The lovely and luscious Liz Phair closed her 2004 U.S. Spring Tour at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, April 4, 2004, in Washington, D.C. The District setlist balanced stellar back catalogue favorites with bold new compositions from her 2003 self-titled disc Liz Phair.
Her support musicians appeared on stage first and commenced a band-jam prior to Phair's entrance. Liz kicked the evening off with the infamous "Flower", sporting a wire-mike headset. This number aroused cheers and applause from the enlightened audience.
Ms. Phair vamped a pose center-stage during "Rock Me" off the new album. Liz held her guitar by the neck while she sang this heavy-pop rocker. "Uncle Alvarez" was a pleasant surprise, which was highlighted by her electric rhythm guitar intro. "This is great - you guys actually have lights", was a spontaneous remark she made to the Capitol crowd.
"My Bionic Eyes" was accentuated by a rock-tempo punch powered by tough drums and deep bass lines. Phair exclaimed, "This is it! This is the last night!", in reference to her final date on the current tour. Audience cheers greeted "Divorce Song", which spotlighted the cohesiveness of her tight unit.
Phair took a seat behind the keyboards for a stark version of "Chopsticks". Her male guitarist contributed electric guitar phrasing for effect. The audience erupted in applause when the number was completed. Pounding drums propelled the pop-rocker "Extraordinary", which also incited audience delight.
"Now I'm gonna go back, way back in time, to my first single", was Phair's introduction to "Never Said", another classic Phair track off 1993's Exile In Guyville. Phair repeated her seductive pose and sung the provocative "Favorite" sans guitar as she held onto the tiptop of her guitar neck.
Phair performed solo with just electric guitar on "Hurricane Cindy", available on her new E.P. C.D. five-track single Comeandgetit that was distributed to concert attendees FREE at the merchandise booth. Her mellow-tempo tale of celebrity tail generated another immediate applause-fueled eruption. The crowd-pleasing "Supernova" was a tour-de-force grunge-jam with a cool rock-style crescendo.
Phair and group returned on stage for an extended encore set, which was launched with a rocked-up rendition of "Mesmerizing". Phair announced, "Happy End of the Tour to us", and invited touring female partner Rachelle on stage to sing a funky cover of "Shining Star".
A drum-driven "F-ck And Run" featured a strong vocal from Phair. The outrageously charming-but-catchy "H.W.C." brought her outstanding performance to a premature climax as the throng clamored for more. Phair toasted the audience and departed the stage, but amazingly returned after a spell and squatted front-and-center to sign autographs for lucky hardcore fans that congregated after the gig.
DC setlist: Flower * Polyester Bride * Rock Me * Johnny Feelgood * Uncle Alvarez * My Bionic Eyes * Divorce Song * 6'1" * Chopsticks * Extraordinary * Love/Hate * Help Me Mary * Red Light Fever * Never Said * Favorite * Hurricane Cindy * Why Can't I * Supernova * Encore: Mesmerizing * Shining Star * F-ck And Run * H.W.C.
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Golden Beauty on Guitar
Liz Phair wraps up Spring Tour in the District
by Timothy Tilghman