos.
Being from the relatively unknown indie music scene that is Connecticut, Saint Bernadette isn’t that well known in Chicago as of yet, but this recent tour brought the clan through the Second City. Local band 7th Kind was the perfect opener as they jump started the show with eclectic renditions of their best work to date. The Congregation and The Mood followed on the warm summer evening.
If you missed this show you will have another chance in the coming weeks to catch the multi talented band as they perform on July 18th at The Elbo Room in Chicago.
So sit back in a dimly lit room, and while listening to their albums, light up some incense and take in the aura that is Saint Bernadette.
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