Review and photos – Liz Phair at Venue, Vancouver, Oct 15 2010
– review by Shawn Conner/photos by Robyn Hanson
In a brief preview for her Vancouver show, the local weekly ran an absolutely ridiculous blurb on Liz Phair. In it, the anonymous author equated Liz Phair and songs like “H.W.C.” (aka “Hot White Cum”), “Fuck and Run” and “Flower” (with the line “I want to be your blowjob queen”) with an actress who will have to one day explain her appearances in movies such as (and here I paraphrase), Desperately Horny Housewives IV and Fuck My Children.
With this kind of press, who needs enemies?
Anyway, no point in feeling too bad for Phair. Even 17 years after her groundbreaking Exile in Guyville album, the Chicago singer still attracts a decent-sized crowd. It’s been awhile since she released anything noteworthy (her two most recent albums were widely reviled by the indie-rock faithful for their mainstream tendencies), but a mostly adoring crowd came out to Venue for an early Friday night show.
The audience responded excitedly to the old “hits” (“Stratford-on-Guy”, “The Divorce Song”) and enthusiastically to the more recent pop stuff (“Extraordinary”, “Why Can’t I”). (The couple of songs from her latest release Funstyle were greeted somewhat more tepidly.) This was definitely a better show, thanks to full band, than the one we caught in Vegas, where it was just Phair and another guitar player.
Near the end, Phair invited someone from the audience to join her on “Flower”, and a young woman named Tori eagerly jumped onstage to sing along. Apparently this is an old gimmick of Phair’s, but no one seemed to mind. In the eyes of many of the women in the audience, if not some local journalists, she’s still a hero.
More Liz Phair Vancouver photos: