Let’s hear it for the boys: On Friday night, a handful of local male musicians came together for a concert benefitting local nonprofit Girls Rock NC
. The dudes delivered a solid night of music that, for the most part, paid tribute to the female musicians and other women in their lives who inspired them. The Beast started it all with a set that leaned heavily on Pierce Freelon’s songs about his mother, Nnenna Freelon, with a bit of obvious Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliot thrown in toward the end. Megafaun’s Phil Cook offered an unusually chatty set, opening with a few of his own tunes before playing others by Amy Ray, Aimee Mann and Gillian Welch.
Up next was a high energy bunch from The Love Language’s Stu McLamb, with Mark Connor and Thomas Simpson rounding out the rhythm section. Though rough around the edges, the band powered through tunes like Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” Hole’s “Violet” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy” before finishing with Beyoncé’s “XO.” The evening’s final act was the Mountain Goats, whose long set depended more on John Darnielle’s own material than those of the other acts, but his Warlock and Siouxsie and the Banshees complemented his tunes well.
Throughout the night, some of the material felt a little hokey or harried—there was more than one admission of working out songs just a few days before the show— which is a shame. But the moments where sincerity shone through (see Cook's version of "Hard Times" below) lifted the evening above any technical difficulties or strange setlist choices.
Check out a few videos from the show by Dan Schram below.
Phil Cook, "Hard Times" (Gillian Welch cover)
Stu McLamb and Friends, "Violet" (Hole cover)
The Beast, "Come Closer"
The Mountain Goats, "Spellbound" (Siouxsie and the Banshees cover)