WORTHINGTON — If you’re singing the January blues, try out a new tune at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, when “Wild Angels: Women of Rock, Pop and Country” plays at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center.
Featuring some of the state’s top female vocalists — Minnesota Music Hall of Fame member Mary Jane Alm, Pamela McNeill and Aimée Lee — accompanied by the seven-piece band The Handsome Devils, the show highlights hits from renowned female music stars.
“I wanted to do a show that featured women,” said McNeill, who is also the producer of “Wild Angels.”\
“I’ve been a member of the Fabulous Armadillos and the Rock & Roll Xmas Spectacular for 15 years, but I always thought there was room for more ‘girl’ songs,” she added.
“Getting my two best friends together and capitalizing on our different voices — Aimée has this low, sultry, powerful voice and does an incredible Cher that knocks people out, plus a super fun Lady Gaga, while Mary Jane handles the ethereal Adele, Bangles and Linda Ronstadt leads and I provide the rockin’ powerhouse stuff — makes for a really fun show that people have loved everywhere we’ve been.”
Speaking by phone on Thursday while preparing to perform in three sold-out nights of the Fleetwood Mac tribute show “Rumours and Dreams” at Chanhassen Dinner Theater, McNeill promised she and her fellow musicians would be ready to give their all in southwest Minnesota next Saturday.
“We’re excited Worthington invited us to come down,” assured McNeill.
“Our band is incredible — most of the guys from ‘Rumours and Dreams’ are in it, plus we have Brian C. Peters on steel guitar and Richard Kriehn, who is fabulous on fiddle and mandolin — so we can do all the rockers to break-it-down country pieces.”
Tammy Makram, managing director of Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, said “Wild Angels” is one of the facility’s premier shows of the 2019-20 season.
“They [McNeill, Alm and company] have played to packed houses here on previous appearances and I’m always asked by numerous attendees to have them return — so here they are,” said Makram.
“You do not want to miss this; you simply cannot go wrong with these singers and this band, and it’s a fact that this is a first-rate show people are lining up to see wherever it plays in the Twin Cities and across the region.”
McNeill, Alm and Lee will channel the work and voices of entertainers such as Adele, Linda Ronstadt, Taylor Swift, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Pink, Dolly Parton, the Dixie Chicks, Little Big Town, Tina Turner, the Bangles and more.
“It’s all over the map — rock, pop and country — and this is probably our second year of doing ‘Wild Angels’ shows, with audiences just loving it,” said McNeill.
“We’ve been getting invited to perform it at a lot of different theaters and summer festivals, so it’s become a challenge to fit it in between all of the other shows we three are doing.”
Their versatile performing skills and musical chops have the trio of experienced and critically praised vocalists in demand for shows in St. Cloud, the Twin Cities and beyond, so Makram was delighted they were able to squeeze in a Worthington appearance.
“They are the best of the best, and with the variety of musical genres they fit into this particular show, every person in the audience will find music that appeals directly to them,” promised Makram.
“And their band is phenomenal, too.”
Guys, pay attention: “Wild Angels” is more than a girls’ night out.
“This definitely isn’t just for women; the guys love it, too, and we have fans of all kinds and from all age groups,” said McNeill.
“Little kids are thrilled when they hear a Taylor Swift or Pink number, but then their grandparents are rocking out to the songs they know best,” McNeill continued.
“It’s a really uplifting show, and this is a great show to warm up with in the winter.”
For such a high-octane act, how do the performers prepare to deliver the same quality and enthusiasm each time they walk into the spotlight?
“No matter how tired we may be or how far we’ve had to travel, the minute we step on stage and are all together, the adrenaline just pumps in,” said McNeill.
“We all love playing together, and there’s no better place to be — so the energy is just there.”
Whether your taste runs to Pat Benatar or Madonna, McNeill guarantees her “Wild Angels” will have you cheering at the end of the evening.
“It’s super fun, we love to do harmony and we bring a lot of energy,” said McNeill.
“And with ‘The Handsome Devils’ backing us up, we totally bring these powerhouse songs to life.”
“Wild Angels: Women of Rock, Pop and Country” plays at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, 714 13th St., Worthington. Tickets are available at the box office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays, call 376-9101 or visit friendsoftheauditorium.com. There is a discount for tickets purchased prior to show time, but tickets are also available at the door. Free pre-show live entertainment and beverages (for purchase) from Round Lake Winery are available in the lobby.