Wanna know what the best weeknight treat is? Honey. Not just any honey though; it has to be Dirty Honey.
Dirty Honey brought their California Dreamin’ Tour to the Midwest and openers Mac Saturn and Dorothy came along for the ride.
The downtown Des Moines venue boasts beautiful views of the city’s skyline, the Capital complex, and of course Wooly’s, a local dive bar that puts on great concerts. On this evening, the sidewalk was lined with enthusiastic Dirty Honey fans waiting for the doors to open and the concert to begin.
Detroit’s Mac Saturn was the first to perform and I have to admit, I was not familiar with their music, but I became a fan! Front-man Carson Macc gives me a Steven Tyler meshed with Mick Jagger vibe. Macc has some moves like Jagger and a voice you can’t get enough of.
Along with Mac, the band consists of Nick Baron and Mike Moody (guitars), Jive Moses (bass), and Angelo Coppola (drums), and you should certainly keep your eye on them. They played music from their EP “Until the Money Runs Out” and some of the songs I enjoyed were “Mr. Cadillac,” “Ain’t Like You,” and “Until the Money Runs Out.” Mac Saturn closed their set with “Plain Clothes Gentleman,” and then threw a handful of guitar picks out to the excited crowd.
After a brief set change, Dorothy was up and owned the stage. I listened to front-woman Dorothy Martin’s recent interview on TNN Radio and really liked the song, “Rest in Peace,” so I was excited to see her perform live. The way the music flows through her body and emits from her soul is stirring. I was pleasantly surprised at how graceful she was on stage and how slow and meticulous her movements were. Martin’s voice is unique, with a soulful edge to it and quite the range. It soars across the venue and appears to be as free as her spirit. The interactions she has with the audience and the way she talks with them between songs is heartfelt.
Based in Los Angeles, the band Dorothy has released three studio albums and two EPs. While onstage, you could see Jason Ganberg rocking the drums, Devon Pangle and Eli Wulfmeier shredding on the guitar, and Eliot Lorango setting the rhythm as bassist.
Dorothy did an amazing cover of the Eurythmics’ song “Sweet Dreams” and included their own personal flare to the hit. They also played a variety of their own songs, “Down to the Bottom,” “Dark Nights,” “Wicked Ones,” “Flawless,” and “Whiskey Fever.”
Some of the best moments from their set took place when Martin shouted out into the crowd to “put your horns up!” enticing everyone to put their hands up in the rock and roll symbol. It was great to see everyone come together over their love of music. She encouraged people to be nicer to one another and talked about the importance of acceptance. At the end of the set, she threw out memorabilia; though she had to be sure it was covered in her sweaty scent by rubbing it up and down her body before tossing it into the crowd. Dorothy is one kick-ass chick!
And last but not least, the main piece de resistance for the evening, Dirty Honey, another L.A.-based favorite. You can tell they love to perform and do it for the music and fans. They are not a revival rock band; they may take influence from Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and other great artists, but they have their own flare and authenticity to their music.
This band pours their heart and soul into their work and are extremely talented. Their demeanor is genuine; the smiles on the band member’s faces depict the enjoyment they get from the crowd and their love of sound. You can’t help get a sense of nostalgia and feel as if you are a part of their group when they are on stage.
Dirty Honey opened their set with “California Dreamin’” and played some of their other hit songs, “Heartbreaker,” “Scars,” “Another Last Time,” and “Down the Road.”
Front-man Marc LaBelle took advantage of the smaller than normal venue and got as close to the fans as possible. He sang from the floor in the photo pit area, stood atop the bar and belted out his lyrics, and was all across the stage.
The first solo of the night for Dirty Honey came from bassist Justin Smolian. LaBelle told a brief story about the rock legend Slash, who gave the band their humble beginnings through their first tour, and dedicated the cover of “Last Child” by Aerosmith to Slash.
About halfway through the set, LaBelle shed his wide-brimmed hat and shirt and showed off his muscular physique. Now that was a show in itself! Corey Coverstone gave a daring drum solo; unique doesn’t even describe it. It wasn’t the hard rock solo I anticipated; it had more of a tribal aspect to it and I was very impressed with his abilities. Just as everyone else got to show off, John Notto gave a phenomenal guitar solo near the end of the show and showed why this band is shooting to stardom.
No one was ready for the band to quit playing, but unfortunately, all good – or should I say great – things must come to an end and Dirty Honey signed off for the night. The crowd begged them to come back on for one more song and for their encore performance, Dirty Honey played “Rolling 7s,” their 2019 hit single. It was the perfect ending to a fantastic night of rock music from three amazing bands. Look for the California Dreamin’ Tour near you!