Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS
Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/20/2010

In concert: Liz Phair at 9:30 Club

By Dave McKenna

liz phairLiz Phair spent plenty of time in "Guyville" Friday at 9:30 Club. (All photos by Evy Mages/FTWP)

Part of Liz Phair's charm when she came onto the indie rock scene in the early 1990s was that she couldn't sing on key and suffered from stage fright. At the 9:30 Club on Friday, she showed she's long past the stage fright, anyway. And she's still a charmer.

There was no obvious pitch-correction technology being used or lip-syncing taking place during Phair's set; if any tape was used, it was the sort that would prevent Phair's hussified outfit (skimpy skirt and blouse, studded belt, choker necklace, leggings and high heels) from malfunctioning. But from her opening tune, the poptastic rocker "Supernova," through several rough cuts from her iconic 1993 debut "Exile in Guyville," to material from her latest release, "Funstyle," it was about the songs and attitude.

liz phair

From its age, the crowd seemed loaded with folks who've been with her from the start. But Phair, strumming barre chords on various low-end Fender electrics, turned her backing rocker trio most loose when rendering the new "Oh, Bangladesh." Phair, 43, wasn't afraid to dust off "Why Can't I?" and "Extraordinary," tunes with massive radio-friendly choruses from her 2003 eponymously titled record. That's the project for which she retained the Avril Lavigne/Britney Spears smash-writing team (the Matrix) and thereby lost all her indie cred and a portion of her following of cool kids for the crime of selling out. Whoever wrote 'em, they're both fun songs, and from the crowd's kudos after each, it appears that all is forgiven.

To balance things out, Phair also performed the most radio-unfriendly tunes from her songbook. For "Flower," a "Guyville" cut with a giggly supply of bad words and graphic sex references, Phair brought two female members of the crowd onstage to help her croon vulgarities. The newcomers couldn't hold a tune either, but by song's end they were warbling along with their hero so shamelessly they might as well have all been in the shower, and everybody in the building was smiling.

liz phair

liz phair

liz phair

By Dave McKenna  | December 20, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags:  Liz Phair  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: In concert: Usher at Verizon Center
Next: In concert: Justin Townes Earle at 9:30 Club

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company