Doll Skin at Chop Suey, 17 August 2017
Hard to pass up a chance to see punk rockers from Phoenix who are out to battle tyranny and oppression. It takes a lot of courage and determination to have a go at the music world. These are young adults out on tour. That's pretty cool, and I wanted to check it out.
I got to Chop Suey a little after 7. I was excited to see that it was going to be a main stage show. I think Amsterdam and Next to None were opening. I would have liked to have seen their shows, but I was hungry, and my 20s are a long way behind me. So off to Elysian it was. Fish tacos and a re-read of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (I have a lot of gripes with that book, but it's a fun read all the same.)
I ended up getting back to Chop Suey in time to catch the last couple of songs from Next to None. I also saw the members of Doll Skin getting ready for their set and tending to their merch stand. I think it's easy to miss how much work goes into putting on a show.
Doll Skin took the stage right at about 10. It wasn't a huge crowd, but it was a solid, enthusiastic turnout. I saw several other photographers there, which wasn't surprising. Four young rockers who look good on stage - there's that potential for a striking photo of a band that is getting attention and seems to be building a following.
But they don't just look good on stage. They put on a great show. I was surprised how poised and confident they up there. Maybe because the thought of being on stage terrifies me. And sure, they could have been a bundle of nerves, but if they were, they weren't showing it. Sydney Dolezal's vocals drive the band, but Nicole Rich (bass), Alex Snowden (guitar), and Meghan Herring (drums and vocals) add crucial components that help make the band greater than the sum of its parts. I know that's a cliche, but it fits. They're energetic, they interact with their fans, and they don't take things too seriously, in a good way. Makes it easy to forget how hard they've likely had to work to get there, and makes it look like a lot of fun. I left thinking this is a band that is just going to get better as it sinks in that they have a few things to say, and they've got the creativity and platform to say them.
PS - If you've made it this far and have not checked out Doll Skin's website, you really should. Their main photo is awesome. I'd love to know who took it, and how Sydney Dolezal can bend backward like that without falling over. Also, thanks Chop Suey for having ear plugs on hand behind the bar. I always forget mine.
Post Post Script - Sometimes it's the "bad" photos that end up being your personal favorites from a show.