Bikini Kill – Live @ The Eastern

Time simply does not pass in vain. Memories are created, influences forged, music goes from in-the-moment to cult following to plainly important. Maybe not, who is to say, but it feels like that is the pattern followed by one, Bikini Kill. Banded over 30 years ago in Olympia, Washington, the Kathleen Hanna-led foursome is a punk power force to be reckoned with. Noted for their fiery lyrics, dynamic performances and, of course, as one of the pioneer bands from the Riot Grrrl movement of the ’90s.

But, enough of the history lesson, this is about the now. This is about present day BK, this is about the current run of US tour dates. On stage, the ladies of Bikini Kill appear to be more comfortable and content on dais. Maybe it is the fruit of decades of hard labor, maybe it is the mellow down of age. Nowadays, the band has more of a “Thank you for coming and spending your time with us” attitude than that “Thank you for coming and spending your time with us, let’s fuck shit up” from yesteryear. Nonetheless, that is mere nitpicking to an otherwise phenomenal night.

While the punchy energy has slowed down, the message is louder, clearer and wiser. Hanna and company know how to oomph the crowd. Word play to song, song to cheer, cheer to declaration; all while shredding and pounding those instruments, delivering banger after banger and engaging beautifully with their crowd. It seems like a simple formula, but in the world of entertainment, relevancy matters. Time has proven, Bikini Kill has aged and matured like fine wine. They were ahead of their time way back when, the world is now slowly catching up to them.

Over the course of over 20 songs – culminating with the encore of anthem “Rebel Girl” – the ladies of Bikini Kill play to their strengths, play to an apparently sold out venue, play in the name of the voiceless needing a voice. It may sound cliché, but after long hiatuses, it is a good thing that the concert circuit has Bikini Kill filling up venues and belting out those plainly important tunes. Lucky those that have their tickets ready for upcoming shows, lucky those planning on going. That being said, the ladies have a few more stops lined up, if they are stopping by a venue near you, go catch it. It is not everyday that legends pass around your way. Especially, badass legends.

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