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Sleater-Kinney at the Ogden Theater, February 12th 2015 (Denver, CO)

According to opening act and feminist hip-hop artist Lizzo, Sleater-Kinney’s show at the Ogden sold out within ten minutes. Such a fact hardly comes a surprise: the universally loved punk trio was universally absent after their last tour ended in 2006. The consequence of such a long hiatus? A venue predictably full to bursting with a crowd simultaneously nine years and ten minutes in the making.

Greeted by thunderous applause, Sleater-Kinney opened with “Price Tag” from last month’s triumphant No Cities to Love, then transitioned into “Ironclad” from 2000’s All Hands on the Bad One. The band alternated No Cities’ best cuts with heavy hitters from past albums during the first half, recovering from early hiccups with veteran speed and composure.

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Somewhere past the halfway mark, Sleater-Kinney started visibly enjoying themselves, grinning at one another as they steamrolled forward. Co-frontwoman and guitarist Carrie Brownstein relaxed, venturing away from her microphone to whip her hair, high kick and strut around during her solos. The audience responded in kind, devouring “All Hands On The Bad One” and the deliriously fun “Little Babies.” The history-heavy second half featured only two cuts from No Cities, including “Bury Our Friends,” dedicated by Brownstein to her friend and recently deceased New York Times columnist David Carr. Few would peg the heavy track as an effective memorial, but like everything else with this band, it worked strangely well in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that it probably shouldn’t have worked at all.

Sleater-Kinney waved goodbye and walked offstage just past the one-hour mark. It took the audience – stomping, cheering, and clapping at an impressive decibel – less than three minutes to convince the trio to return for an encore. After proclaiming the band’s commitment to women’s rights, co-frontwoman and guitarist Corin Tucker restarted the euphoria by ditching her instrument and grabbing the microphone to belt “Gimme Love.” The final two songs – “Modern Girl” and contemporary classic “Dig Me Out” – were the stuff of punk rock dreams.

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Forget old and wise. Old and wise doesn’t sell a venue out in ten minutes. But loud, fierce, feminist, and unapologetic? Now we’re talking.

Setlist

Price Tag
Ironclad
Fangless
Get Up
Surface Envy
Oh!
No Anthems
Start Together
No Cities To Love
What’s Mine Is Yours
A New Wave
Words and Guitar
One Beat
All Hands on the Bad One
Bury Our Friends
Little Babies
Entertain
Jumpers

Gimme Love (encore)
Call the Doctor (encore)
One More Hour (encore)
Modern Girl (encore)
Dig Me Out (encore)

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Elle is a writer and art student based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter: @ellecoxon

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