Concerts

Pussy Riot Announce 2020 North American Tour Including Date In Houston

Pussy Riot performing at Day for Night in Houston in 2017.
Pussy Riot performing at Day for Night in Houston in 2017. Photo by Jack Gorman

Russian feminist, protest-punk-group Pussy Riot have announced a 19-date 2020 North American tour partially benefiting Planned Parenthood; the activist group is scheduled to perform in Houston at White Oak Music Hall as a part of this tour on April 10.

One dollar from each ticket sold will directly go to the Planned Parenthood location in each city through a partnership with PLUS1, a charity that has raised over $7 million to help out various local organizations through this method according to their website.

If you are one of those people who think that musicians should shut up about their political beliefs and just play their songs, Pussy Riot is not the group for you; the band gained fame worldwide when five members staged an unscheduled performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012 to protest the Orthodox Church leaders' support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Pussy Riot consider to be a brutal dictator. As do most sane people.

Three members of the band were arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for this performance, charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred;" the harsh sentence was strongly criticized by human-rights groups, particularly in the Western world.
In America we see lots of musicians speaking out and protesting about all sorts of things; we kind of take that freedom for granted. I have to wonder how many famous musicians like Bono or Sting would have the courage to speak out against Putin if they were Russian citizens, knowing that they could be thrown in jail because of it?

It should be noted that the Cathedral of Christ protest was not the first protest performance put on by Pussy Riot and it certainly wasn’t the last one, nor was it the last time they have gotten into trouble with the Russian government because of their outspokenness.

Pussy Riot’s political beliefs are left of center; lyrical content includes support for feminism, LGBT rights, and of course opposition to Putin. Pussy Riot is actually more an open-membership collective that stages political actions than a band; they make videos of these actions and release statements explaining what they just did and why, and what they want.

Pussy Riot does indeed make music though; they are kind of a throwback to the protest bands of the 1960s and the anti-war peace movement. Kind of refreshing to have a group like this out in the world today when we have so many popular pop bands in America now that are “about as deep as a bird bath”, to steal a quote from David Crosby when he was asked about Britney Spears.

Pussy Riot is a group worth checking out and supporting when they stop by Houston; so many modern punk and metal bands in America are out there posing and bragging about how tough they are but it takes some serious courage and toughness to speak out against a real life repressive dictatorship when you are living under it.
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David Rozycki
Contact: David Rozycki