Bonnie Riot

Live: Bonnie Riot at Green Room, March 24

Green Room, Fort Lauderdale
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Better Than: A night without some digital love.

The Review:

Amidst people sipping sophisticated drinks and relaxing on white couches, the Green Room becomes a magical place. Hanging from the ceiling are three-dimensional star lamps and a chandelier creating

A Midsummer Night's Dream

ambiance. With its blue and purple lights meshing with green strobes, it made for a nice backdrop to welcome West Palm Beach's own Bonnie Riot.

As was mentioned earlier

, Bonnie Riot has a powerful sound that is described as celestial and psychedelic. Before the band started their set, two DJs mixed pulsing bass and an echoing beat together to get people dancing.

After sound check, the band opened with a rock tune that showed off lead singer Milly La Madrid's piercing voice, which has a hint of early Gwen Stefani, using the back of her throat to push out notes and vibrato to give them depth. "Halo" came next and then a song that used the words, "Watching them go." Drummer, Fern, was difficult to see on stage, but her skills were evident as she kept the band moving forward.

Bonnie Riot's newest song was "Higher." It used fast guitar riffs and is about musicians who never give up what they're doing in pursuit of their dreams. Luis, guitarist and keyboard player, often danced back to back with Milly during the set. Milly, Fern and Luis are the original Bonnie Riot band members, and now with Mike and Dan, they are a complete unit.

The second to last song was, "The One, No One." In comparison to the others, it was slower and more subdued, but a nice transition from, "Higher" to their Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover. The imagery from "The One, No One" is what standing on a mountain and letting the music reverb through the canyons and peaks would sound like. Light like a feather, but with a kick at the end. 

Critic's Notebook

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Personal Bias: While Green Room usually enforces a dress code, this night was much more relaxed in terms of what people were wearing. I got in wearing jeans and sneakers.

Random Detail: Milly got down with fans and strutted around the dance floor with guitarist Mike.

Random Detail #2: A star-shaped screen projected random images of faces behind the band.

Random Detail #3: During their cover of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song, Mike and bassist, Dan, switched instruments.

Overheard: "You need to drink more...I swear we're better when you're fucked up." (Band member said to the crowd)  

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