Girls Rock Camp Houston showcase Fitzgerald's August 7, 2011
Now available for your viewing pleasure: Our GRC showcase slideshow.
The six bands formed at this year's Girls Rock Camp Houston filled the upstairs area at Fitz Sunday afternoon with a youthful energy that Aftermath hasn't experienced there since high school, when music was new and full of life. Members of Neon Green Machine, Turquoise Foxes, Ragdollz, Silver Dragons, The Distortions and Murder on the Boulevard all proved that a week of teamwork, learning and dance parties can empower young girls both on and offstage.
While the girls were getting ready after their run-through, Aftermath tried to help out as much as possible, but came to realize that the girls didn't need it anymore. They'd blossomed into independent, self-assured rockers.
The first band to perform, Neon Green Machine, even practiced some breathing exercises they learned earlier in the week at the Punk Rock Yoga workshop to rid themselves of pre-show jitters. After we ran through the lyrics a few times backstage with NGM - the band we 'counseled' for the week - we took our place in the crowd to watch them perform their song, "Summertimes."
Of course - and we might be a lot biased - we thought that it was the perfect opening song. The lyrics are catchy and fun: "Costa Rica, Canada, China, Hawaii - everyone around the world, COME ON LET'S PARTY!" By the end of the song, the audience was bouncing up and down and throwing around a beach ball that had appeared out of nowhere from backstage.
After NGM, the Turquoise Foxes were up. The first thing we noticed was that Isabella, the lead singer, has a beautiful and cherub-like voice. It was also super-rad to see Cameron, whom we'd helped out at drum sectionals, channel all of her boundless energy in her Chuck Taylors.
One of our favorite bands, The Ragdollz, came onstage dressed like rag dolls, with pieces of bandanas in their hair and on their face. They used eyeliner to make stitches on the sides of their mouths; and it was all their idea. Lead singer Madelyn - or Billy Bob, as she often referred to herself during camp week - got everyone in the crowd involved, coaxing them to help her sing.
Best? Guitarist Avery's rockin' solo.
Niki Sevven and Elizabeth Jackson's band, The Silver Dragons, came on next. Although it had taken a few days for the group to come up with their name and song, they rocked both as effortlessly as though they'd been a band since birth, like, eight years ago... scary. After hours upon hours of watching these girls play their instruments and collaborate together, we had a tendency to forget how old they actually are. To us, they just seemed like tiny adults, except way more cool.
The Distortions, GRC Houston director Anna Garza and April Brem Patrick's band, was undoubtedly the highlight of the night. You could hear the Vivian Pikkles influence: "We are gonna dance until we all throw up, bottoms up with apple juice in our cup!"
During the run through the day before, drummer Timely had substituted for the singer, Kilena, who was ill. Sunday, the singer was feeling better, but Timely once again contributed vocals while playing a perfectly synchronized beat.
Murder on the Boulevard reminded us of what we probably would have listened to if we were 13. The band's song was an amalgamation of pop, rock, and a little bit of 2001 emo; lead singer Lodie personified it all, from her stance to her concentrated gaze.
After the bands were all done, all 30 girls got onstage to sing two more songs as a group-the first song they wrote together about butterflies and lemonade and the camp song, "Don't Be Afraid To Be Weird." As we stood amongst the girls towards the back of the stage, we watched parents, relatives, and family friends all huddle close together to watch their little rockers share a special part of their week with them.
Aftermath didn't cry, but rather stood in amazement at the pinnacle of the week, amongst our girls; girls who, five days earlier, stood together in a huge circle, wondering what the week might have in store for them.
Personal Bias: Yeah... clearly super-biased.
The Crowd: Friends and Fam - parents, relatives, family friends, volunteer friends, band-coach friends, Facebook friends, GRCH friends.
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Overheard In the Crowd: It ranged from shouts to sniffles.
Random Notebook Dump: Whyyyy do we have to wait an entire year for the next session?