She-Rock Celebrated Womxn with a Flourish

Friends with Benefits and Backyard On Bell teamed up to celebrate International Women’s Day, along with providing a two-day show that benefited the Denton Chapter of Women Veterans of America. Proceeds were dedicated to the soon-to-open Transition Home for homeless women veterans in North Texas. The festival, so perfectly named She-Rock, was presented to Denton patrons last Friday and Saturday. With a festival that had the mascot inspired by the princess of power herself, She-Ra, it had no other choice than to pack a female empowerment punch like nothing else.

The show’s lineup completely delivered from beginning to end. On Friday night, the first band to dawn the outdoor stage was Southpaw Preachers. Front woman, Hale Baskin, gave a soulful rendition of songs like “She’s always in my hair” and “Higher Ground” that would have made both Prince and Stevie Wonder proud. Her vocal style shares a beautiful resemblance of singers Grace Potter and Rachel Price. The entire band blended sounds of funk, soul, and Motown. The trombone, guitar, and keyboard melodies gave the crowd a chance to ease into the night along with pumping up the audience for the rest of the lineup.

The second act of the night, Millennial Falcon, or now formally known as Mutha Falcon, changed up the tempo with sounds of screamo-polka. Their first song “Waste My Time” had audience members headbanging to the beat. Lead singer, D.I.Y.A, joined the crowd to mosh. Her high energy didn’t go unnoticed. The band had the crowd screaming along to their cover of Rage Against The Machine’s “Know your Enemy.”

The third act in the lineup seemed to steal the show. Rapper Alsace Carcione started her set dedicating it to her mother who passed away two years ago. Not only was her performance uplifting, but it allowed the audience a chance to connect with the music on a personal level; a prime example is the lyric in her song about her mother, “I would do anything to hear you laugh again.” Her fast-paced syllables and emotional words would make any audience member think that she is the love child of RZA and Lauren Hill. She curated her set to perfectly shed a light on what the entire night was honoring — women. She ended her set with the best piece of advice: “Every woman needs to take flight, realize you’re a queen.”

DJ Ursa Minor was fourth in the lineup and began her fantastic set with the statement, “Don’t worry, my set is R Kelly-free.” She pieced together the musical stylings of Solange, Cardi B, Mike Jones, A$AP Ferg, and Sade to name a few. As a DJ, she let her mixing do the talking for her and proved to the crowd that she is a true artist. The headliner of Friday night was Dallas Rapper Lardi B. She created fantastic parodies of songs by artists like Cardi B and Lil Dicky in which all lyrics were about food instead of making money. She created clever spins on these popular songs and used her fantastic rapping to win over the crowd. Lardi and her DJ had audience members twerking the night away.

Saturday night’s lineup did not disappoint either. Opening for the night was Somogyi. She kept a very mellow tone with an acoustic set and songs like “Got No Doubt” and “Second To Another.” Her chill indie rock style was a great way to start off Saturday night. Red Death and Class Action were the second and third bands of the night. Both ramped up the mood with some dirty rock. Lead singer Kitty Holt of Red Death belted out Karen O-like sounds with the song “Too Close.” Danielle Longueville, lead vocals for Class Action, also provided a powerhouse of sound with the song “Bienvenue.” Both bands always present themselves on stage as simply having a good time, whether it be Class Action joking around with the crowd or Red Death commenting on a fog machine that decided to go rogue.

Nashville band Thelma and The Sleaze was fourth in the lineup. This band provided music that could be described as a punk and rock fusion. Their sound brought on riot girl feels throughout the entire audience with songs “High Class Woman” and “Ain't Ur Baby.” This band will make you wish they were closer to Denton so you can see them live more often. Denton favorite Pearl Earl continued to bring the female empowerment with psychedelic sounds. This band never fails to play to perfection and give the audience well-crafted music. Pearl Earl was definitely channeling She-Ra for the night with a little extra glitter.

The headliner on Saturday was the one and only Sarah Jaffe. Her vocals, as always, were hauntingly beautiful and accompanied by poignant lyrics. Jaffe tends to flourish when playing a solo set; she knows how to woo a crowd into listening to her meaningful messages. Her synth-pop sound was the perfect way to end the night and the festival.

Photos by Serlesi Olguin
Header image designed by Mateo Granados