September 17 • 7:15 pm
Seeing Bikini Kill at a 5,000-capacity outdoor venue in the summer of 2022 might seem like a weird phenomenon for original fans of the iconic riot grrrl pioneers, who surfaced over 30 years ago in Olympia, Washington’s DIY punk scene. (The group’s current lineup includes original members Kathleen Hanna, drummer Tobi Vail, and bassist Kathi Wilcox, with guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle replacing token male Billy Karren.) Led by galvanizing frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill rejected punk’s macho sensibilities with a much-needed dose of feminist philosophy and rage.
Although their music mirrored trad punk’s no-frills, noisy bluntness and concision, Hanna’s lyrics and onstage banter brutally kicked against the misogynist pricks and empowered girls and women with inspirational righteousness. Messages of female autonomy—belted in Hanna’s splenetic, Johnny Rotten-esque inflections—flowed as freely as guitar feedback throughout Bikini Kill’s small but potent canon. Maybe—just maybe—a whole new generation of rebel girls will arise from this concert. If you notice a dearth of snarky indie-rock dudes at the Marymoor, you can bet they’re attending the concurrent Pavement gig at the Paramount.
| READ MORE: Seattle Times’ Michael Reitmulder talks to Hanna who says “… to me, our time is now.”