Sunday: Girls Rock Camp Showcase At Walter's On Washington

Photos by Brittanie Shey
Houston's Girls Rock Camp 2010 alumni join together to close out Sunday's showcase with their self-penned anthem, "Don't Be Afraid to Be Weird."
Girls Rock Camp Houston 2010 Showcase
Walter's on Washington
August 15, 2010

Sunday evening, Walter's on Washington was the most packed we'd seen it in months, as proud parents crowded the stage to see the transformations undergone by their pre-teen daughters during last week's inaugural Girls Rock Camp Houston.

The air conditioning in the venue was shot, and the lights were turned almost completely off, but the flash of dozens of cameras was enough to light the stage as six all-girl bands took turns performing original music they'd written and rehearsed during the camp. In some cases, the girls were as young as eight years old. And none looked even remotely terrified to be onstage.

Aftermath missed the first band, dot dot dot - the show started promptly at 5 p.m., as advertised - but we did make it in time to catch Wishful Moon, who wore Ziggy Stardust-style make-up and seemed totally natural onstage.

At the camp, the music classes are accompanied by lessons in self-assertiveness, self-acceptance and an embracement of creativity and individuality. Singer Magdelena acted like an old pro as she introduced her band and each member took a moment to show off. Bassist Isabella played a riff from "Smoke on the Water" and one of the keyboardists (the band has two) gave homage to Beethoven.

Parents crowded the stage with huge posters cheering on the bands and no one seemed to mind the chest-sucking lack of AC. In fact, almost all the parents stayed for all the bands - no one left after seeing their own kid.

Shades of Brown.JPG
Shades of Brown (above) played a riotous song called "Kids Want Control" which got loud cheers from the audience. One of the lines was "Kids want to rock and roll." It made Aftermath feel warm and fuzzy inside. Those girls were dressed in matching red kilts and crazy accessories, like some portmanteau of early Britney Spears meets the Sex Pistols.

The bands came up with their own names during camp, and as Red Diamond Pistols took the stage (isn't that name awesome?) MC Ty Mahany, a longtime fixture on the music scene, talked about how important the camp would be for future generations of Houston music lovers.

"Before this, the closest thing we had to Girls Rock Camp was the band Groceries," he joked. Matt Brownlie of the defunct band was in the audience.

Electric Pearl played a song that seemed to be inspired by surf guitar and by this time Aftermath had moved to the side of the stage where the sight of the girls on stage all but gave us goosebumps. Something was in the air, some kind of palpable hopefulness that struck us to the core.

"It surpassed all of our expectations," GRCH director Anna Garza said after the show. "The girls really pulled it together. Everyone was tearing up. You know when you make the guys cry you've really done something."

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