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Concert Review: Sleater Kinney @ Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom

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Sleater Kinney brought the rock at their sold out show in Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom.

They did such an excellent job with their frontal assault, in fact, that it almost doesn’t seem necessary to describe the number of songs the girls took on with ferocity over the course of the night. The thunderous grooves emanating from Janet Weiss’ drums. The Grace Slick wail Corin Tucker delivered, shaking the audience to bits. Carrie Brownstein, with her raucous guitar riffs and bouncing demeanor. Everything seemed to fall into place for the band who are currently on tour in support of their latest release on Sub Pop records, The Woods.

Starting off their set with the opening tracks from The Woods (“The Fox”, “Wilderness”), Sleater Kinney took no time capturing their audience’s attention. Following the new tunes came “One More Hour” from 1997’s acclaimed Dig Me Out. The mixture of classic and new has become a concert staple, but in this case it shows that their music stands together as a solid body, and their shows haven’t dulled because of it.

While the audience was mostly made up of young adults and those not yet distant from their tweens, there was no target demographic in the house that night. This lack of social concentration was an open declaration of Sleater Kinney’s musical progression, moving past their fundamentalist riot grrrl punk ideals and choosing instead to create an openly appealing, brutally haunting sound. With this transition they may have taken upon a wider fan base, but in the end they have become more fascinating, and this has crossed over to the live show.

Ultimately the Beachland show followed a fascinating circuit. There was no steam lost over the course of the evening and new favorites “Entertain” and “Rollercoaster” made sure of it. On the encore front, the cover of “Mother” garnered huge applause while “Dig Me Out” left everyone satisfied, though salivating for a quick return.

If you have a pulse and are within driving distance of a venue hosting them, be sure to check Sleater Kinney out.

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About M. R. Benning