For a show dedicated to shredding, She Shreds' fifth anniversary show Oct. 27 started off on a quiet note. After a panel addressed visibility and activism in music, the women guitarists- and bassists-dedicated magazine hosted a wide-ranging lineup of women guitarists. It began with Black Belt Eagle Scout, aka Katherine Paul, who slowly strummed her guitar on Revolution Hall's dimly lit stage. Paul delicately played her grunge pop, choosing force of emotion over raw aggression.
After Paul, Sávila (whose guitarist is She Shreds founder Fabi Reyna) played an incredibly danceable set of trancy cumbia rhythms. Each seat in the venue was cutely adorned with white roses, and by the end of Sávila's set, many of those roses ended up onstage.
For Francesca Simone's set, she chose to workshop some of her own material, though she has a résumé most guitarists could only dream of. Simone melded R&B and rock with just her guitar and only occasionally her voice, and flexed her pop sensibilities with an instrumental cover of Post Malone's "Better Now."
Before Nai Palm took the stage, Reyna gave an emotional speech about the struggles of being a queer Hispanic musician, and her gratefulness for how far she's come. The speech made for a heartwarming kickoff of Nai Palm's set, which was greeted with a standing ovation. With just her acoustic guitar, Nai Palm put her soulful, sensual vocal range on full display.
It might have been a soft ending to the celebration, but the whole show was an ideal representation of what She Shreds is all about—"shredding" isn't always a matter of brute force.