One of the more influential bands of the '90s underground scene, Bikini Kill has left a lasting mark on punk and indie rock. The trio not only had a brash and abrasive take on punk, but it actively encouraged the increased participation of women in the scene. Remembered as spearheads for the riot grrrl movement, Bikini Kill released two full-length albums and several singles before disbanding in 1997, reuniting for a one-off concert in 2017, and announcing a reunion tour in 2019. Although it's been a while since they performed live, fans can expect a frantic, aggressive, high-energy show from the established punk outfit.
Feminist Punk Icons
Founded in Olympia, Washington, in 1990 by vocalist and songwriter Kathleen Hanna, guitarist Billy Karren, bassist Kathi Wilcox and drummer Tobi Vail, the quartet took its name from a feminist fanzine published by Hanna and the others. The group's fiery politics were not limited to its lyric sheet. Bikini Kill encouraged women to come to the front of the audience and told the slam dancers to take their antics to the side. The band followed up ots 1991 cassette debut the following year with a vinyl debut, the Bikini Kill EP. Featuring in-your-face anthems like "Suck My Left One," the trio broke new ground for female musicians. As Spin magazine put it, "There was punk before this album, and after." Joan Jett produced the next EP, Yeah Yeah Yeah. 1994's album Pussy Whipped included "Rebel Girl," a song later covered by Mike Watt as well as the Melvins with Teri Gender Bender. While similar artists, such as Sleater-Kinney, eventually broke through to a larger audience, Bikini Kill's influence was - and remains - considerable.
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Is Bikini Kill touring in 2019?
Bikini Kill have reunited to play several shows in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New York City, London and Chicago. In Los Angeles, the band will play the Hollywood Palladium before playing the King's Theater in Brooklyn and Terminal 5 in New York. After performing at the Brixton 02 Academy in London, the quartet will play the Chicago Riot Fest later in the year.
Who are the current touring members of Bikini Kill?
The band consists of three original members Hanna, Wilcox and Vail with Erica Dawn Lyle deputizing for guitarist Billy Karren. This is the first time the core members of the band have toured together in 22 years.
What is Bikini Kill playing on this tour?
Setlists span the band's catalog, including 25 or so songs such as "I Hate Danger," "Feels Blind," "Reject All American," "Carnival," "Double Dare Ya" and "Rebel Girl," among others.
Who are the opening bands on this tour?
In Los Angeles, Alice Bag opens. Bag sang with the Bags, the legendary late '70s Angelino punk band. Otherwise, Bikini Kill is drawing upon an eclectic assortment of up-and-coming artists to open its shows. Punk and post-punk is covered by Palberta, Pinnochio and Gauche. Rapper Sammus will also be an opener at one of the concerts.
What other bands might I like if I enjoy Bikini Kill?