By Dan Williams
There was an Eagles playoff game happening Saturday night. Everyone was either at the game or glued to a TV at home or at their favorite watering hole. The town looked so empty, even the Schuylkill looked like Armageddon had hit.
The crowd filed in and once folks found a spot, they weren’t giving an inch to anyone. They were there for the sensational Dorothy Martin of Dorothy. Despite that, fans of solid, classic hard swinging rock were packed tight as sardines into the TLA as the opening act, New Jersey’s, In Our Glory took the stage.
Dorothy is a blues rock band from LA with one of the most impressive singers to come around in a long time. Lead singer, Dorothy Martin is larger than life, ballsy, strikingly beautiful and has a huge, husky voice reminiscent of legends like Ann Wilson, Janis and Grace Slick. Backing her is an accomplished band anchored by monster drums.
It was ladies night at TLA as robust lead singer Gina Petro stepped to center stage backed by a muscular band. They launched into a very strong set of power ballads and all-out rockers. The second song, “Ace of Spades” (not a cover) had the house rocking. The bass player was the cheerleader yelling at the crowd to clap their hands and give it back to the band. The entire group had swagger and attitude. They were the perfect lead-in to the headliner.
When the lights went down and the band led into “White Butterfly’” Martin strolled to center stage, posed with arms raised holding a lit cigarette dramatically above her head. The orange glow and wafting smoke signaled the entrance of a woman with attitude who was in charge for the evening. Grasping the mic and wearing a pair of aviators, she raised the roof from the first note.
Dorothy’s song selection spanned solid ballads all the way to stadium anthems like the foot-stomping “Wicked Ones”. A nice touch is when the band is left to jam on a few tunes, especially the swampy “Raise Hell” with its mandatory hand-clapping beat.
In fact, “Raise Hell” is the perfect way to describe this singer, “Young blood, run like a river/Young blood, never get chained/Young blood, heaven need a sinner/You can’t raise hell with a saint.”
Halfway through the set, Martin looked out at an audience, in which some folks may have been doing a little pre-gaming while cheering on the Eagles before the show. She gave a heartfelt confession about personal challenges with alcohol and asked everyone to take care of anyone who may have had one too many. It was sincere, self-deprecating and spot-on. And then she got the party restarted!
Watching Dorothy Martin in her leather bell bottoms, long black sequined top, and flowing scarves were like stepping back in time. While singing, she grabbed the mic and leaned into the crowd with confidence, daring the audience to look away. When the band had a few bars to air it out, she would dance or twirl, losing herself in the music.
I met a number of audience members along the barricade. One was a seven-year-old girl in the front row attending her first concert. Her mother told me they met Dorothy Martin prior to the show for a meet & greet with autographs and a visit. Word is that Martin is down to earth with ego in check. Thinking with her overall talent and personal charm, this is an artist we’ll be seeing for many years.
For more info on Dorthy and their tour dates you can go to their website.
In the meantime, check out the “Raising Hell” video:
(Photos by Dan Williams)