by Linda Pecaj
As I make my way to The Shelter nearly falling on my ass because the sheet of ice that has carpeted all of Detroit, I pray to God to save me from embarrassment, or broken bones that could prohibit me from seeing the amazing rock band Dorothy tonight. I survive the treacherous trip down the stairs and take a look around the somewhat empty venue to see there’s plenty of space for me to secure my spot stage side. The view is so perfect, and I’m so close I could touch the performers… if only they would allow it. I converse with a few guests in hopes they’d be friendly and save my spot while I grab a beer. Luckily, they’re Canadian, so of course they kindly agree.
In the mere minutes it takes me to grab a beer, the house becomes packed! I make my way back to my new friends in time to welcome the energetic openers, Autumn Kings. The Canadian rock band demands participation from the crowd, and reluctantly, they oblige. Lead singer Joseph Coccimiglio is making good use of the stage, giving love to both sides equally. He’s always jumping all over as we see drips of sweat form at his temples. The drummer Nick Predhomme keeps a beat so steady that the crowd’s heads nod in unison. A few of us jump up and down while throwing our hands up, giving the universal sign for “rock and roll” (index finger and pinky up!). As their set comes to an end, the crowd wipes away the perspiration brought on by the wild show they just gave us. (Check out the photo album.)
As we await the headliner, one of the guests tells me he got here three hours early to meet Dorothy Martin (talk about jealous). Turns out, not only is she ridiculously talented and beautiful, but she’s very down to earth, too. He told me that by the end of the conversation, she ended grabbing his phone to take some selfies (again, talk about jealous!). As he is professing his love for her, the lights start to dim and we all know what that means.
The band consisting of Eliot Lorango, Eli Wulfmeier (Detroit’s own), Jason Ganberg, and Nick Maybury start to make their way on stage. So naturally, conversation stops and the screaming commences. Dorothy Martin is the last on stage and receives the loudest welcome. They start by treating us to a song from her new album due out later this year, “White Butterfly”. She addresses the crowd constantly throughout the night, making us laugh and lifting our spirits.
As the team deals with some technical issues, Dorothy takes the role of a motivational speaker/musician. She even gets personal, letting us know about the problems she faced before she found music. She lets us know that no matter who we are, or where we came from, we can achieve our dreams through hard work, and determination. We believe her, we believe in ourselves. The tech issue is resolved and she moves on with the song “Freedom,” then exits the stage. The crowd cries for her to return, and erupts upon her reemergence from the darkness behind the stage. She performs “Dark Nights” and ends the show with “Whiskey Fever.”
Dorothy is a movement, and I am honored to share the same gender classification as this woman. Her voice is raw and beautiful, and deserves all the admiration the world has to offer. This rock and roll woman is a force, and she is orchestrating the room. We are the puppets, and she is our maestro. She has left me reminiscing and wishing some sort of time loop were created, so every time she finishes with “Whiskey Fever,” the concert would start again with “White Butterfly”. The crowd seems to be in awe of this woman, as they should be. It’s clear to me, rock and roll is not dead as long as this woman lives on.