On Tour: Violent Femmes

The band from my high school days just will not quit; this is a good thing for the music world, as everyone should be exposed to Violent Femmes.


It’s hard for me to believe Violent Femmes have been around since 1980. Perhaps it’s because I vividly remember my high school and college days filled with this band from Milwaukee. They have toured on and off together in various versions of the band from 1980 to 1987; 1988 to 2009; and now 2013 to the present day. The band includes singer, guitar player, and songwriter Gordon Gano; bassist Brian Ritchie; and current drummer John Sparrow.

Violent Femmes have become known as one of the best punk/alternative bands of the ’80s, selling over nine million albums by 2005. Some of their best-known songs came from the self-titled debut album in in early 1983, including “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” “Add It Up,” and “Gone Daddy Gone.”

They were discovered by James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders on August 23, 1981, while performing in front of the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee. Chrissy Hynde invited them to perform an acoustic set after the opening act, and from there, as they say, it was history.

In March of this year, the group put out a new album—their ninth—entitled We Can Do Anything. Violent Femmes are a band for all ages, and one you do not want to miss. | Tracy Fort

Violent Femmes play St. Louis’s The Pageant on July 14. Full U.S. dates are as follows; more is information is available on the band’s website.

06.04 | Wichita Riverfest, Wichita
06.05 | Free Press Summerfest, Houston
06.14 | Mr. Small’s, Pittsburgh
06.15 | The National, Richmond VA
06.17 | WRFF 104.5 9th Birthday Show, Camden NJ
06.19 | Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park NJ
06.21| Lincoln Theater, Washington DC
06.23 | Norva, Norfolk VA
06.25 |Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick MD
06.26 | Meriwether Post Pavilion, Columbia MD
07.05-06 | First Avenue, Minneapolis
07.07 | Summerfest, Milwaukee
07.09 | The Vogue, Indianapolis
07.10 | Saint Andrew Hall, Detroit
07.12 | Concord Music Hall, Chicago
07.13 | Vic Theatre, Chicago
07.14 | The Pageant, St. Louis
07.16 | KRZZ Beach Ball Buzz, Kansas City
07.17 | Cain’s, Tulsa
07.19 | House of Blues, Dallas
07.20 | Stubbs, Austin
07.22 | Newport Folk Festival, Newport RI
07.23 | Kerfuffle 2016 Festival, Buffalo NY
07.24 | Massey Hall, Toronto ON
09.24 | The Park at Harlinsdale Park, Franklin TN

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