You can’t take the riot out of the grrrl.
This past Friday, Roya threw their debut record release show at the popular venue Brooklyn Bazaar in Greenpoint. Even though it wasn’t a feminist rally, the night was definitely a victory in the fight for equality.
All photos by Devon Bristol Shaw
The line-up featured female fronted and entirely female bands. New York’s dreamy Blush kicked off the proceedings; psychedelic grit band Scully were second, the robust voice of Breanna Barbara followed and then the night peaked with the tough-as-nails Roya.
To be sure: the show didn’t exclude men. The fellas in the bands killed it as hard as the ladies in the front. But, in my experience, underground music events where the ladies are center stage all night are rare.
The audience wasn’t your typical indie rock and punk crowd full of big tough guys in leather jackets moshing around like they own the place. Instead, it was filled with tough guys and gals in leather jackets.
As a feminist, I don’t want to make a big deal about the fact that there are ladies in the band. You’d never do that with boy musicians, after all. On the other hand, I can’t deny the pride and excitement that swells up inside when I see ladies kicking ass this hard.
Though these bands one hundred percent rocked because they were simply awesome bands, they also showed the NYC music scene that ladies aren’t to be underestimated.
Breanna Barbara’s band is completely male, but her amazing voice is the feature attraction.
The members of Roya are intimidatingly cool. The ladies in the band, the lead singer, bassist and drummer, are no exception. Even though each member has a different style, they rock out in perfect harmony. While their slow, sultry beats put audiences under their spell, their lyrics put a new light on familiar struggles. Piercing guitar solos and catchy choruses keep spirits high and melancholy at bay.
This night was not only a win for feminism, it also raised two thousand dollars for Syrian refugee children through Unicef.
See what ladies can do? Okay, but seriously, there’s no need to focus on how lady-centric these bands are when the music kicked so much ass. The night was a success for music, feminism and humanity in general.
(Get Roya’s debut LP here.)