Girls Rock Camp is the ultimate volunteer run project. Six women spend the year organizing a weeklong camp for girls ages eight to 18 to learn how to play an instrument and write a song; giving them a chance to form a band and perform on a real stage, all while instilling the necessary ideology that women are equal, women are awesome and they can do anything they set their minds to. It may sound obvious—of course women are important and capable—but the reality remains society, especially pop culture and mainstream media, treat women as objects, anomalies, and auxiliary citizens. What Girls Rock Camp seems to aspire to do is not only instill a healthy dose of feminism in these young girls, but also try to create an area, nay a culture, where there is a female presence. These young girls get to flourish in an environment of strong female leaders and encouraging male allies while developing new skills and a burgeoning self confidence that will be hard to rattle.
The Rio is a theatre like any other; a touch darker, a touch danker, but similar nonetheless. On this night, the night of the Girls Rock Camp Showcase, it was transformed into a venue filled with support, community, excitement and of course, the satanic forces that are rock ‘n’ roll. The screen was filled with pictures of the days that passed; photos of each band, the scream circles and music practice. The speakers blared the songs of last year’s bands, letting everyone know what we were in store for.
I sat at the back for maximum rock potential. These girls, these rockers, delivered with every fibre of rock being those rock goddesses laid down upon them.
Armed with songs titled ‘Devil’s Wand’ and ‘Bite Me’ I was absolutely blown away at these girls prowess for lyrical attitude, sense for catchy beats and really, just their insane ability to play their instruments and play those instruments hard. I think the only way to describe it is: badass. They dabbled in distortion pedals, I heard double-kicks from the drum kits and mini death growls through the microphones. I was impressed by their ability to dive into whatever genre they chose, heavy metal, classic rock, pop rock, and commit and write and perform a song that expressed everything they believed about themselves and their music. Whether it was about Dracula sipping blood from a cup of gold or the anger that can seethe from divorce, the songs were proud statements of a week’s worth of hard work. I had the pleasure of seeing these girls perform again at Under the Volcano, and that will definitely not be the last time I see them. Next year I will be in that same seat excitedly awaiting a crop of new girls, as well as some old favourites take the stage and blow me away. Shout outs to A.K.A. Girls, Devil’s Wand, Shock White Vampire, Bipolar Bear, LemonNation, Kerplunk and Seasonspeech! You girls rock my world.