SAINT BERNADETTE LIVE @ MARTYRS’ by Evan J. Thomas

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Remember those days when you found out your favorite band hit it big and you said you wish you could have seen them back in the day in a small venue without paying and arm and a leg? Friday night was that chance to catch the soulful yet 70’s inspired epic throwback rock sounds of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s own Saint Bernadette.

Nestled in the back corner of the quaint Martyrs’ live music club, I was able to disengage myself with the every day grind and cherish the opportunity to take in the powerful and sexy velvety voice of Meredith DiMenna and her au fait band mates. The illuminating light that permeated the stage was the perfect setting to admire DiMenna as she dominated the show with her sultry looks as her dirty blond hair whipped around her face as she pranced around on stage.

I’m not going to throw out comparisons of other femme fatale vocalists since that would be doing a disservice to DiMenna and her compelling presence. She has her own broad spectrum of erotically charged melodies as she puts her own staple on her music. Her vocals are a masterful mixture of the who’s who of past and present female rock music while incorporating her talents on the acoustic guitar and tambourine. Talent like this is a make up for success.

The 40+ minute set was tight throughout and had a cozy psychedelic and jazzy feel to the evening. The other members of the band included guitarist Keith Saunders, bass player Dan Carlisle, astral slide guitarist Scott Metzger and drummer Kenny Owens. At times the four guys took over the performance and jammed together as they pumped out such tunes as “Play to Win” and “Suicide”. Their style was that of the quartet practicing in a basement as DiMenna strutted her stuff during the instrumental solos.

Being from the relatively unknown indie music scene that is Connecticut, Saint Bernadette isn’t that well known in Chicago as of yet but this recent tour brought the clan through the Second City. The local Chicago band 7th Kind was the perfect opener as they jump started the evening with their eclectic renditions of their best work to date. The other bands who followed on this warm summer evening were The Congregation and The Mood.

If you missed this show you will have another chance in the coming weeks to catch this multi talented band as they perform on July 18th at The Elbo Room in Chicago.

So sit back, and while listening to their albums light up some incense and sit in a dimly lit room and take in the aura that is Saint Bernadette.

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