Chelsea Morning Photography

It’s another bone-chilling Friday night here in the lovely city of fun, Mankato, Minn. The liquor store is about closed now, the Kato-Cabs are packed full of young inebriates looking for entertainment, and yours truly is in need for the wetting of his whistle and some good ol’ fashioned rock’n’roll at Red Sky Lounge.

Tonight’s bands that’ll be ripping up the scene: Good Night, Gold Dust and Sister Gin, two very talented groups of musicians based out of Mankato that both include female lead singers.

Good Night, Gold Dust’s lead singer, Laura Schultz, is a Women’s Studies graduate` student here at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her involvement with music has the great potential to influence and foster creativity in other young female rockers in the world today.

“I think it’s more than empowering women to see themselves as potential lead singers,” said Schultz. “It’s important for more women to be involved in every aspect of making music.”

The bassist of the band, Eric Blake, also believes that people are truly inspired by Schultz when she’s up on stage. “She gets up there and can absolutely shake your core if you simply listen,” said Blake.

The musical style of the band is of a moody surfer blues with dynamic shifts in the tunes. Some of the tracks are “a steady countdown towards explosion,” said lead guitarist Colin Scharf. “It cuts through the outer layer.”

During their performance, I felt as if I was on a wave, surfing the curling blue water at its peak. The chilling tunes provided the atmosphere of Red Sky with calming notes of relaxation. After their performance was finished it felt as if everyone inside the place forgot about their problems and was only focused on the talent that is Good Night, Gold Dust.

Sister Gin, on the other hand, have a more hard, up-beat sound that gets the heart pumping. During their performance I felt like breaking something and kicking some ass (in a good way).
Lead singer of the band, Jen Melby, has a voice that can catch the attention of a dragon. She also believes that her voice and overall involvement in music can inspire other women.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time now. Laura told me I had a great voice, and I believe in it,” said Melby.

Apart from Melby’s voice, Sister Gin’s overall style of play is pulsating. Guitarist/bassist and former student of MSU Christopher Wright provided a raw distorted sound that’s reminiscent of a young Dave Navarro of Janes Addiction.

Current MSU student and drummer Abby Daleki beat her drums like they owed her money as her rugged, blonde curls flailed about.

And of course, Melby, howling through the microphone with an assertive presence that captured the jumpy audience’s attention with a strong grip. She did so while wearing a black acoustic Ibanez guitar around her shoulder that Johnny Cash would have envied. It was truly a sight to see.

Both performances were fantastic, as was the atmosphere. The bands played their hearts out as the audience gulped down their two-dollar tall-boys and sexy young couples danced on the beer soaked hardwood floor. The red lights above the stage made it seem as if both Sister Gin and Good Night, Gold Dust were covered in blood as they played their beautiful music.

With her soothing voice, Schultz captivated the hearts of the audience while, with her strong, raging voice, Melby made the audience’s blood pump faster than bullets.
Both bands were, and are incredible and are a must-see.

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