Sleater-Kinney – The Tuning Fork: May 15, 2024 (Concert Review)

Sleater-Kinney brought their Little Rope Tour to Auckland last night, not at The PowerStation, as originally advertised, but the much smaller Tuning Fork.

Fittingly, the show was sold out, but one wonders why ticket sales were slow to begin with and how many would have eventually gone to The Powerstation show.

During the early 2000’s, the band were regular visitors to Auckland playing 5 shows during three separate visits…2 at The Kings Arms in 2002…another at KA in 2006 along with a slot at the Big Day Out…and most recently, a show at The Powerstation in 2016.

So it has been a while.

During that time, the band released 4 studio albums and parted ways with long-time drummer Janet Weiss.

These days the band is essentially a duo with founding members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker fronting backing musicians Angie Boylan (drums), Toko Yasuda (keys) and Teeny Lieberson (guitar & keys).

Office Dog

Office DogThe evening got underway with local lads Office Dog, led by Kane Strang and taking the stage just after 8pm while punters were lining up outside, waiting to get into Spark Arena to see Jungle. But we know where are the cool kids were to be found.

Office Dog did their thing, playing tunes from their album, Spiel, but I couldn’t help think that the evening called for a louder, harder-edged band. As I said, Office Dog were fine, but I guess I was looking for a band with more “bite”.


By 9pm the place was packed and most of the punters outside were safely tucked away within Spark Arena. The band opened with Hell and Needlessly Wild, the first two tracks from new album, Little Rope (click here for the 13th Floor album review).

So far, so good.

Sleater-KinneyCarrie addressed the crowd admitting to being a bit confused as to what day it was or where she was (welcome to my world).

But the band was sounding excellent, Corin’s lead vocals were stunning and Carrie’s guitar playing (and leg kicks) was rocking.

There was more banter after Small Finds, noting that they would also feature tunes from 2019 album The Center Won’t Hold but, curiously, nothing from 2021’s Path Of Wellness.

They did dig back to the 1900’s, sprinkling the set with tunes from Dig Me Out and The Hot Rock.

But as the show progressed, Carrie’s voice faltered and she finally admitted about 45 minutes in that “my voice is shot”.

Fortunately it is Corin that handles most of the lead vocals and she was sounding in top form. Unfortunately, they did drop four songs from the set list in order to give Carrie a break, leaving us with a truncated set that ended just over an hour after it started.Sleater-Kinney



Sleater-KinneyThese things happen and, to be fair, Carrie’s guitar playing almost made up for the shortened set.  But with Janet gone, Sleater-Kinney is basically the Carrie and Corin show and with Carrie struggling to sing one couldn’t help feeling as though we’d been a bit short-changed.

So it was an early end to the evening and strangely, The Tuning Fork closed the bar as soon as the last note rang out from the stage, leaving a venue full of thirsty fans with no option but to wander off in search of refreshment elsewhere.

Don’t get me wrong, the band sounded great…we just needed more!

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Michael Jeong


Office Dog:

Sleater-Kinney setlist:

  1. Hell
  2. Needlessly Wild
  3. Bury Our Friends
  4. The Center Won’t Hold
  5. Small Finds
  6. The Future Is Here
  7. All Hands On The Bad One
  8. Hunt You Down
  9. Start Together
  10. Hurry On Home
  11. Don’t Feel Right
  12. The Fox
  13. Dress Yourself
  14. One More Hour
  15. Untidy Creature
  16. Say It Like You Mean It
  17. Dig Me Out

Click here to watch the 13th Floor interview with Corin Tucker.