I went to see Dorothy on 3/9/2018 at the House of Blues in Dallas, TX in the Cambridge Room. Why is the name of the room important? Because there are two rooms at the Dallas House of Blues. The Cambridge Room is the smaller room with a capacity of 250. It was sold out.
This was part of Dorothy's Freedom Tour in which she headlined smaller venues and enlisted local artists from each city to open the show. That night's opener was local Dallas artist Holly West, more on her later.
The crowd was diverse, ranging from teenagers to people at least in their 50's. I fall much closer to the latter category. Being that it was at such a small venue, standing only general admission, there was not a bad place to be. The kids crowded the stage while the older folk hung back.
Holly West took the stage with her three piece band spitting fire with their version of blues rock. West was on bass and all the vocals with the accompaniment of drums and guitar. All three are excellent musicians. Holly's vocals were fantastic. The guitar player had some excellent slide guitar mixed in with his bluesy solos. The drummer. Let's talk about the drummer.
For some reason, he reminded me of Jack Black. He was putting on a show within a show. Throwing his stick in the air and catching it with every opportunity. Standing up between songs to incite the crowd to cheer. Using his foot for cymbal crashes. He was a joy to watch.
Seriously, Dorothy did a service to everyone by picking Holly West to open the show. Aside from the two deeper cut covers by Think Lizzy and Led Zeppelin that West did, I did not know a single song but was into it the entire time. Her EP Mokita is available on streaming services. Check her out if you like Dorothy.
I'm going to talk about Dorothy's music first before I talk about the show. I have been a fan since first hearing the debut album ROCKISDEAD, a swampy, bluesy, sultry hard rock album. I wrote about it here. Dorothy played a few songs from that album, but more than half were from her upcoming album, of which three songs have already been released. From what Dorothy played live, this new album is going to be more diverse and better than the debut. When I don't know the songs and they move me, there is something there.
Dorothy Martin commanded the stage with the grace of Stevie Nicks, the swagger of Robert Plant and the enthusiasm of Grace Potter. This was an old school rock show. No glitz and glam, just a band belting out one banger after another. And so much fun.
Martin looked like she was having fun, from her bouncing around to her between song banter. And she was in control, telling one person in the crowd to shut of the iPhone because the of the light and telling the bartenders to turn of the TVs at the bar because they were distracting her from the crowd. The crowd ate it up.
You always hear a record with great vocals and then when see them live, eh, what tricks did they play in the studio. Not so with Dorothy. Her vocals live are as good as on the record. I appreciate that.
Martin has also assembled a great band behind her. Two guitars, bass and drums. Theme of the night? Excellent musicians. I really enjoyed the guitar solos that you don't get as much anymore. There just aren't the shredders that used to be on every corner in the 80s. And the bass player was channeling his inner Juan Croucier (look it up kids), I'm sure he would have done spins if the stage were bigger.
Admittedly, I haven't been to as many rock shows lately as I have in the past, but this was one of the most fun and best one's I've ever been to. If you get a chance, go see Dorothy live, you won't be disappointed, unless, of course, you just don't like good music. Kidding. But if you like hard rock, they put on a great show.