Sleater-Kinney Close Out the Second Night of Pitchfork Festival With a Bang
Neither 90-degree temperatures, a massive, midday torrential downpour nor a competing performance by local rapper Vic Mensa were going to prevent Pacific Northwest riot grrrl veterans Sleater-Kinney from dominating on the second night (July 18) of the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago’s Union Park.
Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, along with drummer Janet Weiss, certainly had a tough act to follow with hometown boys Wilco shutting things down the previous evening with a nearly complete performance of their surprise album Star Wars, but from the minute they took the stage it was obvious that they were up for the challenge.
Kicking off with “The Fox” from their final pre-hiatus album The Woods, Sleater-Kinney regaled the nearly 20,000 festival attendees with a monstrous 20-song set of hits, deep cuts and new material. They held nothing back with Tucker, one of the most underrated singers in rock music wailing away on the mic, while Weiss flailed away behind her, superbly accenting heavy stomps on the kick drum with masterful fills.
Brownstein, per usual, remained the visual focal point of the show with her enigmatic stage moves and signature high kicks, including one that got away from her and sent her tumbling on her back. Ever the pro, she managed to recover immediately and hardly missed a beat.
The crowd seemed equally split between fans who responded boisterously to the group’s older back catalog and those with a greater affinity to this year’s No Cities to Love which kept the energy level high throughout the entire set. Brownstein made sure to assuage their worries that the title track from that record was not about Chicago, before admitting after the song’s conclusion that she’d written it while staying in a hotel in the city.
After a day where the elements nearly got the best of the 10-year-old festival, and a lineup replete with boisterous, shimmering indie rock bands, Sleater-Kinney brought just the right kind of attitude and volume to close things out with an amazing bang.
Sleater-Kinney -- Setlist, July 18, 2015
“Bury Our Friends”
“No Cities to Love”
“What's Mine Is Yours”
“One More Hour”
“All Hands on the Bad One”
“A New Wave”
“Words and Guitar”
“Dig Me Out”
“You're No Rock n' Roll Fun “