Sleater-Kinney played BJ's in Fredonia back in December of 2004. The band had been in town during November recording at Tarbox Studios. These songs would become their album The Woods. This was their first album on Sub Pop after several years of releases on Kill Rock Stars. It would also turn out to be their last album, as the band went on hiatus in 2006.
The show happened on a snowy Thursday night. It was December 16th, which was probably the last day before the college closed for winter break. There was a brief power outage in the downtown area at about 10:00 PM, which could have jeopardized the whole evening. Luckily the lights came back on and things could go on as planned.
Since Sleater-Kinney had just finished a new album, the BJ's show was a tune up for a New Year's Eve concert at Madison Square Garden. They were opening for Wilco and the Flaming Lips. Every so often a band that records at Tarbox will play a show at BJ's. This has happened before with Mogwai, Phantom Planet, Longwave and MGMT.
There was a good turnout for the show. It wasn't the most packed that I've ever seen the bar, but Sleater-Kinney certainly weren't playing to the bartender and the walls. The crowd was supportive because they were hearing new songs many months before they were officially released.
I'm not a huge Sleater-Kinney fan and at the time of the show I only knew their One Beat album. The then new songs sounded pretty good. The band was solid and put a lot of energy into the show. I guess there were some complaints from long time fans that their favorite older songs didn't get played, but that seems to be a moot point six years after the fact.
And that's the story behind another show in Fredonia from some time ago.
1. Sleater-Kinney were the only band that played. There was no opening act.
2. In going through my old photos, the walls used to be a lot cleaner at BJ's.