L7. Summit. 10.19.22
The first time I witnessed L7 on stage, “Bricks Are Heavy” was two years old. “Hungry for Stink” had just been released, and these punk rock girls (in their 20’s and 30’s) were sharing the stage with The Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Green Day, The Breeders, Nick Cave, and others. It was Lollapalooza ’94, the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. The event was held at an open-air theater at San Diego State, and it was insane!
Flash-forward almost thirty years, and those same punk rock girls (women) are on stage at Summit in Denver, Colorado, and I am in the photo pit. We’re all much older, but the songs sound the same, the crowd is amped, and I’m as into their set as I was as a teenager. Donita isn’t auctioning off a night on the bus or throwing used tampons at the crowd, but she still plays the Flying V(agina) and drops f-bombs like they are the most essential words in the English language. Jennifer is still rockin’ cutoff denim shorts, and Suzi hides her cool behind dark black sunglasses while Demetra proves she’s still The Goddess of Thunder behind the kit.
The Bricks Are Heavy 30th Anniversary Tour isn’t a victory lap or cash grab. It’s a legit punk show brought to the youth who weren’t around in the ’90s and a reason for us old folks to bang our heads and jump in the pit to songs like “Pretend We’re Dead” (“if you leave after this one, we’ll hunt you down.”) and “Shitlist.”
The entire album was played front to back; the stories of domestic abuse, shitty surfers, and other “true stories” were performed to perfection before the “pressure was off,” and they were able to settle into the second half of the set which was made up of selections from the rest of their catalog.
The main set ended with a cover of Bowie’s “Suffragette City” before they came back out for an encore of “Fast and Frightening.”
San Antonio-based female punk rockers Fea opened the night, and I can’t think of a more appropriate opener.
L7 Setlist: Wargasm, Scrap, Pretend We’re Dead, Diet Pill, Everglade, Slide, One More Thing, Mr. Integrity, Monster, Shitlist, This Ain’t Pleasure, Andres, Fuel My Fire, Shove, Stadium West, Non-Existent Patricia, Fighting the Crave, War With You, Drama, American Society, Suffragette City, Fast and Frightening