with Aquakitty and Skwzbxx

Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA • August 20, 1999

“We’re here to see a chick band,” the guy at the table next to me said. “Chick bands are making a comeback,” he leans over to tell me.

A comeback? I ask myself, did they ever go out of favor?

But to call Lift a chick band is an insult. Molly Bancroft and Simone Simonton deserve to be called better. And now that they have reunited with their original bass player, Julie Clark, they deserve your attention and respect.

Lift was the middle band at Smith’s. The first band, Aquakitty, was a powerhouse of testosterone rock. I definitely see a great career for them in Atlanta bars. After a quick instrument change, the curtains parted and the three women of Lift opened with “Lifelike,” followed with “Turn Away”. With lyrics such as “I did the struggle and in my head it felt like everything was good, now I see the way I’m misunderstood,” it is evident this is not some pop trio chick band. Nor are they angry, bitter, man-hating or out to kick your ass. The crowd begins to fill around the stage to better hear songs that are thoughtful and intelligent. By the middle of the set, they perform “Let it Out.” Molly sings, “I let it out I feel so unafraid, I let it out ’cause I know that at least I’ll have a say…I know I’ll be more like myself, I let it out ’cause I’m tired of waiting on the shelf” The closest song they have to a commercial hit; it is a song about self-confidence and independence. It’s a song that reaches out to the audience with a message of strength.

Now with their bass player back, they totally let it out. Simone eases back in her kit and swings her arms, pounding them down over her drums and cymbals. During guitar breaks, Molly steps back out of the light and melts into the divine energy of her fuzzy riffs. And Julie stands tall and straight, keeping the rhythm lines tight and flawless.

A chick band? With well-crafted lyrics and tight structured songs, I cannot call the members of Lift “chicks.” I’m afraid if I did, they’d kick my ass.

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