Concert Review: Sleater-Kinney, March 2, Sound Academy

Photo by Melody Lau

Two well-established facts: Sleater-Kinney is a kick-ass band and the Sound Academy is a terrible venue. Now that those two details are out of the way, I have to make this hefty statement: Sleater-Kinney is such a kick-ass live band that I actually forgot that the Sound Academy is a terrible venue during their show. Yes, really.

The venue choice wasn’t going to stop me from seeing this band. Hell no. I wanted to see them that much. They’re a band I’ve loved since my early 20s, were formative in my education of feminist pop culture and nurtured the beginnings of my affection for the Pacific Northwest. And, I must also emphasize this one detail: they’re a band that broke up/went on hiatus in 2006 (you can never really know when “hiatuses” really mean break-ups!) before I had a chance to even see them. I still recall that sinking heartbreak when I found out, thinking I’d never get to see them play live.

Late last year, when Sub Pop announced they would be releasing S-K’s entire discography on vinyl and packaged together in a special boxset, I was pretty stoked. But the bigger and even better announcement was to come. Not only was S-K back together and releasing a brand new album, THE BAND WOULD BE TOURING. Dreams do come true!

The entire show was a face-melting dream come true. To be in the presence of Corin Tucker’s blistering vocals, Carrie Brownstein’s guitar agility and Janet Weiss’ impossibly effortless and impeccable drumming. Pure. Magic. The set list was a balance of songs from their new album, No Cities To Love and choice picks from their five previous albums (no songs from their first two records; they have eight in total in their discography). I thought I was going to burst during “Youth Decay” (one of my absolute favourite S-K songs). “Sympathy” followed by “Entertain” followed by “Jumper” (the last three songs in the set before the encore) were almost too much to handle (in a good way).

When the trio, plus touring band member Katie Harkin and opener Lizzo with her crew emerged for the encore set, Tucker voiced the band’s support for Planned Parenthood and continuing support of women’s reproductive rights. How can I love this band even more? I’m not sure if words can even express it. Long live Sleater-Kinney; forever shall they reign my heart.

See the full set list here.

Posted on by Wini Lo in Concerts