Wednesday night, the Corin Tucker band played at The El Ray with The Golden Bears and Wait. Think. Fast. I am a long-time Sleater-Kinney fan, and I absolutely love Corin’s new solo album 1,000 Years, so I was beyond excited for this show. I am happy to report that the night exceeded my expectations. All three bands were a treat, and I left the El Rey happy and feeling like I had actually gotten to go to a show where I wasn’t bored for two-thirds of it, waiting for the main band.

Corin Tucker

Wait. Think. Fast., the first band to take the stage, is a really cool Los Angeles band. Singer-pianist Jacqueline Santillan has a captivating voice, and I loved that the songs were in both English and Spanish. I appreciated the dimension and diversity it added. Jacqueline had a really great stage presence too. She would scrunch up her face with emotion and make sweeping arm movements reaching out towards the crowd as if to draw us into her. The last song that they played especially stood out to me. It reminded me of a ’50s girl group ballad, but way more vivid and haunting and not kitschy.

Jacqueline 1

Next on the line-up was Portland’s The Golden Bears. I was really taken with this band. Lead singer Julianna Bright and guitarist Seth Lorinczi were entrancing. Julianna came off very charming and eccentric. Barefoot in an all-white pant suit, she looked over at the gaps in the audience and invited everyone to move in closer and “snuggle up.”

Julianna Bright

At first it was just Seth and Julianna performing a quiet song together. Then Julianna went over to the drum kit as two other guitarists took the stage. She started banging the bass drum in a rhythmic beat while shaking maracas and singing a sweet song. I was thinking that this was just going to be one of those quiet and melodramatic bands when all of a sudden she lost the maracas and started banging on the drums like Animal from the Muppets! The song just took off from there. Julianna shone bright behind that drum kit while the three guitarists in front seemed to be playing to her as though she was their musical matriarch. Seth was also a treat to watch. With every note he played on the guitar, he looked so exacting and concentrated. He would dance along to each string as he hit them. After every song finished, he would look out at the audience and grin like he was having the greatest time of his life. I couldn’t help but smile back, because they were just that magnetic.

Seth Lorinczi

The Golden Bears and Wait. Think. Fast. did a really great job of stirring up my excitement and making me ready and raring to go for when The Corin Tucker Band came out. To see Corin take the stage for the first time since 2006, when I went to one of Sleater-Kinney’s farewell shows, was so exhilarating. She looked amazing as usual in a black miniskirt, fishnets, and blue glittery top. The audience packed in closer, and people abandoned their seats to stand up and witness this punk-rock goddess in her new incarnation.

Corin Guitar 1

They started with their song “Pulling Pieces,” and it just sounded beautiful. Corin’s unique voice was in full effect, powerful and captivating. The band was tight and flawless. I also loved that Julianna Bright often came back on stage to jam with them. Plus they had two girls who played cello and violin on a couple songs and one of the guitarists from The Golden Bears for another song. So along with Seth on the his guitar and Sara Lund on drums, it was like one big happy family. I loved that the audience felt really supportive too. Every song ended in cheers and whistles, and it felt like everyone was out to make the band feel loved and encouraged.

Corin Seth 1

The crowd became audibly excited when playing their most known songs “Riley” and “Doubt.” Corin led everyone in hand claps to “Doubt,” and the audience was so into the song, they actually gleefully handclapped the entire way through it. They also nailed the triumphant come-back vibe of “1,000 Years” with a great addition of a piano melody by Seth. On their more dramatic songs, “Dragon” and “It’s Always Summer,” Corin’s voice was especially compelling. Other highlights of their set were the two covers they performed. One of which was the ultra-hip song “Cool” by Pylon. The other was The Au Pair’s song, “So Obvious.” Both Sara Lund and Julianna Bright came out to play drums for “So Obvious,” which added even more power to the beat. Meanwhile, Corin seemed to be so happy in her element, smiling at the crowd and jumping up and down all while fiercely playing the guitar.

Corin Reverse

It was such a great show that I never wanted the curtain to close. I left the El Ray in love with three new bands, two of whom I had never heard before. I was already a fan of The Corin Tucker Band, but after that night, I’d go see any one of these bands again in a heartbeat.

The Corin Tucker Band
Corin Guitar 2
Seth Guitar 1
Corin 2

The Golden Bears
Seth 2
Julianna 2

Wait. Think. Fast.
Jacqueline 5
Guitarist 1
Guitarist 2
Drummer 1