Screaming Females - Live at East End, 08/08/09
Marissa Paternoster stands 5'2", her baby face shrouded by a helmet-ish coif. Sporting a long, polka-dotted dress, she could have easily passed for 12... were it not for the fact she was wielding her axe like an arena-seasoned shredder, or screaming with the power of an in-her-prime Grace Slick.
East End, no doubt, brought Jersey's Screaming Females
back to where it started... ya know, before they were being swooped up to play arenas with Jack White. Paternoster's mammoth riffs and squirrely leads are ready-made for big stages, yet they feel much more at home in a dark hub where tall-cans of PBR are furiously being slid from one side of the bar to the other. It was controlled chaos (unlike Thee Headliners, which was just chaos). And it wasn't only Paternoster—the Un-Screaming Males, bassist Mike Rickenbacker and drummer Jarrett Dougherty, make up an unwieldy rhythm machine. And the songs? Let's just say the title of the trio's latest Power Move
is quite apt.
Equally unrelenting was the lone Un-Screaming Photographer that night, who was furiously snapping away from all sides of the stage during the Females' set. Turns out it was bassist Rickenbacker's father who has family in Portland and had traveled out from Jersey to catch the set. He came through with some nice shots when I approached him after my camera's batteries died. And for that I affectionately dub him The Fourth Female.
Photos: Ralph Abbate