After nineteen (NINETEEN!) years of patiently waiting, Pittsburgh fans of riot grrrl group extraordinaire Sleater-Kinney were bursting at the seams to see Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss reunited on stage in support of their 2015 release of No Cities to Love. The sold out show not only had people from Pittsburgh, but quite a few from the surrounding areas including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and even Buffalo, New York. Needless to say, this show was kind of a big deal.
Backed by touring musician Katie Harken of Sky Larkin from Leeds, the hard rocking trio opened with “Price Tag” as Corin Tucker’s unmistakable wail took the lead. Wasting no time, Sleater-Kinney ripped into 2002’s “Oh!” led by Carrie Brownstein who stealthily propelled her guitar around her body and dipped dangerously close to the floor. The eighteen song set was pleasantly peppered with songs from The Wood, One Beat, All Hands on the Bad One, The Hot Rock and Dig Me Out. Vibrant, multi-colored lights lit up the stage and a seemingly drab backdrop.
Taking very little time to interact with the audience, Sleater-Kinney took time to express gratitude to the city of Pittsburgh. Hard-hitting drummer goddess Janet Weiss took a minute to tell a quick joke before pounding into “No Cities to Love”:
“A guy walked into the doctor’s office with shorts made of saran wrap. The doctor said, ‘I can clearly see your balls.’”
Sleater-Kinney’s five song encore began with Tucker thanking Planned Parenthood for supporting the show as well as women’s reproductive health. Starting off with “Gimme Love”, Tucker ended up writhing on the floor as she belted out the lyrics, lost in her own world before sliding into “One More Hour”. Brownstein military-marched in place to “Let’s Call it Love” as Weiss laid it down on drums into a climax of cymbals before taking it down for “Modern Girl” and ending the night with “Dig Me Out”.
Even after a nine year hiatus, Sleater-Kinney showed that they are still the badass women we know and love them to be, and no matter the time away from us, they’ll be welcomed back with open arms.