Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Live Shows: Sleater-Kinney and Black Belt Eagle Scout, Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA 3/17/24

Poster by Daykamp Creative

It takes a lot to get me to go out in Boston on St. Patrick's Day. Literally every stereotype about Boston becomes true that day, and I've made the extra drive to Providence for shows on work nights to avoid seeing a band play on St. Patrick's Day. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and I couldn't imagine that Sleater-Kinney fans would be a drunken, obnoxious crowd, especially at this point in all of our lives, so I headed out to the Paradise to finally see Sleater-Kinney for the first time.

I was definitely right about the crowd. Out of a sold out crowd of about one thousand, I only spotted two people doing the funny green hat/green beads/green shirt thing, which is a near miracle in Boston. Nobody was there to party or booze it up. Everyone was there for Sleater-Kinney.

Sleater-Kinney are at the point in the career where they can do virtually whatever they want, and Sunday night's show at the Paradise proved that. The setlist focused mostly on newer songs, and they even played nine out of ten songs of the recently released Little Rope. The classics were placed sporadically throughout the set, but the audience didn't seem to mind. This was definitely a crowd that has seen Sleater-Kinney multiple times and isn't just there to relive their college years. And they were also thrilled to be seeing their heroes in a venue much smaller than they typically play these days.

Plus, Sleater-Kinney are one of the tightest bands out there today. They're the utmost of professional musicians, and brought a light show with them that blows away anything I've ever seen at this size venue. Sometimes it's great to see a band multiple decades into a career just nailing it, and playing a great new album they're obviously excited about.

Black Belt Eagle Scout opened the night playing as a trio. I've wanted to see Katherine Paul's musical project again ever since she opened for Julia Jacklin at Great Scott over five years ago. It was well worth the wait as her performance was transcendent. I'm not sure if she had any fans in the audience before her set, but she quickly won over the crowd with her unique version of indie rock meets alt-pop. I remembered her guitar playing being face-melting at Great Scott, and Paul has gotten even better since I last saw her. Black Belt Eagle Scout is a force to see live, and hopefully I don't end up going another five years until the next show.

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