Sleater-Kinney - Live in New York City (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Live in New York City (2015)

live show

It'd be great to pretend that my youth was spent listening to “cool” indie rock records. It wasn't. Luckily, life has blessed me -- and many others -- with a second chance.

That we can even talk about Sleater-Kinney's 2015 is a blessing! They've put out one of the best records of the year with No Cities to Love, the follow up to 2005's incredible The Woods, and their fan base has only grown since. Thursday night at Terminal 5 those fans showed up, ready to go.

At the first of two sold out shows, Terminal 5 crammed more people into their large space than ever before. It was impossible to get close to the stage if you arrived when I did (admittedly well after opener Lizzo.) The whole room anxiously awaited a triumphant return. And in a venue not known for its great sound, Sleater-Kinney delivered an aural assault.

Almost the entire new album was played along with plenty of older favorites (although none from the pre-Janet Weiss days.) The new songs gelled flawlessly with the classics and prove that a band doesn't necessarily need to rely on the good old days to pack a show. “No Anthems” was as welcome as anything from One Beat. However, set closer “Dig Me Out” understandably received the biggest roar of the night.

Carrie Brownstein is a full-on guitar god. For someone who's spent a good amount of time becoming a pseudo-celebrity for her comedy (Portlandia), she hasn't missed a step when it comes to her fretwork. Not to take anything away from Weiss or Corin Tucker (nor newly added touring member Katie Harkin), but it was impossible to take my eyes off Brownstein when she was riffing.

But Sleater-Kinney's success is 100 percent because of their tight bond. It doesn't hurt that each band member spent Sleater-Kinney's offseason continuing to play their respective instruments in other projects (e.g. White Flag, The Corin Tucker Band) I'm sure those shows were great, but together Corin, Carrie and Janet are an unstoppable force. Their ability to play off each other so well on such an important reunion tour is inspiring. It seems sometimes a band takes a break to revitalize themselves, not due to dwindling ticket sales or internal feuds.

If there's one person that encapsulated the atmosphere of Thursday's performance, it was the tall girl in front of me. When she was enjoying herself, she pogoed. When she was not, she stood still. She pogoed all night.