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When Nita Strauss announced her tour stop in Oklahoma City, it was clear this was not a show to miss. With a lineup featuring the electrifying Starbenders and the powerhouse Diamante, it promised to be a celebration of women in the music industry. And boy, did it deliver.

The local three-piece band Sign of Lies started off the evening. These guys always bring their A game, and this night was no exception. These guys made sure the crowd was amped up for the rest of the festivities.

The Starbenders is an Atlanta based band featuring Kimi Shelter on vocals/guitar, Aaron Lecesne on bass, Kriss Tokaji on guitar, and Qi Wei on drums. Starbenders brought an excellent mix of glam rock with a 70’s vibe. The fans were digging every single song they played. About halfway through their set Kimmi asked where all her witches were at. Several members of the crowd started cheering as the band went into their song “Bitches be Witches”, which was probably my favorite song of theirs that I heard that night. Each band member brought their own distinct personality to the stage captivating everyone with their infectious energy and stage presence.

Then came Diamante, a force of nature who commanded the stage with her powerhouse vocals and undeniable charisma. This was the third time I have been able to catch her in concert, and I already knew she is always on fire!! We were first introduced to Diamante in 2018 while she was touring with Bad Wolves and From Ashes to New. We already knew she could sing since we were familiar with her Duet with Tommy Vext of Bad Wolves, “Hear Me Now”, but that night in 2018 when she started belting out some Skid Row, we knew she was a force! Coming back to 2024, she has not skipped a beat. She played her hit song “Haunted” as well as her newest single “1987”. Then to throw it way back, she did an amazing cover of Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield”.

After Diamante’s set was finished, she told the crowd she would be over at the merch booth to meet people and snap some photos. I was unable to get up there to meet her during this time; however, when the whole show was about over, I was able to meet her and snap a photo with her. She was also kind enough to sign her photo in my 2021 Rocklahoma Book. Her genuine kindness towards her fans is something people will not forget.

But the night belonged to Nita Strauss, and she seized it with gusto. From the moment she stepped on stage, the energy in the room surged as she shredded through her setlist. The set began with “Summer Storm” and was immediately followed by “Our Most Desperate Hour” and “Mariana Trench”. When she slowed it down a little bit and played the song “Pandemonium” she told us the story of the song, and how she was featured on her favorite guitar player, Steve Vai’s compilation.

After the song “Pandemonium” Nita asked the crowd if they were ready for it to get heavy. Of course, the crowd screamed in approval. This was the time in the set that Nita introduced her friend and vocalist, Kasey Karlson. Kasey is the vocalist for the band Deadlands. When she said it was going to get heavy, she wasn’t joking. The band played songs like “The Wolf You Feed” and “Digital Bullets”.

The evening was coming to a close and Nita thanked the fans for getting her song “Dead Inside” with David Draiman of Disturbed on vocals to #1 on the charts. They then went straight into “Victorious”, which was recorded with Dorothy as the vocalist. The night ended with quite a surprise. I was expecting an original song to wrap up the evening, but instead, we were treated to Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell”. What a way to end an absolutely fantastic night of music!!

In the end, it was a night to remember, a testament to the power of women in rock and a showcase of pure musical talent. Nita Strauss and her fellow artists left no doubt that they are forces to be reckoned with, and the audience left with hearts full and ears ringing, already counting down the days until their next chance to rock out with these incredible performers. While there are only a couple dates left on this tour, you can keep up with all the bands on their websites and social media accounts to see what they are all up to next.

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