Friday, May 1, 2015

Sleater-Kinney, May 1, 2015 at Palladium

For as much as we've been big fans, Carla & I had never seen Sleater-Kinney together, though only because the group had been broken up for the beginning of our relationship.  (Though we had seen them separately, at numerous shows, well before we knew or knew of each other.)  We had been fine keeping up with Corin’s solo work, and I would have gotten into the Wild Flag album if I had been able to find it more easily, since we don’t lament a band being broken-up or on hiatus (as it might as well be either), but it would have been nice to see a band we adore so much together finally, if to have that as part of our shared history at last or just to see the band one more time.  S/K did one better, coming back with a new album, No Cities to Love, that we dug, perhaps cementing that this wasn’t just a lazy cash-grab reunion and that they were actually a force again instead of just another show.  An album might have been necessary, since they didn’t have enough hits (or really, any) to flog for anyone who would pay, but it was material as strong as most of the rest of their stuff, to continue the trajectory they had been following pre-hiatus, if not just picking up right where they left off.  The new stuff had also turned down their screeching fury in favor of virtuosic precision, which was a little less punk rock but their sound was aging as well as they were.  The fans probably would have been happy with trotting out all the old stuff -- as if there was a rush to get out the new stuff -- but everyone was just pleased they were back together, whether or not they turned out much worth hearing, so getting a decent show was just a treat.  They had always been indie-rock royalty, as fickle and relative as that description could be, but they still had enough cred to be able to ably fill the Palladium, and without having to bother with cashing in one some kind of ‘90s nostalgia reunion (as if there had been a call for them to lower themselves to such a thing).  Even Carrie being more famous these days for Portlandia didn’t stand up to the blast of volume and power they were putting out, as they always have had.  There was not necessarily any promise that they would stay together or put out more new material, but that night, to have them back together and laying it down as intensely as they ever had, we were fortunate they had decided to do it in the first place.

Sleater-Kinney's set-list:
"Price Tag"
"What's Mine Is Yours"
"Youth Decay"
"A New Wave"
"Get Up"
"Surface Envy"
"All Hands on the Bad One"
"Bury Our Friends"
"No Cities to Love"
"The Fox"
"No Anthems"
"Light Rail Coyote"
"Words and Guitar"

"Gimme Love"
"Dig Me Out"
"One More Hour"
"Let's Call It Love"
"Modern Girl"