Photo Credit: Niffer Calderwood
In their 21 years as a band, Sleater-Kinney have seen themselves go from indie darlings to revered stateswomen of rock. Last night’s performance at the Showbox proved that it is respect well-earned. Perhaps because their post-band projects have kept them in the public eye, the women of Sleater-Kinney have returned to the Showbox bonafide ROCKSTARS- complete with designer stagewear, an amazing light show and the very best musical gear. In short, Sleater-Kinney in 2015 look and sound expensive. Last night’s show was worth every penny.
Blistering through almost 90 consecutive minutes of assorted catalog hits Janet Weiss, who’s seemingly effortless drumming (combined with the fact she hasn’t seemed to age over the course of the band’s career making me suspect she could be an android) propelled the band like a Goddamn machine. Maturity has melded nicely with Corin Tucker’s vocal stylings, giving the older Dig Me Out/The Hot Rock era material a heaping helping of seasoned, “been there, done that” grit. Having a multitude of careers including of actress, author and axe woman (not to mention being my and many others personal “cool mom” style icon) hasn’t slowed the chops of Carrie Brownstein who riffed on the guitar and off- taking time between trading vocals with Tucker to make Tina Belcher jokes.
Openers Thee Satisfaction had the anxious crowd ready to roar by the time SK took the stage. The act has been touring nearly non-stop since the beginning of the year and it shows in their comfortable stage presence, the ease of the vocals and tighten-up choreography.
The genius pairing of these artists touring together was not something you would have seen two decades ago in Sleater-Kinney’s early days, but it well represents the open-eared diversity of music fans in 2015, as well as the progressively shifting nature of the Sub Pop roster. If both acts are able to maintain the level of intensity they brought to the Showbox last night, this trio of shows will go down, much like Sleater-Kinney themselves, as legendary.