Five thoughts on Screaming Females’ November 24 show at Backstage Bar & Billiards

Marissa Paternoster and Screaming Females bring it to Backstage Bar & Billiards during a November 24 show.
Photo: Bill Hughes

1. Las Vegas, I’m disappointed in you. Yeah, it’s a Sunday, but Triple B is half empty when Screaming Females take the stage. You can’t complain that great indie bands skip out on Vegas if you don’t support the ones that don’t.

2. You might not have recognized frontwoman Marissa Paternoster walking around the venue in a button-up shirt and jeans, but minutes before the show she’s changed into her unmistakable uniform: black long-sleeved dress, tights and weathered black Vans.

3. Screaming Females’ set is a barrage of in-your-face punk-rock warfare: instinctive, melodic bass riffs and distorted, shiny guitar solos. When Paternoster isn’t hopping around the stage, she’s striking a power pose, fingers flying up and down the neck of her guitar. Her face contorts and her jaw almost comes unhinged as she raises fists to the air and then her chest, exploding with energy.

4. Paternoster stops between songs, stoically repeating the lines, “Hi, we’re Screaming Females. We’re from New Brunswick. It’s Mike’s 21st birthday.” Her voice sounds small for someone with such a volcanic singing style.

5. By the end of the set, the 35 or so of us in the bar are crammed close, watching Paternoster’s visceral movements before her effervescent solo brings the show to an abrupt end.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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