SLEATER-KINNEY/THE ROGERS SISTERS at Webster Hall, 8/2/06

Not a review as such, as of course I am biased (how many times will I write that over the next few years?), but last Tuesday’s final-ever Sleater-Kinney show in New York City was pretty hot. I mean that literally, as it was one of the hottest days the summer had seen, and didn’t really abate much once the sun went down. After experiencing pretty terrible service at Republic (to be fair, the food when it finally arrived was tasty), my good friend Lisa and I high-tailed it over to Webster Hall, much to the chagrin of those who couldn’t partake in the sold-out action.

As I am the product manager for The Rogers Sisters, I exploited what priveledge I could (ha!) to get tickets and passes, which was nearly impossible since it was announced that they were opening well after tickets had sold out (that’s right, so don’t get all jealous – nobody else from the office got to go). It’s not just “the job,” though: I’ve been friends with Jen and Laura for nigh on a billion years (ok, not that long), and passing up the chance to see them in such a great venue where the audience was totally jazzed would’ve been criminal. And you know what? The Rogers delivered, like all git-out. I ain’t just saying that. After years of seeing them play (and that includes the very excellent, very under-rated Ruby Falls), this might’ve been the absolute best time I’ve seen them, and that includes lots of shows going back over ten years. Salud, Sisters!

I’m sure I’ll draw even more ire when I say that I have never been a S-K fan, but it’s the truth, I haven’t. The only other time I’ve seen them was when they opened for Guided By Voices (another non-fave I have respect for, but ain’t really into) at Central Park Summerstage back in ’97 (in the Matador internship days), and at the time I thought the vocals were too shrill (a la Belinda Carslile), and the music not “interesting” enough. Well, despite not knowing their songs at all (and only really having listened to The Woods twice, which is twice more than the rest of all their records), I have to say they also totally killed it that night. The crowd enthusiasm alone was enough for any decent band to feed on, but these girls shore did get stronger with every crazed round of claps, yells and hollers. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself when a band holds the audience in its pocket in such a way. So to the gals of S-K, I say, congratulations on a career well-rocked.

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