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The Julie Ruin At Mod Club

Punk legend Kathleen Hanna took the stage at Mod Club on Saturday, April 5th with her new band The Julie Ruin for a show that no one in attendance will be forgetting anytime soon. Hanna is best known for pioneering the feminist Riot Grrrl movement of the early ‘90s with her band Bikini Kill and then later as the singer for electro-punk band Le Tigre in the early ‘00s. The last time Hanna was in Toronto was 10 years ago for Le Tigre’s final tour in 2004, so her fans have been waiting a long time for her to make a comeback to the music scene. Well, she’s finally back. And hopefully for good.

Oh Come On” official video:

Kicking off the night was New Jersey punk band Screaming Females. The band played loud and aggressively and really managed to capture the crowd’s attention for the duration of their 30-minute set. Lead singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster has garnered quite a reputation for herself as an impressive guitar player and as it turns out she more than lives up to the hype. “This girl can shred!” one audience member was overheard exclaiming between songs. And they weren’t kidding either.

The Julie Ruin’s set began at around 9:00 and contained a nice mixture of new material off of their latest album Run Fast with some Le Tigre and Bikini Kill covers thrown in for good measure. Kathleen Hanna proved that, despite being out of the spotlight for 10 years, she still has what it takes to put on an engaging, high-energy performance. She bantered and joked with her bandmates and the audience, broke out some pretty killer dance moves, and seemed to genuinely enjoy being on stage again. At times it seemed as though she was chatting with a group of friends that she hadn’t seen in a while rather than a bunch of strangers in a crowded venue.

The biggest difference longtime fans of Hanna will notice is that she is no longer as outspoken as she used to be. The Julie Ruin seems to be a decidedly less political band than both Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, with Hanna herself even noting that much of the lyrics are more personal and introspective rather than political, but it’s not totally devoid of those sentiments either. The song “Girls Like Us” was introduced with a message about the importance of diversity within feminism, and there were a few other moments like that peppered throughout the set, but mostly the evening had a more lighthearted feel. It was evident that Hanna just wanted to have a good time and not get too preachy. Either way, the crowd was loving it.

Run Fast” live in San Francisco:

The Julie Ruin tour dates:
Sat 05/17/14 Hamberg, Germany, Kampnagel
Sun 05/18/14 Berlin, Germany, Bi Nuu
Appearing at “Les Nuits Botanique”
Tue 05/20/14 Brussels, Belgium, Orangerie
Thurs 05/22/14 London, United Kingdom, Tufnell Park
Sat 05/24/14 Leeds, United Kingdom, Brudenell Social Club
Mon 05/26/14 Brighton, United Kingdom, Brighton Coalition
Tue 05/27/14 Paris, France, Fleche D’Or
Appearing at “Primavera Sound”
Fri 05/30/14 Barcelona, Spain, Parc del Forum
Appearing at “Pitchfork Music Festival”
Sat 07/19/14 Chicago, IL, Union Park
Sun 07/20/14 Minneapolis, MN, Triple Rock Social Club
Wed 07/23/14 Vancouver, BC, Fortune Social Club
Fri 07/25/14 Portland, OR, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom

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