With Mosh Pits, Spit Fits, Screaming Females Tears It Up

Marissa+Paternoster+of+Screaming+Females

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females

Have you ever been to a concert that changed your outlook on life? Until yesterday, I couldn’t say I had. After traveling nearly two hours to the Brauerhouse in Lombard, Illinois, I thought, “This show had better make my night.” It did me one better.

The show started Chicago natives Rad Payoff, who played their hearts out and showed their potential for further success. Street Eaters was slightly less impressive, yet if they had filled their sound out with more treble and less bass, they might have been a better precursor for the headliners of the night.

Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster started the show with a quaint hello that did not prepare the audience for what was coming next: A frenzied, bordering on out-of-control show that didn’t allow a single lapse in attention.

After the first song, the energy in the crowd was palpable. If you listened, you could pick out a few mutterings of “I can’t believe she’s right there,” and, “This is insane.” Otherwise, the ambient noise in the room from screeching amplifiers and piercing guitar pedals overcame any single party.

The 5-foot-2 Paternoster has no business controlling a room the way she does. Foaming at the mouth helps, I guess. When you’re busy shredding away on guitar, it only occurs to you to wipe the spit off your mouth after a song ends.

The rest of the show only got more manic. Paternoster jumped in and out of the crowd, screamed, ripped off her VIP backstage bracelet, stood on stage monitors and headbanged all to the audience’s delight.

As much as one tends to gravitate toward the rock goddess at the forefront, the rhythm section of Screaming Females is the basis for the pure rollicking joy they produce. “King” Mike Abbate on bass guitar held Paternoster’s frenzied solos to the pulse while giving his own life to the setlist. Even if you extracted the lead guitar, this show would have had the same vitality. Jarrett Dougherty’s drums accentuated each change and ushered the crowd into a feverish rave.

Abbate told of his love for Milwaukee after the show, even confessing his love for the Riverwest Co-Op’s breakfast the morning after shows. He even hinted at an upcoming tour date in Milwaukee.

If Screaming Females blesses our city with a show in the near future, I implore you to go. This band has transcended punk music and joined the greats.

SETLIST:

“Foul Moth”

“Lights Out”

“Criminal Image”

“Burning Car”

“Rose Mountain”

“Empty Head”

“Help Me”

“A Good Flying Bird”

“Halfway Down”

“I Don’t Mind It”

Encore:

“Boyfriend”