Sunday, June 24, 2007 was great!

Last night I took Alex, Susie, and one of her friends to see the girls perform after completing their week of Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp.

It would be easy, and accurate, to cut this entry short and just tell the internet that it was awesome.

But that would be too easy.

Instead, I need to say how happy it made my heart to see, and hear, these girls. On the stage, ranging in age from ten to seventeen (although I really think there were a few girls younger than ten), dressed like rock stars, slinging full-size guitars and basses, playing keyboards, banging on drums, and singing into microphones. These girls exuced confidence. They were having a great time.

And the kids in the crowd were loving them. Loving the scene. Loving getting their hands stamped as they walked in the door. Loving moving closer, closer, closer to the stage. Wedged between the stage and the speakers was the final spot my kids chose, and it made my heart sing to see them loving the live show.

The performers were divided into eight bands, with three to six members in each band.

The first group, Squirrel vs. Ferret, had some of the eldest girls there. They seemed to have more than a week's experience with their instruments, and their song, "Frozen Sorrows," was original and witty, with a chorus about eating a pint of ice cream to soothe the disasters that plague a teenage girl's life (bad hair on school picture day, etc.) Taking the stage next was the youngest group, The Country Gals and their original song, "Daddy I Want a Walking Horse" was a full-on DIY punk style song, complete with lead singer doing the pogo while yelling the chorus ("Daddy I Want A Walking Horse....Daddy I Want A Walking Horse....Daddy I Want A Walking Horse.....Daddy I Want A Walking Horse). The crowd went wild, pogoing right along with her. The applause thundered.

Loveless, the third group, was the eldest, with some amazing vocals. Their song, "Broken Prince Charming," featured lyrics that reminded me so strongly of the "teen angst poetry" phase so many of us went through. Fourth on stage was my kids' favorite, Forgotten Blue. They were made up of tweens, and their song "Rock & Roll Girls" could easily become an anthem for empowered tween rock chicks. We didn't realize until intermission that Forgotten Blue's keyboard player is a girl we know, the sister of one of Alex's preschool buddies. We saw her parents at intermission, and the pride was so clear on each of their faces.

The Klazzicz took the stage next, with vintage outfits (even go-go boots), beehive hairdos, and an original song that sounded like it came right out of the sixties. The girls were channeling Mama Cass (and, since the camp had featured sessions on "Herstory of Rock," they probably knew who that was).

During intermission each of us bought a raffle ticket. Susie and her friend both dropped their tickets in the bucket to win the Luna guitar. Alex was hoping for the snare drum. My aspirations were modest, just a memorabilia package, with t-shirt, zine, and other materials from the camp. Sadly, none of us won.

After the intermission, there were a few more bands on stage. First we were treated to a mellower sound from the Songwriter's class. Very good stuff. Surprisingly good, knowing that it was written in just a week. By teenagers. Then three covers: a very avant-garde version of "Help" by the Beatles (performed by Killer Cuties), then Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends", performed by The Shadez, which was fraught with technical difficulties but extremely well-played nonetheless. The final act, The Ravad 74, performed "Unsinkable" by Audra Brown.

The kids and I walked back to our car, exhilerated by the performance. The kids were a bit disappointed that they hadn't won the raffle items, but they still enthused about how much fun they'd had. They were singing some of the songs to themselves on the way home (we're still singing about that dancing horse a day later).

Plenty of adults showed up for the concert, and a surprising number of them were just there to support the cause, rather than in support of a particular performer. (I saw two moms there, with their kids, who don't even have daughters.) (But I also heard them asking each other if they were going to try for a girl after the evening's awesomeness.) (Neither plans to do so.) (Even though I highly recommend it.) (Because daughters are so awesome.)

It's hard to sum up the experience we had last night. I was thrilled to see the number of young adults who organized and ran this camp. These young women (and men) aren't doing this because they want something for their kids to do. They're much younger than that. They seemed to just love hanging out with these girls, teaching them about what they love to do. The energy in the room reminded me of some of the really great Girl Scout events I've attended. The girls were safe; they were supported. Only a couple of girls looked nervous on stage, and none were so nervous that they couldn't go on and play anyway. No performance was perfect, but all were enjoyed by an enthusiastic and supportive crowd. One mom couldn't hold back her delight to see her daughter on the stage, yelling, "That's my girl!" until her daughter said into the mic, like a seasoned professional, "Hey, I don't know who that lady is over there. How are y'all doing tonight?"

I can't wait until next summer. Because I'll be so much louder than that mom. Watch out, baby girl.

::edited to add...Susie blogged about it too, right here::


Absolutely Bananas said...

Wow, that sounds amazing. What a great experience!

Anonymous said...

Dude, I am soooooooo envious.

Anonymous said...
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Shelby M. said...

Dude!! I was in Forgotten Blue! Rock and Roll Girls are gonna rule the world! I was the lefty guitarist with the pigtails.

Shelby M. said...

Dude!! I was in Forgotten Blue! Rock and Roll Girls are gonna rule the world! I was the lefty guitarist with the pigtails.