Bikini Kill is a feminist punk band that started in Olympia, WA, and later moved to Washington, DC. The band was active from 1990 to 1998. Although they sometimes switched instruments, the primary lineup was Kathleen Hanna on vocals, Tobi Vail on drums, and Kathi Wilcox on bass. Billy Karren joined on guitar after the band had played several shows as a three-piece. Bikini Kill is credited with instigating the Riot Grrrl movement in the early ’90s via their political lyrics, zines and confrontational live shows.
Bikini Kill started touring in June 1991. In addition to touring the US several times, they also toured Europe, Australia and Japan. In The band recorded and released a demo tape, two EPs, two LPs and three singles. With the exception of their demo tape, which was self-released, all their records were released by the Olympia-based record label, Kill Rock Stars. In 2011, the band cut ties with Kill Rock Stars and began rereleasing their albums through their own label, Bikini Kill Records.
Bikini Kill believed that if all girls started bands the world would change. They actively encouraged women and girls to start bands as a means of cultural resistance. Bikini Kill was inspired by seeing Babes in Toyland play live, and attempted to incite female participation and build feminist community via the punk scene. They used touring as a way to create an underground network between girls who played music, put on shows and made fanzines. This informal network created a forum for multiple female voices to be heard.
Kathleen, Kathi, and Tobi (along with guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle) are thrilled to announce they will be regrouping to play shows in NY and LA in spring 2019.
“Celebrate they did, though there was also a shared sense of purpose marinating in the venue. One could feel the unspoken agreement that – while there is a lot of work to do to combat all of the recent legislative and judicial attacks on reproductive heath, gender-affirming care, and democracy in general – tonight was a time to dance and recharge in order to rise to fight another day.”
By the end of the first song there is one undeniable truth: Bikini Kill is just as paramount today as they were 30 years ago. Formed in 1990 in Olympia, Washington, Bikini Kill broke into music with the intention of igniting change. They were a beacon of resistance and actively encouraged other women to embrace their power. Kathleen Hanna is credited for coining phrases such as “girls to the front” and the infamous “girl power.” Their influence on alternative music and feminism during recent decades has been immeasurable. Now back on tour, the women who helped pioneer the Riot Grrrl Movement are reminding us all that our anger is our power.
“Some musicians aren’t invited to play the Sydney Opera House. They’re invited to fight against it. Bikini Kill are such a band, which is something lead singer Kathleen Hanna noted numerous times during their set, in between blasts of raucous, compact punk.”
“In the last 30 years, much of what Hanna fought for has materialised and to see them back together is a vindication of their fraught mission. The Riot Grrrls of the 90s are now women of the new millennium. Yet there’s still plenty of work to do, giving the music an enduring contemporary relevance while retaining its abrasive causticness”
“Over the last thirty years, Kathleen Hanna has been at the forefront of punk and politics. From pioneering the genre of riot grrrl with Bikini Kill to melding third-wave feminism with electro-pop in Le Tigre, Hanna’s music has always rallied against the norms of the day. But despite the music’s specificity, many of the messages still feel frustratingly vital. Chatting with Maps ahead of Bikini Kill’s 2023 Australian tour, Hanna discusses her frustration with the band’s relevance: “I wish that this band had no business being on a stage again” she tells Fee, “the thing that’s really upsetting is that [we’re] still relevant”
“I had the great fortune of seeing Bikini Kill recently and have been buzzing since. I have been going to concerts my whole life (I am 55) and good ones always linger, but this one hit different. It is less the music following me, and more the energy and feminist badass-ery that Bikini Kill imparted upon the thousands of us who were there”
Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” listed as the 10th best song of the 1990s!
“Rebel Girl” is a call to arms. Fuck the patriarchy! Ride a motorcycle in a minidress! Fall in love with your best friend—not metaphorically, literally kiss her on the lips! Set alight by snarls of guitars and bass, the song tells us that love is a revelation, an invitation to worship your friends, to see them as beautiful, to shout from the streets that girls matter. That we’re angry. That we’re all geniuses”
Bikini Kill had to postpone many dates of their July tour as a member tested positive for Covid, and now they’ve announced rescheduled dates. They’ll happen in spring 2023, starting in Nashville on March 30 and including stops in Atlanta, Asheville, the DC area, Philly, Boston, Burlington, Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Knoxville, plus a newly added show in St Paul.
Bikini Kill have announced a rescheduled run of North American tour dates that are set to take place in 2023. After the band was forced to postpone recent shows due to COVID-19, the rescheduled dates are scheduled to take place next March and April. There’s also an added date in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Redmond’s Marymoor Park has hosted lots of great concerts this summer. Next up is the feminist punk band Bikini Kill, who will take the stage Sept. 17. Doors open at 5:45 and tickets start at $44.50. Get more details here.
Bikini Kill reunited in the spring of 2019 with original members Kathleen, Kathi and Tobi. After two years of rescheduled dates Bikini Kill returned to Portland, Oregon to open up two nights of shows at The Crystal Ballroom.
There wasn’t really a script. But it’d be tough to write a better one.
Feminist punk icons Bikini Kill hadn’t played a full show together in more than two decades when the Olympia-formed band announced a trio of 2019 comeback gigs in Los Angeles and New York.
The ’90s are back. No, not the summer temperatures but choker necklaces, flannel shirts, skater jeans and riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill. The influential feminist punk rock band sprouted from the fertile Olympia grunge/punk soil in the early 1990s and played its last show in Tokyo in 1997, after three albums and a career as fiery, exhilarating and concise as their songs — which rage against the sexist machine. The band, whose “girls to the front” credo ignited a movement, announced a Pacific Northwest reunion tour in November of 2019. (We all know what happened next.) The rescheduled Bikini Kill tour makes its final stop in Marymoor, one of the few shows that have not sold out – yet.
One of Bikini Kill’s best songs is one of their most overlooked. In two and a half minutes, “Outta Me” packs in more emotional nuance than the band usually left room for. Riot grrrl has meant, and continues to mean, many things to many people. But when I think about the central tension of being a woman trying to move through the world, “bein’ in love,” “bein’ in hate,” and just feeling fucking bled dry often seems like the right way to put it. But that’s probably just how everyone feels. “Outta Me,” in its bittersweet efficiency, transcends riot grrrl, it but also sort of defines it — if anything ever could.
‘The songs blasted by in a blur, but Hanna reminded us that “Suck My Left One” is about her 13 year old sister getting harassed by older men. A Bikini Kill show is a lively, fun punk rock gig, but the messages are as important as ever. There’s still work to do. Smash the patriarchy.’
‘There wasn’t much funny business, but there was plenty of joy as the original line-up of vocalist Kathleen Hanna, drummer Tobi Vail and bassist Kathi Wilcox on bass — joined by guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle — entertained a cross-generational crowd. The show, one of more than 50 on their tour, was the band’s first L.A. appearance since their four-night residency at the Hollywood Palladium in 2019, which marked their return to live performances after more than two decades away.’
Orange County Register
‘When Bikini Kill in 2019 played its first full shows in more than two decades, the response was overwhelmingly positive.
“If anything, people were singing a little too loud, so I couldn’t hear myself,” Hanna says, laughing. “Which is not a bad problem to have.”’
“…Riot grrrl may have never returned, but Bikini Kill did, and when the feminist trailblazers announced they were reuniting to play one-off bicoastal gigs in 2019, the demand was so intense, every show they added sold out within seconds of going on sale…”
Consequence of Sound
Legendary feminist punk band Bikini Kill recently regrouped for 10 thrilling performances in select cities NYC, LA and London + a special headlining Riot Fest appearance, marking their first full shows since 1997. These shows sold out quickly and the enthusiastic fan response encouraged the band to launch a more expansive run. Their recently announced 2020 international tour dates are selling out quickly and today, the band is thrilled to announce additional dates with stops at NYC’s Prospect Park Bandshell, Red Rocks, Burger Boogaloo and a special second show in Olympia.
The reunited Bikini Kill have been rolling out 2020 tour dates, and now they’ve added even more, including Oakland, CA’s Burger Boogaloo in July, and shows at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on August 4, Morrison, CO’s Red Rocks Amphitheater on October 21. Tickets for Prospect Park, and all the new dates, go on sale Friday December 13 at noon, with a fan presale starting Wednesday December 12 at noon; the password for that will be available via the band’s newsletter.
The 2020 Burger Boogaloo initial lineup has been announced, and this year, it’s headlined by the reunited Bikini Kill in their first Bay Area show in 25 years. The lineup also features Circle Jerks, Flipper, Alice Bag, Carbonas, Bleached, and host John Waters. It takes place from July 11-12 in Oakland’s Mosswood Park.
Bikini Kill have also expanded their upcoming 2020 world tour dates. Find their itinerary below, and get tickets here. (Pitchfork may earn a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.)
The initial lineup for the 2020 edition of Burger Boogaloo has been announced. It includes the reunited Bikini Kill, who will play their first Bay Area show in 25 years as part of the fest, and Circle Jerks, who will play their first Bay Area show in 10 years.
The band will kick off their tour on March 13th in Olympia, Washington with a special Interfaith Benefit show. Interfaith Works Nightly Shelter is a shelter/homeless program that works specifically with women and LGBTQ adults in that area. After that, the band will remain on the road through a Milwaukee gig on May 24th. Tickets go on sale November 8th.
Bikini Kill have announced a 2020 international tour. The tour kicks off in March with a benefit for Interfaith Works in Olympia, Washington. Check below for the full list of shows.
Today, the iconic ’90s punk group Bikini Kill announced a 14-date 2020 world tour, kicking off where the band was founded, in Olympia, Wash. on March 13. This first show, at Capitol Theater, is a special one, as it will benefit local female- and LGBTQ- focused homeless shelter, Interfaith Works.
Bikini Kill have announced a 2020 concert in Olympia, Washington. The show is set for Friday, March 13 at the Capitol Theater and will benefit the nonprofit Interfaith Works.
Their songs excoriated rape culture, their motto was ‘girls to the front’ – and they inspired Nirvana’s biggest hit. Now Bikini Kill are back with a mission still relevant in 2019
The New York Times
And a few boys, too. When riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill played their first New York show in 22 years, these are the fans who showed up — one as early as noon and two who hadn’t told their parents. Hi mom and dad!
Less than a month after a spate of state legislatures voted to enact sweeping abortion restrictions, 3,000 people, mostly women, swarmed Kings Theatre in Brooklyn to bang their heads, shake their hips, and scream. It wasn’t a protest, but the audience was angry. Bikini Kill, one of the preeminent feminist punk bands of the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, was playing one of four sold-out shows in New York—their first since they broke up in 1997, the year that I was born.
Consequence of Sound
Bikini Kill delivered a true cherry bomb to their fans in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. For their third show at King’s Theatre, the reunited outfit brought out longtime friend and collaborator Joan Jett for a performance of “Rebel Girl” off 1993’s Pussy Whipped.
Bikini Kill have been performing their first shows in 22 years, and Joan Jett recently was featured as a special guest on a stop in true riot grrrl fashion.
Joan Jett joined Bikini Kill onstage in Brooklyn last night (June 4) to perform the band’s track ‘Rebel Girl’.
Read more at https://www.nme.com/news/music/watch-joan-jett-play-rebel-girl-bikini-kill-brooklyn-2505219#j2wZB59ScISQdOyI.99
Bikini Kill aka Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail and Kathi Wilcox disbanded in 1997, but the world never stopped talking about them. Their legend status has only become more crystal clear in the past few years, as we’ve entered a spell of post-Trump Riot Grrrl fever, and young people look to the past for protest music that speaks to their anger and anxieties.