Le Tigre Roar at the Greek: It feels like we were only just at the Greek, watching Kathleen Hanna’s riot grrl pioneers Bikini Kill. Yes, in fact, [quick check of notes], it was April of last year. Yet here we are, 15 months later, watching Hanna’s other reformed hellraisers Le Tigre. Long may she continue resurrecting these important bands.
Because fuck, Le Tigre were and are so important. They might not get the same historical headlines as Bikini Kill retrospectively get, though Hanna pointed out to us last April that they weren’t necessarily popular at the time.
“I think people don’t realize that we weren’t a popular band – Bikini Kill was a very niche thing,” she said. “People either really loved us or wanted to literally kill us. There were a lot of ‘you guys don’t even deserve to exist,’ kind of sentiment. So to come back and be like, we do deserve to exist and actually, these songs – sadly, sadly, sadly, sadly – are feeling more relevant now than they did then. It’s great that I feel like singing the songs again when I didn’t feel like singing them for 20 years, but jeez, I would rather that the world was a better place. I wish I could sing about flowers.”
With Le Tigre at the Greek Theatre on Sunday evening, Hanna said something similar by way of introduction to the song “Seconds.” Originally written about George W. Bush, she said this week that it makes her think of (paraphrasing) a bigoted, racist asshole that she doesn’t want to name, though she hopes our minds are full of sunshine and rainbows. With this crowd, in a world still suffering because of Trump, that’s doubtful.
“Where’d you get all the attention,” she sings on “Seconds.” “Your dad’s money too base to mention, His coattails are looking worn, You’ve had a nice ride, that’s for sure, Better thank your brain-dead clientele, For all the money that you’ll spend in hell.”
I mean… if that couldn’t have been written about Trump in 2020…
That’s a theme that runs through this entire show — the lyrics are timeless and, like Bikini Kill’s, as relevant if not more relevant today as they ever were. They were both primal and raw, and technologically savvy. Their electro-punk recalled the likes of the Screamers, maybe a touch of Suicide and Public Image, with that vital riot grrl lean. Who else would have written a conversational song about film director John Cassavetes, and his various positive and negative traits?
The rest of the set was a fan’s dream, covering all three of their magnificent albums. “On the Verge” and the ode(ish) to New York City that is “My My Metrocard” were particular highlights, but the whole show was a super-relevant color-dream of inclusivity and feminist power. The message remains all important, and these amazing musicians will be heard.
Earlier, Chicago non-binary “bedroom pop singer/songwriter” Claud opened the show and make a lot of friends. They were already popular with a significant chunk of the crowd, but tunes like “Wish You Were Gay” captivated a whole lot more. Expect big things.
Le Tigre Roar at the Greek: Visit letigre.world for more info.
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