Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
Your first kiss. Your first car. Your wedding. Your attendance at the first Sleater-Kinney show in nine years.
These things are all important, but don’t make me put them in priority order…
In one epic, historically-significant and glorious night, rock goddesses Sleater-Kinney returned to their empire. Janet Weiss sat upon her throne, Carrie Brownstein kicked her way into the books of rock-n-roll lore, and Corin Tucker exhumed a voice from the past that, admittedly, I thought I’d never hear again.
And it still sounds magnificent.
At 9:15 all bets were off as the Knitting Factory went dark, save for four lone spotlights that shone down upon familiar figures, succumbing to their instruments, on one stage. I didn’t really believe it until, without any words, Sleater-Kinney dove into “Price Tag.” The flood washed over me; it was, in all aspects, surreal. The heart of Seattle grew eight sizes that night.
The silence was finally broken as they finished “Start Together,” with Corin mustering up a, “Wow, thank you so much!” No aspect of this show gave the faintest gleam of a tepid response. Following “No Anthems,” Corin finally addressed the anxious, starving crowd: “What’s up Spokane?! We’re so happy to be back, and we’re so happy to be here with you! How many of you actually live in Spokane? I’ve only actually been to the Taco Time here… as a child, not recently. We wanna give a shout out to Lizzo!” Obviously, we drove from Seattle, but I would definitely have to question the origins of the surrounding population. I met some kids from another country… Starved, I tell ya’!
The magnitude of Corin’s vocals were absolutely felt in the last chorus of “One More Hour,” flawlessly belting the word “it” like nothing else in life mattered. The pulsing voice gave me chills. Corin took the following opportunity to speak for a moment: “Spokane, you’ve seen some of our rough edges tonight – first night on tour… We have a new record out, and it’s called No Cities to Love.” And, for 70 minutes they blazed through 18 songs that I wish I could watch over and over again. Their four-song encore began at 10:25, as Carrie belted out, “It’s hard not to smile!” Their first night, at the unsuspecting Knitting Factory in Spokane, concluded with “Dig Me Out.” I found it fitting, although nothing is far from the surface.
Opening for Sleater-Kinney was Minneapolis-based alternative hip-hop artist Lizzo. The founding member of many indie hip-hop groups, Lizzo has certainly begun carving a name for herself, appearing on David Letterman only a few months ago. Her set was energetic, riveting, and a perfect fit for an evening that showcased female moxie. Upon taking the stage, samples included Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon” and Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl.” She aptly made mention that this evening was a part of history, and made the important distinction that feminism is nothing short of humanism. Can we all remember this, please? Take the time to check out her work, her album Lizzobangers is a thrill ride.
Sleater-Kinney Set List:
Bury Our Friends
What’s Mine Is Yours
One More Hour
No Cities to Love
Words and Guitar
A New Wave
Turn It On
Dig Me Out
Review by T. Monte
Photos by Sunny Martini