No matter how much buzz Bulletproof Stockings receives, neither I nor half of the human population will ever have the opportunity to see the Brooklyn rock band live. That’s because the four-piece that has received comparisons to Florence and the Machine and Fiona Apple will play in front of women only.
Though the four Bulletproof Stockings are all Hasidic Jews, singer Perl Wolfe explains that it isn’t just their religion that keeps their live audiences strictly female: “In Jewish law, there is Kol B’Isha, where men shouldn’t listen to women singing. But that mitzvah [deed] is on the men, not on the women singing. We do this because we think it’s a unique opportunity. It’s not a popular idea to separate the sexes. We do it to give a time for girls to be girls. It empowers women to have a good time and rock out.”
Wolfe formed the band in 2011 when she met drummer Dalia Shusterman. Both were going through difficult times. Wolfe had recently divorced her husband, while the father of Shusterman’s four children had passed away. “I’d always tried to bridge my spiritual beliefs with my rock ’n’ roll background,” Shusterman said. “I’d come up with the name of Bulletproof Stockings [a slang term for Hasidic women] but never found a band for it.”
After meeting, they spent the next few years playing the songs live and are about to release their first record, Homeland Call Stomp. “The songs were written during our difficult periods,” explains Wolfe. “I was struggling religiously, and writing the music helped me figure out who I am. They’re all about hope and faith, so it will make a great Hanukkah gift.”
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But Shusterman was quick to point out their music is not religious music. “Our goal is not to play Jewish music for Jewish people. We’re trying to play music for all women.”
Their December tour will be their first opportunity to test what kind of all-women audiences might be awaiting them on the road. “We’ve played Los Angeles, Georgia, and D.C., but this will be our first string of shows outside of New York,” Wolfe says. “We haven’t met any other bands that are playing shows only for women. We’d love to meet them if they’re out there. Maybe we can inspire some women to do it in the future.”
8 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at Kelly Brothers Irish Pub, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. All ages; females only. Tickets cost $15 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 954-630-2856.