If you love live music with a helping of strong feminine energy, you’ll want to be at the next Desert Honeypot show.
Curated by Mariah Baldwin, lead singer of local band Mojave Sun, the Desert Honeypot showcase aims to spotlight emerging female artists in the Las Vegas music scene. Their last showcase was held at The Sand Dollar Downtown (inside the Plaza Hotel & Casino) on September 9th. The free show featured three dynamic women-led acts that lit up the lounge.
“The idea here is to celebrate and honor unity amongst female artists in the local Las Vegas music scene,” said Baldwin in an Instagram post introducing the first Desert Honeypot show back in July.
“After the overturn of Roe vs Wade, I felt it was even more important for us to join forces and create a community of feminine power,” Baldwin shared with me in an interview. “I want to create a safe space for us to lift each other up and encourage self expression.”
The first woman to hit the stage on Friday was 23-year old Madison Deaver, an up-and-coming pop rock soloist. I described her music to a friend as “a little bit Paramore, a little bit Demi Lovato.” While she admits Paramore and No Doubt have served as influences– she covered both bands in her set– she definitely brings enough personal style to her music that sets her apart.
Madison alternated between working the stage and moving around the floor of the club. Her newest single, “Denim,” had the crowd jamming to the upbeat, hook-driven anthem.
Madison is definitely one to watch, racking up over 400,000 Spotify streams since 2019.
Elevated Undergrounds was next to take the stage, led by Gabbi Fisher… who wore a full leg brace after recently suffering a fracture.
The band was in their element, having performed the same set on the same stage just a week prior. “If you liked last week’s show, you’ll love this one!” Fisher joked.
They describe themselves as “grunge-ish,” and you can definitely hear nods to other women-led bands of the same genre, like Garbage (who notably rejects the grunge label, preferring post-grunge). Similarly, Elevated Undergrounds has the same experimental spirit of playing with different musical styles.
During one song, Fisher sings through a corded phone for a fuzzy effect. She closes the number by wailing into the lead guitarist Fez Reyes’ pickups.
Baldwin’s band, Mojave Sun, headlined the showcase and was last to perform. With elements of classic rock and blues, they offer exhilarating guitar riffs and soulful power vocals. Throughout the show, Baldwin played a tambourine while singing.
By the time they were on stage, the Sand Dollar was crowded and lively. Some audience members were seated in the lounge area, but many fans and friends of the band took up space standing and dancing in front of the stage. The band opened with their singles “Hell or High Water,” and “Bury Me Down,” both available on Spotify. It was hard not to groove to their fiery tunes. A nearly 40-minute set followed, closing out the night with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
All three front-women of the night made a statement with their clear talent and magnetic stage presence.
“Front-women are certainly creating a strong presence in rock music. However, I do believe that it is important to encourage unity amongst us in the scene where we have been known to be underestimated,” Baldwin shares. One would be a fool to underestimate these women!
“I have received lots of personal messages from women specifically, telling me how they left the show feeling inspired and empowered. That right there is what makes all the hard work worth it.”
The next curated showcase will be held at Backyard in Henderson on October 29th. Follow the Desert Honeypot showcase on Instagram to stay in the loop with upcoming shows.