Female-fronted rock bands open for songwriter Petal

Photo by Kim Bongard

Tuesday Night Live hosted a diverse line-up of female-fronted acts, with two New Jersey bands opening up for singer-songwriter Kiley Lotz of the band Petal.

CPB member Tom Mellott said, “Not enough people come to these. The TNLs are probably one of Ramapo’s best kept secret events.”

Hailing from the Montclair area, the band Hit Like a Girl opened up the show. The group had a mature rock sound, complete with throbbing bass and guitar parts, as they played songs off of their most recent album “You Make Sense.”

Their lead singer informed the audience that all of the band’s merch proceeds are donated to a non-profit organization run by the band members called No More Dysphoria.

One of the shirts at their merch table featured the phonetic spelling of the word dysphoria and its noun definition, “a state of discomfort or distress due to one’s gender or physical sex.” The money that is donated helps transgender people pay for major parts of their transitions.

Following Hit Like a Girl, the band Well Wisher took the stage. Chaotic rock and heavy build ups paired with their singer’s wide range evoked familiar sounds of artists like Paramore and Avril Lavigne. These Asbury Park natives will be playing at Stone Pony’s Summer Stage, opening for Bayside and New Found Glory on May 27.

“Well coming late, I didn’t know what to expect. I liked Well Wisher a lot; I think they were my favorite. I liked their energy, super duper upbeat, fast paced. Everyone was really positive, super happy, and I can get behind that,” said junior Nick Dorando.

Kiley Lotz is the only permanent member of Petal, but members of Tigers Jaw and Captain, We’re Sinking occasionally accompany her. The “one-woman band” has a youthful aurora about her.

Standing in the audience, watching Hit Like a Girl and Well Wisher perform, she easily blended in among the college crowd. She is a university grad herself, with a degree in theater from the University of Scranton.

Only a few months ago, Petal was part of a tour that headlined talented women acts, such as intelligent singer-songwriter Julien Baker and electric synth queen Haif Waif.

In response to the importance of having shows that spotlight female performers, Petal said, “I think the message that sends is we’re here, we’re doing it, we’ve been doing it for a long time, and it felt very supportive, and warm and safe and great,” said Pedal.

She added, “To me, I think that’s just an even bigger sign that the priorities should always be lifting each other up instead of the competition that’s expected of the music industry right now.”

The authentic line-up showcased rock performances fronted by women, which is important representation in such a male-dominated sector like rock and alternative music.