Liz Phair at the Fillmore

Liz Phair, circa 2004

Perhaps I’m dating myself, but I remember a time when Liz Phair was a fresh and promising voice in alt-rock, a sultry siren singing of balding lotharios and of being oral royalty. I remember seeing a then-rare, live performance at her alma mater, Oberlin College, in which I became permanently smitten with this smart, sexy, direct woman.

Then came her brief dalliance with The Matrix production team.

In an attempt to gain her more mainstream appeal (and the resulting record-label profits), The Matrix teased out such teeny-bopper atrocities as “Extraordinary” and “Why Can’t I?” And while those songs might have redeeming messages of girl-power and self-confidence, they remain overproduced and contrived. At best.

Anyone who caught her last show at the Fillmore, during the ironically-named Chicks with Attitude tour, saw the worst and blandest of Phair. Popped-out and tween-friendly to the point of caricature, she half-heartedly played to a half-empty room. After the outstanding set by The Cardigans just prior, Phair just looked that much worse.

Which makes me that much happier to write a preview for her latest SF show, also at the Fillmore, on Monday, June 23. You see, Exile in Guyville will be reissued on the 24th, and to mark the occasion, she will be performing the album in its entirety. The other three Guyville shows, in Chicago and New York, are already sold out.

So here’s to coming full circle, another mesmerizing show by the irrepressible Phair, and a night of recaptured glory. Oh, and blow job queens.

Tickets through Live Nation

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