Femme Fatale: Good Luck Finding Iris, Ayvah, and Lydia Liza @ The Cedar Cultural Center 4/22/17

I’m going to be honest, I expected to see more women and femmes at this show, but it was still amazing nonetheless. Patrick Hintz, Good Luck Finding Iris’s guitarist, put together this event to support and showcase women and femmes in music and visual art. Many statements were made about how much the girls in the scene have to offer and how much more they should be recognized not as “female musicians” but just as “musicians”.

I am in love with every band that played Saturday night and had been looking forward to it for weeks. But I was also really interested to see some of the visual art installations that Patrick was telling me would be there. Visual artists included Grace Kunkel, Ndolo Elate, Natalie Ganzalez, Beatrix Del Carmen, Rachel Lawrence, Sophie Mcgrill, Marie Claire Rassier, Nastassja Frampton, Moriah Young, Teresa Junge, Emily Knisley, Liz Bunce, and Destiny Noel Bilges. (I tried to get photos of the artists by their work, but couldn’t track everyone down, ALSO I apologize to the folks who had their work on display outside and I didn’t get photos – I didn’t know there was anything out there until I had left 😦 )

First on the bill was famed local songbird Lydia Liza with her beautiful, vulnerable songs and voice that could kill. I got to see her perform her own work for the first time back in February and it was life changing having been a fan since I saw her with Toki Wright and The Big Cats in the summer of 2014 at a Music in Mears performance. Lydia effectively gave me full body chills during the fifth or sixth song in her set when she was singing, “Should’ve known by now!” At the very end of her set, Joey C. Hays, drummer for Ayvah, came on stage and played, picking up the pace a little bit.

Next up was the lovely, lovely Ayvah. Lead singer Ava Diedrich McFarlane introduced the neo-soul, jazz-funk band to an excited crowd that had about doubled in size since the event started. Ava has such a happy, effortless vibe about her when she’s on stage and it’s so so inviting – I can’t stop smiling and dancing every time I see Ayvah. They began with some fan favorites, “Lay Down” and “My Type” to which Ava dedicated to the women in the crowd: “This one’s for the ladies, not the men”. The band played three new songs, one of which I recognized from the acoustic set they did a few weeks back at Can Can Wonderland that she said was called “Red Vans” after guitarist Andy Schupp’s shoes!

Headlining the night was one of my absolute favorite local bands, Good Luck Finding Iris. The band is a mysterious being that gives me major shoegazey, Dido vibes. Lead singer and guitarist Michaela Stein’s voice still blows me away every. single. time. The band played some of their most recognizable songs in front of a big projector screen that was playing an art video with anime clips and flashes of flowers. About halfway throuh the set, Michaela introduced a new song, “Quite”, which started out with their same established sound, but then there were these heavy drums and I let out an audible “holy shit!” because of how good it sounded. Good Luck Finding Iris closed their set like they always do with the beloved “Christopher Robin” and an amped up light show.

The night was beautiful and that’s all I have left to say. Support local grrrls.


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