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Photo Gallery: Sleater-Kinney with Black Belt Eagle Scout at Riviera Theatre • Chicago

| March 23, 2024


Riviera Theatre

Chicago, IL

March 21, 2024

Recap and gallery by Curt Baran

Loss loomed large during Sleater-Kinney’s performance at the Riviera Theatre in Uptown Thursday night. The Olympia, Washington duo (expanded into a quintet for touring purposes) are out promoting their tenth studio album (Little Road) and grief certainly seems to be riding shotgun. While tracking the record back in 2022, Carrie Brownstein (co-guitarist and co-vocalist) received word that her mother and stepfather had been killed in an automobile accident.

It would have been perfectly expected if the band had stopped recording. But they (co-guitarist and co-vocalist Corin Tucker) found solace and healing in pushing forward.

During their performance, even forces outside the music seemed to push against them. During songs like “Hell” and “Needlessly Wild,” the stage lighting seemed to project a mournfulness, creating shadows and silhouettes that both masked and compounded the grief.

Although there was certainly a smattering of newer material played (“Say It Like You Mean It,” “Hunt You Down,” and “Don’t Feel Right”), also present were reminders that celebrated the joys of the past (“Dig Me Out,” “Jumpers” and “All Hands On The Bad One”). Consumed as a whole, it was an encapsulation of life’s peaks and gullies Or, succinctly put, art imitating life.

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