Live Review: Dallas Frasca

Originally published through Tone Deaf

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Anyone who thinks rock ‘n’ roll is dead needs to go and spend some time with Dallas Frasca.

The strawberry-haired singer-songwriter brought an explosively likeable set to the Prince Bandroom on Friday night. Dirty guitars and pounding drums laid the framework for a part-blues, part-punk blitzkrieg, powered by her volcanic energy and shockingly good voice.

A mix of melodic precision and primal scream, those vocal chords produce sounds you wouldn’t think human, if not so obviously pouring out from the force of nature that is the frontwoman commanding the stage.

At times reaching glass-breaking heights, and at others dropping into a growl so menacing Ozzy Osbourne would be proud, Frasca has to be heard to be believed.

The hard rock theme of the night was established with the openers, El Moth, Black Devil Yard Boss, and then finally, the Ben Smith Band. Smoothly professional, they laid down a performance of good old fashioned, guitar-driven music with a bit of sax thrown in for good measure.

The crowd (including, I’m pretty sure, Paul Robinson from Neighbours) trickled in during their set, and by the time Frasca was ready to go, the place was just about full.

When Frasca herself took to the stage, opening her set by – something you really don’t see enough of – aggressively banging on a cowbell, before literally throwing it away and switching to guitar. Behind her bobbed the lead guitarist, complete with pointy devil’s beard, and a drummer who appeared to be the human version of The Muppets’ Animal.

The sheer force of Frasca threatened to detract attention from these two – which would be unfair. There was some serious shredding chops on display here, while the drummer was not only beat-perfect, but had the best series of drumming faces you’ll ever see, making for great entertainment in his own right. (He also didn’t feel the need for shoes – rock).

Together, they made a cohesive unit who knew how to put on a good show. There were few fancy tricks on display here – save the moment Frasca floated into the crowd lying on her back on an inflatable paddling pool, total trust placed in the fans holding her up, and the brief period of time a man dressed as a crudely-made red heart, identical to the one in the ‘All My Love’ film clip, joined the band on stage.

Besides that though, the music was more than enough to keep the crowd happy. At one point we were told it was the singer’s father’s birthday, and the obligatory round of ‘Happy Birthday’ was shouted at the unidentified man, presumably in the audience.

It’s easy to imagine that watching his daughter, clearly beloved to her fans, tearing up the stage would be as good a birthday present as he could ask for.

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