Tuesday Viewsday: Saving Jane

I’m off to Chicago this week for work. The boys from the web team and I will be hitting the road to attend a three-day, Google-taught seminar on Google Analytics. What’s that you say? You wish you could come? You think it will be riveting? Yeah… me too.

How does one make lemons out of the lemonade in this instance? Bring a camera, of course! And my laptop. My fingers are crossed that since the hotel charges for daily wireless access, I’ll be within reach of a free network; it’s Chicago so there has to be WiFi everywhere, right? We will see.

With that in mind, I’ll be pretty silent this week, but I hope to share some images from the trip when I return so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here’s a story and photo about a concert.

Marti D., Please Marry Me?

You like that little rhyme there? Yeah… me too. Anyway, this morning as I was driving into work, the little music gnomes that live inside my iPhone decided to take me on a little trip down memory lane. For a moment there, I was transported to a warm, spring day on the Bradley University Quad.

Saving Jane (2010)

Saving Jane (2010)

At the time, I was diving headfirst into everything music that I could; from playing shows and writing my own material to listening and watching every band I could, music was my passion. When my creative mind led me to pick up my first digital camera, I started to divert that passion into two places; it was only a matter of time before they diverged in a place where I could satisfy both: rock photography.

On this particular spring evening, I was sitting quietly in the grass, waiting for a small band from Ohio to take the stage. I was disappointed as I looked around me; the turnout for “Saving Jane” was minimal. This Midwestern group was formed in the early 2000’s and was fronted by the beautiful Marti Dodson, still one of the greatest and most underrated female performers in mind. They had small notoriety around the United States with their hit single, “Girl Next Door,” but when you ask most people, they usually just say, “Sounds familiar.”

For me, “Saving Jane” and Marti Dodson are more than just familiar… they’re a comfortable place where the almost-cynical musings of a Midwestern high school outcast meet the very best of classic rock ‘n’ roll. Marti has a way of really taking the subject of Midwest life, and teenage/college angst, and spinning it into a way that resonates, at least it does for me.

I was lucky to be so close to this group as they took the stage those few years ago. I couldn’t take my camera down for a second and shot well more than I probably needed to, but the entire group commanded the stage with an undeniable presence. And take a look at what Marti is wearing… she stepped on stage in high heels, Jackie O. sunglasses, Dollar Store beads, and a dress that screamed “I’m not your typical housewife; I’m here to show you what I got!”

The show wrapped up after an hour and a half and when the lights went out and “Saving Jane” stepped off-stage, it was like nothing had ever happened, but I know that what I saw was one of the last flashes of greatness from a band that was on its way to retirement. Within weeks of that show, Marti announced the breakup of SJ and has since gone on with a former member of the band to start her first country group, “Union Rose.” They are mainly based in Ohio for now, but when they hit Illinois, I know one guy who will be front row with his camera.

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