Carrie Brownstein last night brought WILD FLAG, her new supergroup of ‘90s indie icons, to a sold-out Brighton Music Hall, marking the young quartet’s biggest show to date. “We’ve been trying to play mostly to spaces that hold 80 to 150 people,” Brownstein told the crowd.
Apparently just fine with the Allston club packed-out with a head count nearing 350, the former Sleater-Kinney front-woman shredded and kicked her way through an hour-long set with former SK drummer Janet Weiss, Rebecca Cole of the Minders on keyboard, and Mary Timony, formerly of Helium, on guitar. Between songs, Timony recalled attending nearby Boston University in the early ‘90s and living on Islington Street in Allston, located just four blocks away from the new-ish Brighton Music Hall, which occupies the space formerly run as Harpers Ferry.
For Sleater-Kinney superfans, Wild Flag sounds like a bluesier, more psychedelic endeavor: the songs are rooted in pop and punk structures, but are warped and spaced out at times, with distorted riffs that meander and melt their way through patches of loud improvisation. Though the four all share vocal harmonies, with Timony frequently taking lead guitar and vocals, Brownstein is the clear bandleader, hunching over her guitar and burning through bluesy solos, which, at times last night, brought her whole body to the floor. (See: the last video in this post, around 6 minutes in.)
Wild Flag sold copies of their Britt Daniels-produced 7-inch release last night ("Future Crimes" and "Glass Tambourine"), which will be available on Record Store Day, April 16, via Merge. A debut album with Merge, which Brownstein said will have a “live album feel” to it, is also in the works. Until then, the single is available to stream online here.