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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

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Sleater-Kinney rocks Granfalloon with The Linda Lindas and My Son the Hurricane

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The biggest event of the summer Granfalloon festival is the main stage concert, which has boasted nationally touring acts such as Japanese Breakfast and The Flaming Lips, went off with a bang last night as My Son the Hurricane, The Linda Lindas and headliner Sleater-Kinney closed out the festival. 

East Kirkwood Avenue was closed off for the festival’s events, and hundreds of attendees filled the street awaiting the first act.  

As Danny Elfman’s “The Batman Theme” blared over the speakers, Ontario-based opener My Son the Hurricane burst onto the stage and began their first song, soon joined by their famous multi-horn brass instrumental arrangement, who came marching up onto the stage. 

Frontwoman Sylvie Kindree brought the energy with her signature groovy dance moves and animated performance style. Despite a recent injury, Kindree pranced and jumped around the stage throughout the entirety of their set, warming up the crowd before the next acts and closing out with a brand-new song and a spirited rendition of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” 

Next, the half-Asian, half-Latinx, all-girl punk group The Linda Lindas stormed the stage and launched into their song, “Linda Linda,” as their introduction.  

The teenage, Los Angeles-based band told the crowd that it was their first time in Bloomington. It was “one of the longest sets we’ve played,” said bassist and vocalist 16-year-old Eloise Wong. They played their album, 2022’s “Growing Up,” as well as paid homage to their punk and Riot grrrl inspirations with covers of The Muffs’ “Big Mouth,” The Go-Go's “Tonite” and Bikini Kill’s iconic anthem “Rebel Girl,” which the crowd screamed along to.  

They also performed “Found a Job” by Talking Heads, which they have recorded for the upcoming official tribute album, “Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense.” 

Between songs, the band spoke casually to the crowd, and despite their newfound global fame, it was as as if the attendees were watching four best friends perform their favorite songs together. And in some ways, it was. The band is comprised of sisters Mila and Lucia de la Garza, aged 13 and 17 respectively, their cousin, 16-year-old Eloise Wong and 19-year-old Bela Salazar. 

The group ended their explosive punk set with their most famous song, “Racist, Sexist Boy,” which went viral in 2020 after they performed it at the Los Angeles Public Library. 

To end the night, Sleater-Kinney, the trail-blazing feminist punk band and one of the most important Riot grrrl bands of the early 90s, began their hotly anticipated performance with “Hell” from their latest album, “Little Rope,” which they released this past January. Sleater-Kinney was formed in 1994 at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein.

As the night began to fall, Kirkwood was filled with a sea of music fans, stretching down the streets and with spectators watching from atop the Graduate Hotel.  

The band performed an exhilarating mix of their latest releases and plenty of beloved tracks from their older discography, such as “One More Hour,” “All Hands on the Bad One” and their ballad, “Modern Girl.”  

They also shared they were happy to share the stage with The Linda Lindas, who represent the future of feminist punk, and gave a shout-out to Girls Rock Bloomington, the local nonprofit group for young girls and transgender youth. The band “The Sera-Tones,” formed by Girls Rock campers, performed at Granfalloon earlier in the day. 

“We got to watch the Bloomington rock camp play some songs today over on the other stage and they were very inspiring and very awesome. Hope that’s an organization that you guys are supporting,” Carrie Brownstein, one half of Sleater-Kinney’s vocals and guitars, said to the crowd in reference to the Girls Rock Bloomington performance on the second stage.  

Sleater-Kinney concluded the set with a riotous rendition of one of their biggest hits, “Dig Me Out,” from their breakthrough album of the same name, and the crowd jumped and screamed along.  

The musicians left the stage, but the crowd continued to applaud and shout, until the lights came back on, and the band launched into an encore performance of “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” and “Entertain.” 

It was an explosive night that represented the revolutionary ideas of Kurt Vonnegut’s works and was the perfect finale to this year’s festival.

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