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Photo by Jonas Akerlund
Photo by Jonas Akerlund
03/14/2018

Pussy Riot Embarks on First-Ever U.S. Tour: Group Descends on Portland for Two Nights at the Doug Fir Lounge

By LISA HELFER // The Russian collective, featuring Nadya Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich will play two nights in Portland next week on March 20 (sold out) and 21, 2018 at the Doug Fir Lounge. 

“The Devil has laughed at all of us … We have no future if we allow mockery in front of great shrines, and if some see such mockery as a sort of bravery, an expression of political protest, an acceptable action or a harmless joke." Patriarch Kirill condemning Pussy Riot's actions as blasphemous.

"A punk is someone who knows how to ask the world uncomfortable questions and does everything possible to make sure the world can't cop out of answering those questions. A punk is a person who lives and breathes astonishment. Astonishing other people and astonishing yourself — that's what art is for us, and without art, life can't exist. It would be too boring." A 2015 statement from Pussy Riot.

Mysterious detentions, unwarranted arrests, months of imprisonment, penal colonies, beatings by whip-wielding police, hunger strikes, chemical attacks, oh Pussy Riot, your art and music are a terrifying, uphill battle, but you persist. Over the last decade, your form of female, political dissident art summons the fight to change. Your rally cries are felt and respected worldwide. Thank you for screaming a lot and inspiring us to scream with you. May your voices continue to rise and vibrate those devils and their compatriots right out of this galaxy...very soon...

On March 6, 2018, in Chicago, the Moscow-based, protest, punk rock, feminist group, Pussy Riot, embarked on its first-ever “live music performance art” United States tour. Their opening date was described as “part pop show, performance art show, and political rally,” by Jessi Roti of The Chicago Tribune.  

The Russian collective, featuring Nadya Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich will play two nights in Portland next week on March 20 (sold out) and 21, 2018 at the Doug Fir Lounge. Additional tour dates include stops in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Boston. Check their Facebook Page for concerts in other U.S. cities over the next few months.

Founded in 2011, the group had a ranging membership of 11 women who were between the ages of 20 to 33 (by the year 2012). Today, the group is a much smaller configuration, a bit less punk and more in the electro-pop space, but their political foundation does not falter.

In a recent interview with Inc. Magazine, Tolokonnikova discussed the group's history and current tour, “Pussy Riot has never done normal concerts in a usual sense of this word, and we intend to continue this tradition. Events that we organize are political rallies, not concerts. We intend to make the audience (want) to leave the venue or the festival, (and) go out and act.”

Pussy Riot released the xxx EP in 2016, which includes the tracks “Make America Great Again,” “Straight Outta Vagina,” and “Organs.” Their most recent single was titled, “Police State”.

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