There are always those artist who come along and just knock you outta your seats, Dorothy is definitely one of these artists.
I remember the first time I saw Dorothy open for The Struts at the world famous Saint Andrews Hall in Downtown Detroit back in 2016. While I had my head down checking out the settings on my camera, the most amazing voice came belting out and I looked up and the most beautiful girl on stage killing it on song one. I almost forgot to take photos as I was hypnotized by her voice, beauty, and raw power. From that moment on I’ve been a fan. Watching her grow over the years has been quite the experience, from Rock is Dead to the sober songs and reflections of 28 Days In The Valley. Dorothy Martin rose from the ashes of bad relationships, alcohol abuse and came out the other side with a pure look on life. A fresh clean mind and a new band to put forward a message of hope, resilience, and bluesy rock n roll. 28 Days In The Valley is a very sharp turn from Rock is Dead as it follows a more loving hippy vibe.
With that in mind, the show at Saint Andrews Hall tonight was sold out and it sure smelled like a mix of Mary Jane, Patchouli oil and a dash of sage. Starting out the night was local talent Autumn Kings from Windsor Ontario, Canada. These kids are more of a pop band than rock, but they got the crowd warmed up with their cover of “Livin’ the Vida Loca,” “Devil in Disguise,” and their new radio friendly pop song “Want you to Stay.”
Next up was New York’s own Spirit Animal. These guys label themselves as an offspring of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and LCD SoundSystem. This pop rock outfit blasted the crowd with their funky style. This four piece band has a lot of big riffs and sing along choruses. They had the room up in arms with their hits “Yeah” and “JFK.”
The crowd was now genuinely warmed up for the one and only Dorothy and her co-conspirators coming on stage one. An edition to the band this tour was lead guitar player Nick Perri. As the band sets up and starts the first song in the set, Dorothy came out and burned a little sage to get rid of any bad juju in the room. Starting out their set they dropped into “Naked Eye” which isn’t on either of her albums; this hit is from the documentary Served Like a Girl, which is about five veterans who endured unthinkable trauma and have created a sisterhood to help the rising number of homeless female vets in the country. Dorothy exudes woman empowerment, so this is a great tune for the soundtrack and a great way to start off her sold out show. Jumping into her second song, she mentioned something about having a meltdown before coming out so she wasn’t sure what we were in for. One thing I did notice was all the house lights were down super low and lots of back lighting so it was really hard to get a good glimpse at her all night.
The band ripped into “Raised Hell,” the classic off her first album Rock is Dead; though tonight’s rendition was changed from its original crunchy style to to suit the new smoother sound. Third up was “Ain’t our time to Die,” a retro jam off 28 Days in the Valley. By this point, I can already say that Perri is the perfect fit for this band, he is like a Joe Perry to her Steven Tyler. You don’t always have to be watching her, he gives that perfect mix up on stage. Blasting through “Dark Nights,” and “Pretty When Your High,” Dorothy Martin’s voice just sails to incredible heights.
With the end of the tribal “Medicine Man,” Dorothy leaves the stage as the guys bust into a full on jam session with back and forth guitar solos from both Nick Perri and Michigan native Eli Wulfmeier, as Eliot Lorango lays down a fat fuzzy bass line to groove to while Jason Ganberg lays down that driving beat on drums. They are just a great band to watch jam out. Coming back out to an electrified crowd, Dorothy then busted into a crowd favorite “Whiskey Fever,” a great sing along and always gets everyone fired up. Slowing it down a step they broke into “Philadelphia,” a spacey, tripped out, ‘lost in the valley’ feel. Next they shot into “Who Do You Love,” bringing the retro 70s vibe to the forefront. With the smell of sage in the air, I swear Dorothy conjured up a spell to bring herself back in time. Next up is her lead song and radio hit “Flawless.” She really puts it all out on the table for this one lyrically and spiritually. I must say it is super cool when a en entire crowd connects with an artist like this. Everyone is singing together, smiling, laughing, and enjoying the connection.
Closing out the night, they got everyone rowdy with the thunderous “Down To The Bottom.” The floors on both levels were shaking as Saint Andrews was trying to hold it together as the crowd rocked out to the jam. Dorothy left us with a little “Freedom.” Great way to shake off the night as this song has a bit of everything for everyone. And as the lights came down the band bowed to the packed house and wished us all a good night. I thought it was a great performance as I was excited about seeing Nick play with them for the first time. All in all, a killer sold out show at Saint Andrews Hall. Can’t wait to see them again!
Event Date: 09-FEB-2018