Sleater-Kinney played three decades of music at a sold-out Theatre of Living Arts - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Indie-rock icons Sleater-Kinney played to a sold crowd at the TLA on Monday, March 18th in Philadelphia. This was the ninth show in a row for the band who is touring in promotion of their eleventh album, Little Rope. But they also covered a lengthy career’s worth of notable favorites. Opening for Sleater-Kinney was fellow Portland rockers Black Belt Eagle Scout, an alternative punk rock group that celebrates the sounds and achievements of the culture of Swinomish indigenous people, and encouraged fans to support the indigenous artists selling their work in the venue lobby.

Black Belt Eagle Scout | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN

Sleater-Kinney has withstood a massive number of changes in music culture throughout their three decades-long career. Since starting the group back in 1994 in Olympia, Washington and going through a handful of alternating band members, the core of Sleater-Kinney consists of dual guitarists and vocalists, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker. Holding on to that 90’s feminist punk with a touch of grunginess, Little Rope shows the band’s evolution and endurance. Being that this was the first time Sleater-Kinney has played in Philly since their performance at The Mann Center in 2021 in support of Wilco, it was no surprise the show sold out almost immediately. They started off the night with their newest single “Hell,” with dreary, bright red lights casting over the crowd. Then without a break they went right into “Needlessly Wild,” where Tucker showed her true vocal range in song and emotion. At one point she spoke to the crowd to remind them that although a lot of their music sounds wild and rowdy, it’s ultimately about love and peace.

Sleater-Kinney | photo by Ben Wong For WXPN

While showcasing how far they’ve improved over the last 30 years with Little Rope, Sleater-Kinney made sure to include over two hours-worth of their older hits as well,  like “One More Hour” from 1997’s Dig Me Out and “Slow Song” from their very first album, 1995’s self-titled Sleater-Kinney. Seeing those songs, that were likely performed for free in a basement or a park, today in 2024 on a big stage to a sold-out crowd was a surreal experience for all age groups. Right before performing “Start Together” from their 1999 album The Hot Rock, they reminded everyone that it’s the 25th anniversary of the album this year.

Finishing out the night with an encore of four songs from four different albums — including the riff-heavy “One Beat” and the catchy new single, “Say It Like You Mean It” — transported everyone to the many different periods in time that Sleater-Kinney exists. The fact that after so many years they continue to produce new material that’s both traditional and revolutionary is a testament to their talent and staying power.

Setlist
Mar
18
Sleater-Kinney
TLA
  • Hell
  • Needlessly Wild
  • Oh!
  • The Center Won't Hold
  • Small Finds
  • A New Wave
  • One More Hour
  • Hunt You Down
  • Slow Song
  • Can I Go On
  • Don't Feel Right
  • Start Together
  • The Future Is Here
  • Jumpers
  • Six Mistakes
  • Dress Yourself
  • All Hand on the Bad One
  • The Fox
  • Modern Girl
  • Untidy Creatures
  • One Beat
  • Say It Like You Mean It
  • Dig Me Out
  • Entertain
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