Shrouded in a cape of smoke, the members of the rock band Dorothy entered the stage at the House of Blues on Feb. 10. Lead singer Dorothy Martin wore her trademark fur coat and red lipstick, lit a match and held it above her head.
Just half an hour earlier, the show’s opener, Spirit Animal, mesmerized the crowd with their eclectic music with its hints of funk, blues and rock. The quartet, comprising of lead singer Steve Cooper, guitarist Cal Stamp, bassist Paul Michel and drummer Ronen Evron, was formed in 2010 in Brooklyn, New York. They released their first studio album that year, “The Cost of Living.”
In 2013, Sean Parker, entrepreneur and first president of Facebook, added Spirit Animal’s song, “The Black Jack White” to a Spotify playlist, generating more than 450,000 plays of the song. This exposure caused the band to gain more fans and the song was featured in the eighth episode of season nine of the show CSI: NY.
Last year was also a big year for Spirit Animal. Formerly signed to Wind-up Records, they signed a record deal with Atlantic Records last May. The band also released their second album, “Born Yesterday” on Aug. 3 and toured with several bands, including The Struts and Red Sun Rising and, most recently, Dorothy.
Dorothy was formed in 2014, the brainchild of former members Zac Morris, Gregg Cash, Mark Jackson and current member Dorothy Martin, its namesake. That same year, “Rolling Stone” called them “a [band] you need to know,” and featured them on their list of 50 Best New Artists of 2014.
Dorothy was then signed to Roc Nation in 2015. With the label, they released their debut album, “Rockisdead,” in 2016.
Despite their success, Martin is the only remaining original member of Dorothy. Current members include drummer Jason Ganberg, guitarists Owen Barry and Eli Wulfmeier and bassist Eliot Lorango, who have all joined within the last two years.
Like Spirit Animal, Dorothy is a band that weaves different genres of music together. Dorothy is associated with a variety of genres, including rock, blues and punk. Martin’s fervor and incredible voice shines through in songs like “Raise Hell” and “Medicine Man.”
Despite her fierce persona, Martin has a soft side. Addressing Valentine’s Day, Martin admitted she hasn’t had the best luck with love and urged the audience to love themselves before seeking love from others.
Martin shares her own experiences in “Flawless,” a single on Dorothy’s “28 Days In The Valley” which came out on Mar. 16 last year. “It’s about an ex who really did a number on me,” Martin explains.
Despite being the namesake for the band, Martin shared the spotlight evenly with the rest of the members, stepping off the stage at times and letting an instrumental play. At one point, Ganberg had a drum solo, amid the sounds of the roaring crowd.
“Dorothy [Martin] has such a powerful voice,” second-year student Claudia Jazowski said. “Her message before ‘Flawless’ was so personal, I felt she was talking to me alone.”
As Martin finished her last song, several members of the crowd lit their own matches and held them above their heads, swaying to the music.
Dorothy’s tour continues in several big cities including New York, Boston and Nashville, Tennessee over the next couple weeks.