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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As seen on www.eburban.com
You couldn’t have asked for a better day under the sun at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Jackson, Michigan, Saturday, for the 4th annual Rockapalooza festival. High temperatures in the low 80’s, sunny most of the day, a variety of local eateries providing food and beverages, some very interesting people watching, and a plethora of rock and metal music was on hand for all to enjoy.
The gates opened at 11am as thousands of concert goers of all ages flocked the grounds and strolled back and forth between the four stages.
Last year’s show drew hundreds of complaints by nearby residents due to the noise and the profane language used by the bands. This year the organizers vowed to clean up the foul language. “We want this to be a family friendly show for all ages” organizer Tim Corser stated in a local Michigan paper. “All bands are now under contract to be clean, and they will be heavily fined if they violate it”. There were even notes strategically placed about the floors of the stages stating “No F*cking Cussing”.
The festival’s guest host was comedian and 90’s MTV personality Pauly Shore. Shore must have thought he was immune from the profanity ban as he dropped the F-Bomb on several occasions and even started a “F- Osama Bin Laden” chant that riled everyone up before the band Jackson came on stage.
With the moniker Rockapalooza the bill was filled with rock bands who growled, screamed, thrashed, and body surfed the crowd. A few of the acts weren’t so “family friendly” to the eyes with heavily painted up and mask wearing rockers like Motograter and Mushroomhead. Regardless of that, everyone seemed to enjoy the festivities and music.
One of the acts that had some major buzz was Thee Unknown, a local band whose members’ ages ranged from 11 to 13 years, and have only been playing together for a few months. They finished their short set rocking out to a Metallica favorite.
Pop Evil and Crossfade were a few of the other headliners to close out the 12 hour plus show. Due to technical difficulties on the main stage that backed times up all day long Crossfade didn’t start their set till almost an hour after their allotted 10:15pm time slot and didn’t finish till around midnight. By then, most of the sun drenched and over-served crowd were heading out the gates.
While attending a summer outdoor Rock Music Fest there are a few things you are bound to experience; men and women who are grossly under dressed, the overly exposed stumbling drunk, and lead singers spewing out more than a few cuss words. So, Jackson County Fairground neighbors, get fucking over it!
Evan J. Thomas
Evan is a contributor for IAMNotJerry.com Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and InstGram.