Setlist History: Bikini Kill Debuts "Rebel Girl" In Fargo

In the early 90’s, the riot grrrl movement was an unapologetically feminist takeover of punk rock. With roots in DIY and zine culture, the bands that formed during that time unleashed both anger and girl love in equal parts. And arguably the biggest band to emerge from that movement was Bikini Kill.

Less than a year old on September 21, 1991, when they played Exit 99 in Fargo, North Dakota, Bikini Kill would rock a setlist that included multiple debuts. With only one demo album under their belt at the time, the band would expand their sound and unleash the anthem most associated with riot grrrl to this day.

Bikini Kill plays "Sugar" live in 1993

The foursome from Olympia played many of their songs for the first time: “Jigsaw Youth,” “Alien She,” “Blood One,” “Hamster Baby,” “Tell Me So,” “Sugar” and “Star Bellied Boy.” Many of these would end up being later recorded for their 1993 major label debut Pussy Whipped, though earlier versions appeared on their homemade demo Revolution Girl Style Now and releases through the Kill Rock Star label.

Bikini Kill setlist - 1991

The biggest song to debut that night, though, was unquestionably “Rebel Girl.” The song lyrically praises a cool girl in the neighborhood who ushers in a revolution, with the chorus proclaiming “Rebel Girl you are the queen of my world.” The themes of rebellion and sisterhood echo through, explosively stating the core ethos of riot grrrl itself. It’s no wonder that song, Bikini Kill’s most played ever, is the song associated with the movement.

Bikini Kill plays "Rebel Girl" in 1996

While they originally broke up in 1996, Bikini Kill has reunited in recent years to play live shows. In fact, they just released a list of dates for 2023, most of them shows that were rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can grab tickets here starting on Friday, September 23. Girls to the front!

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Last updated: 5 Oct 2022, 03:03 Etc/UTC