It’s not often you get to see the same touring band perform in the same venue exactly one year to the day, but that was the fortune of many gathered among the considerably large audience gathered at the Bootleg Theater this past Thursday, Oct. 19 to witness Screaming Females re-take the stage. The past few years have seen an explosion in the number of venues in Los Angeles opening up, which has a lot to do with it, but it’s otherwise rare to see such a particular equinox of a live performance.
The Bootleg Theater by itself is probably the most unique venue in LA for its setup, a myriad of multiple rooms of varying shape, design and function, all interconnected by a couple of hallways and doors that if you don’t quite know your way around the venue, it’s quite the surprise. Then again, every time I’ve seen a show there, there’s some new facet to navigate around, like a closed bar or newly re-opened room. If the desired effect was to surprise fans while presenting themselves in an otherwise familiar package, then the pairing of Screaming Females and the Bootleg Theater was thematically on-point.
Visually, the members of Screaming Females share some loose similarities to the setup at the Bootleg Theater, with dynamo frontwoman and guitarist extraordinaire Marissa Paternoster flanked by drummer Jarrett Dougherty and towering (in both size and skill) bassist King Mike to create the band equivalent of a Russian nesting doll. But the music of Screaming Females far out-shine any dumb thoughts about looks, arrangement or even lighting. Much like similarly aggressive Protomartyr, Screaming Females took the stage under cover of red and blue light, with no tricks or any kind of a flashy live show. Instead, with such a dizzying array of tunes and riffs at their disposal, Screaming Females let the music do the lion-share of the talking for them.
The band is gearing up to release their seventh full-length LP, All At Once, in February. And, as the hallmark of a group well beyond the decade mark of their existence, Screaming Females wanted to show off their new tunes, their set that evening featuring heavily off the new album. The crowd was absolutely into it, hollering and rocking along to every thunderous riff and crash from Paternoster and company with demonstrable frenzy. As a big fan of 2015’s Rose Mountain, I was stoked to see the title track and few other songs get sneaked into the setlist. Ultimately, I had a blast, and the show has me excited for what All At Once will be like when it comes out next year.
You can catch Screaming Females live on one of their remaining tour dates below or check out their website for more information about All At Once and everything Screaming Females.
Words and photos by Lee Bedrouni.