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Victor DeLorenzo, formerly of the Violent Femmes, is now with 1913.
Victor DeLorenzo, formerly of the Violent Femmes, is now with 1913.

1913 brought magic to benefit concert

Sometimes the most amazing thing happens to you in the most unexpected location or time.

That's what happened Saturday night at the Concert for Eileen at Shank Hall. The concert was a benefit for Eileen Worman, an artist, mother and musician who has been a part of the Milwaukee music scene for many years. She needs a kidney transplant.

The night featured a lot of great Milwaukee bands, Semi-Twang and the Wooldridge Brothers and reunions of multiple bands, including the Yell Leaders and Arms & Legs & Feet.

For me, though, the star of the night was a band called 1913. It's a band that is almost impossible to describe.

The brainchild of Victor DeLorenzo, the pixieish and quixotic drummer of The Violent Femmes, plays his snare and a single cymbal. Scott Johnson plays a full drum set and Janet Schiff plays the cello.

That's it. Who ever heard of a band with a cello and two drummers? My guess is nobody, but this music is as enveloping as I've ever heard. The entire audience sat, entranced, at the sound that came from the stage.

Damien Strigens who knows as much about Milwaukee music as anyone I know, shared a table with me after the set.

"That was like watching a movie," said. "It was cinematic in it's's.." and he stopped talking. "The best thing you can say about a band is that you can't describe it's music. This band is like that. What do you call it?"

When they left the stage the crowd was almost deathly silent for a moment or two before erupting into applause. It was a magic performance and well worth seeing the next time they play.


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