Women That Rock hosted their first LA event at Junior High Los Angeles this past weekend and if you weren’t one of the lucky few to snag a ticket, you really missed out on a special night. The evening featured five artists- Trace, Minke, Tomi, Disco Shrine and Rozzi– and each performer brought their A game!
After such a challenging year, it felt good to be in the company of other women who’ve probably been craving live music just as much as the person next to them. WTR’s founder Andie Aronow put together a phenomenal line up with some of the most insanely talented artists out there. It was the exact remedy I was in need of for my concert withdrawals.
As their website states, WTR is a music curation and platform with a mission to spotlight & celebrate the best rising women in music. When I caught wind of this awesome event, I was so eager to attend the show and learn more about the organization. It’s pretty damn impressive what Aronow has created in just a couple of years-a true safe space for female artists and their fans to come together as a community. LA needs more of this and I’m super happy WTR found their way to the West Coast!
Starting off the night was singer songwriter Trace. I’ve been a fan of hers for awhile but had never seen a live show. Trace’s music is sexy, even though it’s also pretty sad. I’ve heard the style referred to as “bedroom pop” and that may be the perfect description! Indeed, I did first discover Trace when I was curating my own, ahem, sexy time playlist with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Banks and Verite. Come to find out I’m not the only person to think of her music this way. Before playing one of my favorite songs “Honey” from the 2016 Low-EP, Trace told the crowd how one of her friends told her she definitely has had sex to the song. Looking around at the audience and the shared blushes, I don’t think her friend was alone. Trace played a handful of songs including “Cool Woman,” “Missing Me,” and “When I was Young.” What a great start to the night. For anyone who showed up late, you messed up!
Next up was UK-born and LA based artist Minke, who served as the special guest of the evening. She warned the audience that she was going to start with the saddest songs and progressively work up to happier tunes. No one minded the sad tunes. The crowd sat on the floor cross legged (making me feel like I was actually back in junior high) and listened in awe to the sweet sounds of Minke. I wasn’t super familiar with Minke’s music prior to the show but I am so happy for the introduction. Definitely an artist I’ll be checking out again. Stand out songs were “Elsewhere” and “Gold Angel.”
The third act of the night was artist Tomi and she continued on with the sad song theme of the night. During the set, there was some minor technical problems with feedback and each time, Tomi just laughed and got right back at it. She requested the lights be dimmed and the whole mood changed. Psychedelic graphics were then projected onto the wall and suddenly the set felt dreamy and surreal, especially with songs like her latest single “Lemon Tree.” It was a whole vibe! Tomi will release her EP Sweet, Sweet Honey on October 8th, and will be performing at The Hotel Cafe on October 9th.
Next up was Disco Shrine aka Persian Barbie, and her electro pop music really changed the tone of the show. The crowd was on their feet, dancing along to the fun beats. It’s the kind of pop music that is catchy enough that you can sing along to it after just one listen, which is exactly what the crowd did for her last song where the chorus yells out “no more 9 to 5’s.”
Last up was soulful indie-pop singer/songwriter Rozzi, and wow!! She blew everyone away! Hot damn, what a voice! If you haven’t heard of Rozzi, well chances are you have but maybe didn’t realize it. She’s collaborated with tons of big artists including Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar. She was even the first artist Adam Levine signed to his label 222 Records in 2012. If you watched The Morning Show on Apple TV, you may have caught Rozzi performing one of the best covers of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Rozzi balanced out her set with sad break up songs like “Bad Together” and “Joshua Tree” with more upbeat songs like “66 Days” and the sing along, crowd favorite “Best Friend Song.” The highlight of the night was when she did a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Positions” and absolutely crushed it! It also impressed Ariana Grande herself- she reposted a video of the sultry performance the next day, and even praised Rozzi’s latest album “Hymns For Tomorrow.” I’m super happy I got to see her in such an intimate space before she totally blows up. Considering she has some of the biggest superstars rooting for her, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Rozzi is catapulted to superstardom herself.
What a night! I sure hope there are more WTR shows in store for LA sooner than later! To learn more about WTR check out their site at https://www.womenthatrock.co/
Words and photos by Betsy Martinez