(photos: Sydney Peterson)
I am one of those people that gets really excited when a legendary band brings on a musician to open that I feel will be one day legendary. Though really, many can say that Allison Crutchfield is already a legend. She isn’t even 30 and has already released a discography from a band she and her twin sister (Katie of Waxahatchee) started when they were teenagers; P.S. Eliot.
The Crutchfields always have had the spirit of Riot Grrrl in them, so hearing that Allison Crutchfield and the Fizz were opening for The Julie Ruin was the perfect surprise.
Walking into The Fillmore, I grabbed an apple and rushed to the front, because I’ve loved Allison’s first solo album Lean In To It and was so excited to hear it live. To see these songs that she wrote in her childhood house, come to life in front my eyes, and get even more excited for the new album (said to come out next year on Merge).
Her band was amazing as well — I could not keep my eyes off the drummer who was incredibly talented and didn’t flinch when a drumstick flew out of their hand. I was just so happy to be there, and finally see them live. To finally hear them all play “No One Talks” in person.
The show itself was filled with irony, with the scattered tall dudes still not abandoning their front spots, and still blocking my view. Though my favorite tall dude was the one that was holding his date’s beer as she danced along to every Julie Ruin song. There was even a guy up front in a Sleater-Kinney shirt, who didn’t leave his spot the whole time, whom I tried not to stare at while Kathleen Hanna sang the lyrics to “Mr. So & So.”
For me, the most important parts of this show were the five following:
- The crowd was diverse in age and gender, though all leaning toward more femme punks. On one side of me was an elderly couple that looked like they could be my parents, and from the other side a crowd of young girls screaming along to everything Kathleen preached.
- The crowd was very welcoming, especially when I did decide to dance along in the pit of shorter femme-appearing angels.
- Kathleen Hanna is a legend for a reason, and watching her live, you get to remember where she came from, how important she’s been, and all she’s gone through. Even with that, she jokes about society, screams at the politics we all cringe at, and dances to remind you: Hey, you can still have fun, enjoy yourself, and make a difference.
- There was one part, during the encore, Hanna stopped for a bit, and dedicated the next song to those with invisible illnesses. Mentioning how hard it can be to even go outside sometimes, because who knows how much energy enjoying yourself will take. I cried to her speech, because I understood. I knew that after tonight I wouldn’t be able to have the energy to do much. I was right, but seeing she who speaks out against stigma and dances without fear, gave me hope for the things I can do, even with invisible illnesses.
- When all the girls, all the fans, all the femmes, danced and sang together during “Rebel Girl.”