She’s already a member of Grrl Prty, but now Lizzo is about to become a card-carrying Riot Grrrl. Minneapolis’ thriving rapper has been tapped to open the first leg of Sleater-Kinney’s spring tour, the famed Northwest blast-punk trio’s first series of shows in a decade. It’s just her opening the gigs, by the way, no one else.
Still going around the world touting her late-2013 release “Lizzobangers” – she did a U.K. trek opening for Chvrches in November -- the real-life Melissa Jefferson will be there to perform at S-K’s Feb. 8 kick-off at the Knitting Factory in Spokane, Wash., and stay through the March 2 date in Toronto, with the Minneapolis stop at First Avenue coming a week into the caravan on Feb. 14. Talk about a hometown love fest.
Our show and most of the shows have long since sold-out. Milwaukee's performance quickly got moved to the Riverside Theater from Turner Hall, demand was so high. The going price locally for scalped tickets starts at just under $120 on Stubhub for the First Ave gig.
Lizzo’s management would not divulge how she landed the gig but hinted at a bit of good luck coupled, of course, with her rising reputation. The news was bittersweet for her DJ/producer partner Lazerbeak of Doomtree, whose troubled past as a punk-rocker (ex-Plastic Constellations) predictably means he’s a big S-K fan, but who has infant twins and a toddler to tend to at home and can’t make the tour. “Ryan Olson and I had a good 10 minute freakout over the phone when we both found out about it,” he said, mentioning “Lizzobangers” other co-producer. Instead, Lizzo will likely be joined by drummer Ryan McMahon (also of Har Mar Superstar’s band) and hype-grrrl Sophia Eris on the tour.
While she was only 17 and living in a very non-indie city the last time Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss performed as Sleater-Kinney (in 2006), Lizzo reportedly was turned onto riot-grrrl punk bands a few years ago and knows what she’s getting herself into. Everyone seems to agree that this could be the tipping point to turn our Prty Grrl into a major indie player -- if she’s not already there.
Sleater-Kinney's new album, "No Cities to Love," is now streaming via NPR Music ahead of its release next Tuesday. It's monstrous, too.