Antigone Rising Invigorates Hot NYC Summer Night

Antigone Rising Photo credit Anthony Saint James

When this country-rock band hit the stage in N.Y.C., Curve was in the audience.

Summer Solstice in New York City was never so hot as Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side. Steam was rising off the uneven, gritty Manhattan pavement making the 90-degree temperature feel more like 110.

Meanwhile, inside Rockwood’s Stage Two, an intimate venue with less than a handful of tables, the US Rails singing about singing and warming the crowd for Antigone Rising, the all female country/rock band known for their signature “soaring three part harmonies.”

“Antigone Rising exploded into the spotlight in 2005 becoming the first band on Starbuck’s Hear Music (Lava Records) with their best selling debut LP,” according to the band’s press materials.

Antigone’s founders, sisters Kristen Henderson (bass/vocals) and Cathy Henderson (lead guitar/vocals) who were playing with Dena Tauriello (drums) at the time then added Nini Camps (lead vocals/rhythm guitar) to their all-girl lineup.

The Solstice evening show in N.Y.C. did not disappoint.

As more and more eager audience members poured into the small air-conditioned room, Antigone rocked out, with Cathy Henderson delighting the throngs with her extended guitar-playing antics within the band’s first 10 minutes on stage.

Henderson’s performance stoked the predominately lesbian crowd already burning with music-lust and the desire for more, more, more of Antigone Rising. There were fierce fans who knew the words to every song, newbies who had heard their friends sing the praises of the band and came to check them out for themselves along with lapsed Antigone Rising aficionados such as myself who simply wanted to catch up.

Photo by: Anthony Saint James

The gals of Antigone Rising had energy in abundance as well as a few surprises in the back pockets on their chic-faded and torn jeans. With two new songs, simply identified as “Crazy” and “Whisky” on their handwritten playlist, Antigone belted and harmonized, jumped, bopped and popped.

“Whisky” was an especially interesting play on the harmony of “Me and Bobby McGee.” During this NYC debut of the song, Kristen Henderson broke out with a bit of that Janis Joplin sung (and Kris Kristofferson penned) classic to highlight their song’s storyline and parallel to Joplin’s Whisky-laced performances–and (short) life.

Nini Camps ended Antigone’s rousing encore by announcing the band will be playing with another lesbian country/rock performer, Michelle Malone, at the Bitter End on July 17 in New York City’s Greenwich Village.