The Surprise At Liz Phair

Shannon and I last week bought tickets to the Liz Phair show playing at the Kool Haus located in downtown Toronto. I haven't been to the Kool Haus (formally known as the Warehouse) for quite some time (Lowest of the Low concert) and its been updated quite nicely to a trendy hip place to be from the downright dreary place it once was.

We got there well before the doors opened, we had planned on much greater amounts of traffic than what was actually there; so we plopped ourselves in line and started to chat about various things with an older gentleman and his daughter. Turns out he is a big concert goer, and loves Juliana Hatfield (I finally met another serious fan!) I hope in 20 years I'll be able to take my kids to concerts and enjoy the same music and not be stuck in the 90's... but the 90's were such a good decade for music (erm...)

Once in the doors Shannon and I sat down for a quick drink and listened to a Tori Amos copy-cat.. she sounded good, but I think she needs to find her own sound to really make her mark. The second band came on that was also kinda blah. A girl fronted band that sounded good, they just need some lyrics or a better singer to really do well. All and all, the first 2 opening acts have some room to grow, but I wouldn't count either of them out just yet -- Now if only I could remember their names. (UPDATE: Tori Amos sound-a-like was Charlotte Martin, and the other band was Katy Rose)

So we thought Liz Phair was to take the stage next, but we were pleasantly surprised when she didn't. The Cardigans took the stage next and ripped out a great performance, reminding me of why I loved them so much years ago -- I need to pick up some of their newer material. Shannon, who has never seen them live, nor heard much of their material also throughly enjoyed the show and became an instant fan. BTW: Singing backup for The Cardigans was none other than Emm Gryner!

Liz Phair was next, and also put on quite the show. However we were disappointed with her choice of Microphone. She used a headset microphone that sounded tinny and distant at best. But once she started going it didn't really matter. Another unfortunately negative thing to say about Liz Phair's performance is that it seemed to be forced at times... Not every aspect, just when she was trying to be 'sexy' and 'suggestive'. Liz is by no means hard on the eyes, why she needs to try that hard to be 'sexy' is beyond me. If she just stood there she would have achieved that goal just fine; instead she tried to shake her stuff and it came off silly looking, and as I said 'forced'

The set list included songs from the new album as well as some from her previous cd's (3 or 4 I think, she's been around a long time) and during the 1 encore she played H.W.C. which seemed like a last minute 'Sure! lets play that' :) (Link to song lyrics left out for good reason ;))

In short, would I see Liz again? maybe... I remain a fan of her music and that maybe enough to drive me to another one of her shows, I guess it depends on how much and where.

As for the Cardigans, I'll be there for sure!