The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota welcomed Dorothy as she brought her “Gifts From The Holy Ghost Tour” for a night of uncompromised rock-n-roll. It was night that would feature two other bands that soak themselves in the classic rock sound that seems to be on a bit of a revival in the current musical landscape.
The first band to hit the stage was Classless Act. The band features Derek Day (Vocals), Dane Pieper (Guitar), Griffin Tucker (Guitar), Franco Gravante (Bass), and Chuck McKissock (Drums). Hailing from Los Angeles, California, they embodied a supercharged version of 70’s rock fused with a modern-day bombastic sound that comes off the stage fast and loud. The songs were laced with catchy hooks and melodies with a couple stand-outs being “This Is For You” and “Give It To Me.” Knowing that this was the first time for most of the audience seeing and hearing them, they threw in a great cover of the GNR classic cut “Civil War” towards the end of the set that people really got into. I was really impressed by these guys and loved how they attacked the night. They may have been the opener but they were there to be seen and heard and leave an impression on every person in that venue and I truly believe they did. Classless Act is something to start paying attention to.
Another band straight from the Southern California sun, Joyous Wolf, opened the set with “Quiet Heart.” The band consists of Nick Reese (Vocals), Blake Allard (Guitar), Greg Braccio (Bass), and Robert Sodaro (Drums) and they have a sound built on the blues that hits your soul. Joyous Wolf dropped the EP ‘Place in Time’ back in 2019 which showcased their infectious grooves and melodies that are intertwined all over that release. We finally got a brand-new track called “Fearless” last year and it was a highlight of the show hearing it played live. The strong rhythm sections allow Allard to shine as he effortlessly delivers his guitar parts with a tasteful precision of notes that seem to dance around the other instruments. The lasting image of a Joyous Wolf show is definitely the antics of Reese. Along with being the mouthpiece of the band, he can also be labeled the acrobatic of the group as well. He is all over the stage and does jumps, spins and splits as he works though the set. He also cut the crowd in half and jumped from the stage, over the barrier, into the cleared runway to further ignite the crowd. He was non-stop energy from start to finish. The band ripped through a nine-song set list that closed with “Mother Rebel.” Joyous Wolf is certainly one of those young bands that continue to show they are a force and hopefully their next album can take them up to another level.
The headliner, Dorothy, hit the stage with the tune “Down to the Bottom.” Vocalist Dorothy Martin instantly showed the power of her voice and the command of the stage. Her band in simplest terms, absolutely smoked. The skill of the musicianship was obvious as they provided the jet fuel for Dorothy to showcase her talent and take the songs to another level sonically. The first quarter of the set included “Gun In My Hand,” “Ain’t Our Time To Die” and “What’s Coming To Me.” I was a bit surprised that the material was from the past albums ‘ROCKISDEAD,’ ’28 Days In the Valley’ and older singles as opposed to hitting with newer cuts. She also slipped in a great cover of “Sweet Dreams” from the Eurythmicsbefore getting to some songs I was anxious to hear. Her third album, ‘Gifts from the Holy Ghost’ just recently dropped and we finally got a couple tracks from it. Both songs, “Rest In Peace” and “A Beautiful Life,” are stand-outs off the newest record that features a lot of driving guitar rockers. The set contained twelve songs that seemed to fly by. Some other songs that made the set were “Medicine Man,” “Raise Hell,” “Flawless,” and “Freedom.” Every song came across in pristine form and for me, the first time seeing them, solidified the strength of the material and talent of the performers.
This is a really great tour package. Every band offers a different twist of sound while all being based in the good old rock genre. The night was full soaring guitars and powerful vocals that kept the night rolling at a an extremely fast pace. If you’re a rocker, this tour is for you.