When it was announced The Land Before Extinction T-shirt . that the group would reunite to play a few dates in major cities at the beginning of this year, I stormed the Internet along with thousands of other fans to buy tickets. Within five minutes, all of the New York shows had sold out—a result that felt distinctly un-punk. Reunion tours can feel a little bit like the dead coming back to life, but they are also, cynically, a money-making opportunity. The extremely corporate venue choices, like Terminal 5, prompted similar criticism from those who had waited in line to buy Bikini Kill tickets from box offices decades ago. Of course, Bikini Kill is now far too big of a band to play the tiny punk venues of their origins, but it was strange to realize that, as a fan, if you were going to see them on this tour, it would be in bright, shiny stadiums where beer costs
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Luckily, Terminal 5 on Saturday night had the aura of a DIY show The Land Before Extinction T-shirt . Sammus, a rapper from upstate New York, opened up the night with a tight, genre-straddling performance. In between songs, she addressed the violence of living in a police state as a black woman. As her set wrapped up and she thanked the audience, there were tears in her eyes.When Bikini Kill went on shortly after 9:00 p.m., I experienced an instant head rush. The band played fast and they played loud. I was standing directly underneath the venue’s mammoth sound system, so when Wilcox drove the bass and Vail smashed into the drum kit’s cymbals, I could feel it in my nose. New guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle moved her hands up and down the neck of her instrument as effortlessly as if she were breathing. “New Radio” quickly turned into “Jigsaw Youth,” the crowd transformed from a group of people to a collective body, in solidarity for the love of the music. I put my hands over my ears at one point because of the sheer magnitude of the noise. The woman standing next to me handed me a pair of ear plugs.I surrendered to the barbed-wire quality of Hanna’s soprano, and all of the cacophony that boiled from beneath. Vail and Hanna took turns with vocals, and with stage banter, which, like Sammus earlier in the night, was laced with politics. Hanna talked extensively about the Trump administration, DIY ethics, and Pride Month. All of it was in earnest, and some of it was corny, but in a lovable, “your coolest high school English teacher giving you some life advice,” type of way. I left with my ears buzzing.
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