The Rawk Zone, where clothes are flying and riffs are ripping everywhere you look.Call Sound Check a pigeonholer, but there's something a little contrived - Jack Black-esque, if you will - about five young women taking to the stage to fulfill their rock dreams via the prepaid glory of AC/DC's music.
Thing is, Jack Black kicks all the ass he wants, and so does Washington tribute band Hell's Belles.
With the snow melting into spongy mud puddles on the trampled turf, the beer garden full, and the Belles locked into "Thunderstruck," Troy Field was a certified rock swamp as Sound Check walked up on Saturday night's Bend WinterFest hoedown.
Responding to an ample, appreciative crowd and mild temperatures, lead guitarist Adrian Conner took it to the next level midway through the band's rendition of "Bad Boy Boogie." Aside from the amazing instrumental work, blah blah blah, the dreadlocked firecracker's performance kicked into overdrive when she shed her Angus Young-mirroring boarding school blazer and shirt, electing to proudly rock out in nothing but her skirt and a shiny red bra. That's how it's done, Janet Jackson.
Meanwhile, in front of the jumbotron, the kids got in the spirit too. Crawling all over the rail jam ramps, flinging snowballs and air-guitaring, they looked like rockin' ice imps from Winter X-Games Hell.
The tempo sagged a little here and there, as the Belles dug deep into the catalog for sludgy tunes like "Down Payment Blues." In the end, though, their blazing takes on mullet-shaking classics like "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" proved that indeed, American chicks can rock like Australian dudes. - Jeff Trainor