words, photos, and video by John Yingling
Wild Flag, an all-girl quartet consisting of Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney), Mary Timony (Helium), Rebecca Cole (the Minders), and Janet Weiss (Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) played their first-ever Chicago show this past Friday (7/22) at Subterranean.
I had only watched a handful of songs on that NPR live-stream they did a while back, but I was instantly floored by the music they were making. At the root of it all, I just wanted an excuse to see Carrie Brownstein scream away in such a small environment as Sub-t. To no surprise, Wild Flag translated extremely well live! Rebecca and Janet held back-up vocals in the brief moments the guitars went silent, sometimes bringing the entire building to an uproarious scream. People LOVED this show. Lots of talk about these women being their idols; the band grinned and laughed the whole time. In a past interview Brownstein said "chemistry cannot be forced", and they really needed no forcing. It was a great set that seemed effortless to them.
The following night, Wild Flag headlined the Wicker Park Fest.
You can view more of John's pictures, and some video footage below..