Written by: Shila Bimji
Where: Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Canada
When: June 12, 2019
Rating: 4 out of 5
Heading: L7 leading the girls club on the floor
It was still daylight out, therefore, the remaining moments of the sunset leaked into The Commodore Ballroom allowing me to see, under natural light, those around me. A collection of misfits in plaid, leather and partially faded hair colours representing every colour of the rainbow with long roots to show. A cross between "I don't care hair" and "I'm still 90's" hair.
We are older now but there's still a 90's riot girl in all of us. Most of us are now riot moms out for the evening and then there are neo feminists like myself just wanting to rage. Unlike the show at the Rickshaw, this show had more male representation, however, the majority of the evening was ladies in the front and men in the back.
I came to the show with a few of my girlfriends. While walking down Granville I saw groups of ladies out on the patio with martinis in hand, whilst me and my bitches were ready to get it real in the pit.
Most of us came in support of each other after bad breakups. While others were earning their cred to tell their boyfriends at home. There's nothing that turns on a guy more like a riot girl holding her own but tonight it was all about girl squad, which got extended quickly as we all made other friends in the crowd while waiting for the band.
LE BUTCHERETTES opened up the show with war cries that were a signal for those in the back to gather around close to hear angry stories. The band were very entertaining to watch. All of them had a unique stage presence and personality and collectively had an eye catching charisma.
Of course when L7 hit the stage the collection of lovely ladies danced and headbanged to the songs we all grew up with and some new songs off their album Scatter The Rats. The old material blended well with the new and created stunning collective energy.
I found this show to be better than the Rickshaw due to the sound mix which allowed me to get more into this one than the last. Also the band themselves seemed in better spirits playing a nice venue like The Commodore.
The minute I heard the opening song ‘Deathwish’ off of one of my retro 90’s Columbia House 10 CD’s for a penny selection, Smell The Magic, my inner Riot Girl came out! Of course hearing some favourites off of Bricks are Heavy is always a treat for me.
The ladies themselves had amazing chemistry. As with the Rickshaw show they all looked as though they were having a good time and were comfortable in their role as well as a collective.
As I watched Donita and Jennifer, although they weren’t my guitar influences growing up, I felt as though I was 15. They were the reason I believed that girls could rock and if it wasn’t for actually seeing Donita and Jennifer on stage and on Much Music I would’ve truly believed it was a man’s world. They were also a huge influence, aside from Bikini Kill, for me to even start a zine in the first place.
My favourite moment of the show was on all the ladies were singing Andres with a smile and a smirk. Let’s face it, we all have an Andres in our lives. I just ended a relationship with one. The crowning jewel of the moment was when Donita, as gorgeous as ever, asked the audience if anyone had a current sociopath in their lives.
Of course I proudly raised my hand as well as 4 others who were awkwardly in the same boat as I but we laughed it off. The only time I’ve been able to wear this badge proudly.