An all-female, all-Hasidic rock band? Alright!
Throw in an all-women crowd, and you’ve got the Bulletproof Stockings show which took place at Arlene’s Grocery last night.
After several unsuccessful attempts, in which venues have backed out last minute, Bulletproof Stockings finally managed to showcase their music and let their hair down (figuratively, as all band members wear wigs, per Orthodox custom) with their fans.The five-part band played to a packed house at the rock venue in New York’s Lower East Side.
For the first time in its history, Arlene’s Grocery closed its doors to men, who were allowed in the bar outside, but not by the actual stage. The modesty prohibition of kol isha forbids women to sing in front of men. As a result, Bulletproof Stockings only performs for women.
The core of Bulletproof Stockings comes in the form of Perl Wolfe — vocals and keyboard — and Dalia Shusterman — on drums. They’re accompanied by Elisheva Maister on the cello, Dana Pestun on the violin and Miriam Brosseau on the guitar. Miriam Brosseau recently gave a JDOV talk (think Ted Talks for Jews) on Revelations and “that moment when everything clicks”.
The band covered a wide range of music in their hour-and-a-half time slot. After starting off with a couple of songs from their four-song EP to get the crowd going, they then slowed down, allowing Wolfe to belt out an impressive solo version of a traditional Hebrew Niggun without any accompaniment.
A couple more rock songs later, they played three more Hebrew songs in quick succession. This time, people in the audience who grew up with the songs started to sing along and dance.
After the last song and encore, Wolfe asked the crowd, “For those of you who’ve never been to a women only show how’d you like it?”
The hundred or so women in the room responded enthusiastically with cheers. Rock on.