Lightmare topped the bill Saturday night at DC9, but the up-and-coming D.C. sextet came on less like the star attraction than simply first among equals. The evening’s four acts, all of them mixed-gender rock bands and three of them local, played lively 30-minute sets without encores. What distinguished Lightmare, whose website calls it “a six-person soulpunk arrangement,” was its eclectic style and powerful lead vocalist, Shady Rose.

The group’s lineup includes LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color. Rose, who is both, has a supple alto that can ascend without apparent strain into soprano range. Rose’s tone is silky rather than gritty, yet with more than enough brawn for such angry songs as the show-closing “All Cats Are Beautiful,” a passionate response to police brutality against Black people.

Violence is a common theme in Rose’s lyrics, but sometimes the outlook is more philosophical than political. The band opened its set with “Dirt,” the title track of its new album, which addresses not sleaze but eternal rest. “The dirt is waiting patiently,” sang Rose, the lyric circled by Matty Kirkland’s saxophone. The latter instrument is essential to Lightmare’s sound, and half of this gig’s songs were bolstered by a guest musician’s trumpet.

There was as much soul as punk — and a bit of jazz — in Lightmare’s style, and the band sounded as good at half speed as full tilt. Rose was confrontational during “Sad Boi,” a robust funk groove, and “Kill the Butcher,” a galloping number that built to a shout-along chorus. But the group sacrificed none of its verve when it slowed down for the mostly lilting “Die with Diamonds,” the hook of which is a simple “la-la-ooh.” Rose has a lot to say but can be just as compelling when delivering wordless vocalese.

The show opened with Company Calls, a D.C. trio whose frontperson provided chant-like vocals and brittle punk-funk bass lines that anchored smears of rhythm guitar. Then came Pretty Bitter, a local neo-new-wave quintet whose singer floated midtempo vocal melodies over driving instrumental parts.

Pretty Bitter was followed by North by North, a Chicago guitar-and-drums duo whose style was less bluesy than is typical of bands with that lineup. There was a hint of rockabilly to a few of the group’s songs, but most of the material sounded like some sort of classic rock without, impressively, evoking any particular era or subgenre.