Women rock Bowdoin campus
For Bowdoin students in 2001, it seems almost impossible
to fathom that just thirty years ago, this campus was suffering from a
serious shortage of estrogen. In 1971, Bowdoin matriculated its first
ever coed class, a tremendous step for the college and a fortuitous one
for the females among us.
This past weekend, the Women Rock concert marked the celebration
of this momentous event, and was sponsored by the Campus Activities Board,
the Bowdoin Women's Association, and the Women's Resource Center. The
collaboration of these three groups made it possible for three superbly
talented female acts to grace the quad on Saturday, which drew a surprisingly
diverse crowd from the Bowdoin community and Brunswick.
Deidre McCalla, Melissa Ferrick, and Antigone Rising shared
their musical styles--ranging from folk to indie rock to Freddie Mercury
for good measure--with concertgoers on Saturday. McCalla's rich, earthy
voice was perfectly suited to the new brand of folk (equal parts Joan
Baez and James Taylor) she brought to the stage, and her set represented
an equally amazing array of themes, from childhood and abandonment to
a song about her deep-seated mistrust of cats.
Of the three performers, Melissa Ferrick was the most high-profile.
Among folk-rock circles, she is praised for her innovative musical talent,
and is becoming more widely known as word of her ability spreads. While
often compared to folk-rock goddess Ani DiFranco (and I'll admit, they
do sound a lot alike), Ferrick combines her utterly unique voice, skillful
guitar work and intriguing drum solos in such a way as to distinguish
her completely as an individual musician with a soulful, yet fresh sound.
Although her performance was plagued with distracting technical difficulties,
she eventually rallied and delivered a solid set, which spanned much of
her current repertoire.
A hard-rocking finale was in store with Antigone Rising,
a five piece all-female band with amazing energy and verve, and the talent
to match. Led by their bombshell-blonde frontwoman Cassidy, Antigone Rising
has been gaining a reputation as a serious rock band that can put on a
killer show, and was featured by Steppin' Out magazine. As a female rock
tribute to an old Queen favorite, the group finished off their set with
a fabulous cover of "Fat Bottomed Girls." If that's not rock
and roll to the core, I don't know what is.
The concert attracted music lovers of all kinds, both from
Bowdoin and beyond. While upcoming concerts such as Everclear will likely
bring crowds from all over the area, it was encouraging to see so many
people appreciate the talents of such gifted female performers as well.
The event itself was an excellent opportunity for the campus, as well
as the Brunswick community, to come out in support of female artists and
celebrate the vibrant tradition of women at Bowdoin.