Doll Skin says farewell with Rebel Lounge show

On the evening of Sunday, March 12, fans flocked to the sold-out Rebel Lounge to bid farewell to the Scottsdale-founded alt-punk outfit Doll Skin.

After announcing in January that the band would call it quits after the gig, the band also announced that this show would mark a reunion of their original lineup for the first time since 2019.

It was announced later that the band would also feature those who filled in after the departure of original members Nicole Rich, Alex Snowden and Meghan Herring.

Although this show was ultimately a lively rock show, it had a somber energy as fans donned all black and paraded into the intimate venue knowing this would be an emotional evening.

Adding to the ante, members of Doll Skin’s street team distributed cardboard paper hearts that said “Rat Pack forever” on the front and had instructions on the back to hold up during the final song of the night, as well as colored pompom balls and roses that would be tossed on stage at the conclusion of the set. 

As a video screen at the bar also showed a tear-jerking slide show of some of the best moments of the band’s 10-year run, fans moseyed their way toward the stage and cemented their place as close to the action as possible. 


Twin Cities

Kicking things off at about a quarter to 7 p.m. was the Nevada — not Minnesota — four-piece alt-rock outfit Twin Cities.

After Twin Cities sprightly took the stage, the band quickly got heads nodding with a fast-paced breed of alternative rock. 

Although their music was a bit more softly tuned, the band captivated the audience with its peppy stage presence and utilizing breaths in between lyrics to bang heads and dance across the sparse stage space it was allotted as it hammed to newer tunes like “Breathe” and “Peace.”

However, there were somber moments in the set list. 

Most notably when Macario Gutierrez recalled the time that he served as Doll Skin’s bus driver during its 2019 tour and proclaimed that the experience changed his life for the better. 

Gutierrez was not the only member of the band onstage who had ties to the headliner, as bassist Cameron Gile also served as the band’s tour manager and photographer for several years. 

These would not be the only rockers fans would see who had ties to Doll Skin throughout the night. 

After the brief tales of the good times that Twin Cities shared with the headliners, it was back to rocking — and the band did more than that while dusting off tracks from its earlier discography like “I Waited” and “I Can’t Remember.”  

To round out its 30-minute set, the band ventured back to its 2014 debut EP “The Winter” and departed the stage after jamming the track “Dear, Departed.” 

Set list:

Deep Sleep



I Waited 

I Can’t Remember

Dear, Departed


Bite the Hand

Phoenix-based hardcore act Bite the Hand kept things rolling, quickly introducing itself as being “a bit heavier.” 

The band — which features the husband-and-wife duo of Echo (vocals) and Forest Walldorf (drums) — wasted no time marrying grungy-toned verses with guttural choruses that showed off Echo’s impressive vocal range. 

The band quickly followed its fast-paced first track by jetting into its latest work, a single titled “Love.” 

In addition to giving fans a comprehensive taste of its young discography, Bite the Hand also gave fans two unreleased tunes — “Comfy” and “Bent Knees” from its forthcoming EP — to chew on as they anxiously await a release. 

Although the band provided a bit of a change of pace and sound during its tracks, in between songs guitarist DJ Rancourt provided a reminder that “the four walls of The Rebel Lounge are a safe space for fans to be themselves.” 

Following the comforting message, Rancourt commanded fans to lose their minds to the final tune of the band’s 30-minute set, a breakneck speed tune titled “Spilled Milk.” 

Set list:



White Eyes



Bent Knees

Spilled Milk


Lilac Cadillac

Next up was Phoenix-based indie act Lilac Cadillac, which featured a special lineup of former touring members of Doll Skin: Torri Ross, who is the lead vocalist of Lilac Cadillac but filled in on guitar for Doll Skin for nearly two years, bassist Tay Fischer and drummer Syd McVicker. 

Rounding out the band was guitarists Jacob Murphy and Zac Wolin. 

The up-and-coming indie-rockers wasted no time filling the airwaves with jazzy tunes that allowed Ross to dance all across the stage. 

Although Ross captured most of the spotlight, Murphy managed to dazzle the crowd by mixing in some face-melting guitar solos. 

Though the young band filled most of its 25-minute set list with new and unheard tracks from its budding discography — which currently consists of two released tunes, “Motel 6” and “i hope ur happy” — a shining moment came when the band offered a slightly heavier take on the Courtney Barnett tune “Pedestrian at Best.” 

This gave way for the band to get the band rocking with its heaviest entry of the night, a power-chord heavy track titled “Ulysses.” 

To conclude its set list, rocked its first released track “i hope ur happy” and bowed out to thunderous applause from the audience. 

Set list:

Motel 6

Hurry Up

Wet Blanket

Pedestrian At Best (Courtney Barnett cover)


i hope ur happy


Rio Wiley

Accompanied by guitarist Dylan Ewing, drummer Christian Champion and bassist Colton “Coba” Westerman — who was playing his second gig in three days — Mesa-born solo pop artist Rio Wiley reverted to his rock roots by jamming a set list that culled mostly from his first two EPs, 2016’s “Young Ghost” and 2017’s “Less Low” — the most rock-heavy entries in his mostly poppy discography. 

In the audience were several faithful fans of the soulful pop artist who joined him in forming a choir of voices that accompanied his hard-hitting rock tracks. 

By the time Wiley entered the chorus of the first track “Young Ghost,” hands began clapping, arms began waving and bodies began dancing. 

Though Wiley was slightly weighed down by the weight of a guitar during the bulk of his set, he still managed to engage the crowd by maneuvering between the stage’s two risers and spinning around the center of the stage in between lyrics. 

Equally captivating was his band, as Ewing wooed the audience by shredding the strings to intricate guitar solos that meshed harmoniously with Wiley’s melodious voice. 

Westerman also meshed well with this lineup by adding a graceful level of harmony to Wiley’s vocals and plucking tight bass lines. 

Champion also packed a heavyweight punch on the kit, hitting the kit with such tenacity that he chewed through at least two pairs of drumsticks throughout the 40-minute set. 

After shredding the first two tracks on an electric guitar, Wiley ditched the electric ax for an acoustic one and would jam the tracks  “Silver & Gold,” “Don’t Wanna” and “Of It All.” 

Following his shredding of an acoustic guitar, Wiley ditched the strings altogether and gave fans an untethered, enigmatic performance of some of his poppier tunes. 

Though the recorded versions of Wiley’s final three tracks of the evening began to display his ascent into the pop genre, the live renditions still packed a hard-rocking punch. 

After exhilarating fans for nearly 40 minutes, Wiley closed out his thrilling set list with a single he released in between the two EPs called “U Better Listen” — which served as a pertinent reminder that fans should keep Wiley on their radar as the pop artist plans to release a 16-track album this spring. 

Set list:

Young Ghost

The Love We Used to Share

Dead Reckoning

Silver & Gold

Don’t Wanna

Of It All 

Less Low

hold me down

U Better Listen


Doll Skin

Ten minutes before the clock struck 10 o’clock came the bittersweet moment fans had anxiously awaited. 

Doll Skin kicked off its final set for the foreseeable future by having each member enter the stage individually, beginning with drummer Meghan Herring — who founded the band in 2013 while its members were all students at the School of Rock Scottsdale. 

Next to take the stage was guitarist Alex Snowden, who can currently be heard shredding the strings for the nu-metal outfit Tallah. 

Following Snowden was bassist Nicole Sander (formerly Rich), who currently owns a Los Angeles-based jewelry company called Shop Strawbaby.

Lastly was vocalist Sydney Dolezal, who entered the stage rocking a black pantsuit that accentuated the singer’s freshly dyed green locks. 

To start things off, Herring began tapping a snappy rhythm on the rim of the top tom of her burgundy drum set, which gave way for Dolezal to begin singing the rhythm. 

After a few bars of the rhythm, the full band launched into the track “Daughter” and immediately got the crowd roaring. 

Although the band had only entered the same room for the first time in nearly three years days before the set, it sounded as if it hadn’t skipped a beat in all that time, delivering a crisp, tight and perfectly balanced sound that didn’t waiver throughout the band’s stacked 18-track set list. 

Though each song provided tenacious energy, some early highlights came in the form of tracks like “Baby’s Breath’” “Shut Up (You Miss Me)” and “Outta My Mind” — which saw the band welcome its friend Chris Marchant onstage to play his saxophone to the tune, which added to its melody. 

Marchant was far from the last friend to take the stage, but he paved the way for the band to utilize gaps between songs to say thank-yous to all of the friends, family members and others who helped the band during its decade-spanning run. 

The next few frames of the set list delivered hard-rocking hit after hit that proved how far the rockers had come during their decade as a band that began during their teenage years. 

Herring sizzled by bringing a heatwave of aggressive drumming that showed off her footwork by mixing in some double bass rhythms to the mix of hits. 

Sander provided a structured sound to each track and aided in creating a dynamic rhythm throughout her tenure of the set. 

Snowden stole the show at times by shredding solos and melting faces with sludgy and thrashy riffs. 

However, Dolezal captivated the audience by providing acrobatic stage antics — which included landing a cartwheel at one point — and hitting all the high notes. 

As the band continued to deliver its own hits, it also retraced its School of Rock roots at one point of the set and delivered a sparkling rendition of the Fugazi hit “Waiting Room.”

Though the original lineup delivered an unforgettable set, the band decided to give thanks to all the rockers who stepped in as original members stepped away from the band during a “side B” to the set. 

The band began its second side of the set by welcoming out former touring members of the band and current Lilac Cadillac members and Tay Fischer and Torri Ross — who was rocking a guitar instead of a microphone for this set — and special guest guitarist Chloe Lindeback to treat fans to the bands forthcoming final single “Melancholia.” 

“Melancholia” brought a newfound aggression into the mix, as it featured a heavy riff and an even heavier breakdown. However, it reached its peak when Dolezal welcomed vocalist Max Calkins onstage to belt out the guttural breakdown of the track. 

These were not the last friends the band brought onstage, as Doll Skin added touring drummer Syd McVicker and fill-in guitarists Molly Marshall, Aria Hurtado and Kenzie Halliday to rock parts of the band’s final three tunes. 

As the band reached the final track of the preliminary set, fans dug their hands into their pockets and pulled out the cardboard paper hearts that read “Rat Pack Forever” — a nod to the band’s fan club. 

When the song drew to a close, fans also littered the stage with colored pompom balls, which caused Dolezal to become overcome with joy and grow misty-eyed. 

However, this was not the end of the night for the rockers. 

After a quick break from the stage, the original lineup reemerged and took fans back to the very beginning of its history. 

For the first track of its encore, Doll Skin took fans back to its first gig at Rock Rev. hosted at Desert Mountain High School in 2013 where the band won the competition by playing a cover of the Dead Sara tune “Weatherman.” 

This track became another high point of the night as it drew to a close when Dolezal managed to draw the room to complete silence and ditched the mic to belt out the final bridge of the tune a capella style. 

To close out the set list and the band’s history, the band plucked the first song off its debut album “In Your Face” titled “Family of Strangers” — which became the name of the band’s fan club before it rebranded to the “Rat Pack.” 

The track gave fans one final opportunity to lose their voices and embrace the final notes of the band’s final live performance — for the foreseeable future. 

Following the track, the band locked arms and embraced for an emotional bow as roses began to rain in from the crowd at their feet. 

After bowing out, the rest of the night was spent signing merchandise, taking photos and mingling with faithful fans for a final time. 

Even though this show marked the last one for Doll Skin, it will be far from the last time its members take the stage to blare blissful music. 

Herring has plans to continue working as a touring drummer and recently started a new band alongside Rio Wiley’s guitarist Dylan Ewing called Deathdotgov, and Snowden is set to embark on a run of East Coast shows and festivals with her band Tallah beginning in May. 

As some fans wept for the ending of the prolific act as they left The Rebel Lounge near the midnight hour of Sunday, March 12, several fans kept their heads held high and will likely remain hopeful for a reunion of the band in the years to come. 

Set list:


Baby’s Breath

Shut Up (You Miss Me)

Outta My Mind (feat. Chris Marchant)

Empty House 

Mark My Words

Your Idols Are Dying 

Love Is Dead And We Killed Her


Waiting Room (Fugazi cover)

Let’s Be Honest

Puncha Nazi

Melancholia (feat. Torri Ross and Tay Fischer of Lilac Cadillac, Chloe Lindeback and Max Calkins)

Control Freak (feat. Molly Marshall)

Shake It Out (feat. Syd McVicker and Aria Hurtado)

Eat S— (feat Kenzie Halliday)

Weatherman (Dead Sara cover) [Encore]

Family of Strangers (Encore)

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