On the final Saturday in January Schlafly Tap Room was host to a night of high energy pop punk
talent. We watched the venue go from a bustling gathering place with people wining and dining to a room full of people ready for some local noise. Naturally an employee disclaimed to us as we took our seats: “It’s about to get loud”. There were some strong girl power vibes as each artist featured a front-woman. Opening for Joan of Dark was fellow local musicians, Tiger Rider and Mirror Mirror. January was a stressful month for many, but on this Saturday evening these artists let it all out via pure musical aggression.
First to take the stage was the legendary Tiger Rider, featuring charismatic front-woman Kristina Williams. Part hype-man and part vocalist, this girl rocked the house with booty shaking and shouting. The at first sleepy audience got a power packed punch of Tiger Power as they brought the room to life. She got the crowd to get out of their chairs and dance, as well as twerk, to their politically charged pop-punk-rock sound, featuring lyrics like “this pussy bites back!”. The band includes members Jeremy Theel (Guitar), Matt Gillick (Bass), and Raquel Escovedo (Drums).
Next up was Mirror Mirror, who graced us with their chill demeanor and unique rambling vocals. The band is packed full of musical talent with Taylor Bour (Bass and Vocals), Leo Jalipa (Drums),
and Aurora Schmidt (Guitar and Vocals). Leo’s percussion performance creates a solid flow for the three piece band as Aurora and Taylor front the group with their cool exteriors. Mirror Mirror is like a beachy trip down the rabbit hole with an infectious soundtrack.
Joan of Dark graced the stage with pure no fuss girl power. This four-woman band is comprised
of Ellen Herget (guitar and vocals), Kristin Dennis (Drummer), Natalie Huggins (Guitar), and Jenny Roques (Bass). Coming together to form a Midwest version of The Donnas, they somehow seem “too cool for school”, while also being incredibly approachable and down-to-earth. A couple of the band members sported written words on their body, including “RESIST” and “IMPEACH”. It’s clear they were there to let out their aggression through sound, and we loved the musical therapy.
Without using any of the overused “girl band” tropes, this group rocks hard. Their instrumentals provide gritty sounds to rock out too while the accompanying vocals range from twangy, screechy, to melodic. Herget provided plenty of witty banter between songs, but also displayed a breadth of vocal talent. Our personal favorite song (which was self-described as their only love song) was an ode to loving being by yourself. They are full of a distinct angst-y energy and musical prowess that left us very impressed, empowered, and proud to have them as part of the local music scene. Joan of Dark is definitely a band to look out for in 2017.