Mesmerizing

Liz Phair In Washington, DC, October 5, 1998



Liz at the 9:30 Club, 10-5-98


CONCERT DETAILS
MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

The following description of Liz's performance in Los Angeles is courtesy of Rob Pegoraro (taken from the Wednesday, October 7, 1998 editon of the Washington Post):

Subject: Liz Phair At the 9:30 Club
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 1998

Liz Phair decided to come out and play Monday at the 9:30 Club -- she sang, she danced, she practiced bird calls. (That last bit, if you were wondering, was part of a digression about how fans express their appreciation.) The one thing she didn't do was exhibit any of her old timid stage demeanor.

Aside from the show's brevity -- little more than an hour -- it was a terrific set, the kind to talk about the next morning and maybe the weekend after, too. Phair seemed totally at ease onstage, whether rocking out to the straight-ahead Stonesy kick of "6'1"" and "Polyester Bride", or audaciously delivering the Ken Starr-rated lyrics of slow-churning "Flower".

Playing live with a full band for the first time in years, the Chicago singer-songwriter opened up and filled out older songs that had only been sketched out with voice and guitar on her last tour. "Supernova" crackled with electricity, driven along on a revved-up backbeat; "Mesmerizing" simmered with a barely restrained energy. She seemed to enjoy exploring her catalogue so much that material from her new record, whitechocolatespaceegg, didn't surface until six songs into the show.

The evening's defining moment came in one of those older songs, the frenzied ending of her encore "Fuck and Run": Phair tossed her guitar to a roadie so she could dance to her own song, jumping up and down to the beat (in three-inch heels, no less). The sellout crowd would have done the same thing, if there had been any room left on the floor.



FAN PERSPECTIVE

The following description of Liz's performance in Washington, DC is courtesy of the Mark (taken from the mailing list Support System):

Subject: Liz in DC
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 00:41:46 EDT

Tonight I saw Liz at the 9:30 Club in DC. One word describes the show: amazing. I'm not one to get too excited over concerts, but this was by far the most fun I've ever had at a live show. I saw Liz at Lilith this summer (Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland) and that performance wasn't even close to this one. Part of the problem there was that I was on the lawn (those who have been to the venue know that the lawn at Merriweather Post is great if you want to hear the concert but don't care a wit about actually seeing the performer). At the 9:30 Club I was right in the front, just left of the center of the stage. Liz was about 15 feet from me for most of the show, and about 8 or 9 when she came to the front of the stage on our side.

She wore a long red dress and very high black heels. She looked absolutely stunning. I think that the heels started to annoy her, though. In the second half of the show she made a comment about wanting to perform barefoot, and at one point when she was doing her on-stage calisthenics (that's what Liz does now when she's not singing or playing guitar) she was tugging at the shoes.

Liz seemed to enjoy herself immensely, talking with the audience between songs and having fun with the members of the band (she never introduced them by name). There was no visible nervousness or stage fright, and only one mistake bad enough for her to say, "Let's try that again" a few seconds into a song.

Here's the set list:
1. Explain It To Me
2. 6'1"
3. Cinco de Mayo
4. Support System
5. Never Said
6. Johnny Feelgood
7. Johnny Sunshine
8. Uncle Alvarez
9. Polyester Bride
10. Supernova
11. Flower
12. What Makes You Happy
13. Mesmerizing
14. Divorce Song
15. White Chocolate Space Egg
Three Encores:
1. Perfect World
2. Stratford-on-Guy
3. Fuck and Run

That's a grand total of 18 songs -- 9 from EIG, 3 from
Whip-Smart, and 6 from WCSE. Once again, we see the disrespect for Whip-Smart, even from Liz herself. I'm only kidding, actually it's been good to see all the Whip-Smart fans making themselves heard on this list lately.

I also got 3 CDs (EIG,
Whip-Smart, WCSE) signed after the show. Unfortunately, someone else took them backstage and I didn't get to meet Liz. Overall, it was an incredible night with a woman who is far and away the greatest rock star of our time. If you get a chance to see Liz on this tour, you must go. It is absolutely not to be missed. And that fulfills my posting quota for the next six months.

Thanks for reading,
Mark


The following description of Liz's performance in Washington, DC is courtesy of the Lynda (taken from the mailing list Support System):

Subject: liz at 9.30
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 18:20:06 EDT

okay. if someone would have told me this time yesterday that i would be hugging liz phair tonite i would have said, no way. liz put on a rocking show at the 9.30 club in dc last nite. it was simply amazing. it was beyond amazing. not only did she play stratford on guy but after the show ended i ran into some friends of mine who had after show passes........ hmmm..they said they'd give them to me after they go say hi. sure enough not more than two minutes later my friends appeared and graced my friend and i with the lovely lightish purple 'an evening with liz phair' stickers. my friend and i flipped out. liz was so cool to talk to. i even asked her about the list. she said she'd be scared to read it, but at the same time she doesn't want this part of her life to just slip by. i told her she should check it out sometime........she signed my tic stub and then i asked her if i could have a *hug*.............what a lovely surprise ending to such a stellar show. i'm so happy.

~lynda

"spend my money on a 'hit' magazine"


The following description of Liz's performance in Washington, DC is courtesy of the Stacey (taken from the mailing list Support System):

Subject: liz in DC
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 98 22:27:34

hey guys!!!!

well I'm sure that a million of you have already posted about the DC show, but I feel like sharing so here it goes....

Liz was amazing!!! Some people in the audience thought she looked nervous but I thought she looked relaxed. She talked to the audience and taught us her favorite cheers/ whistles... it was SO good. She was SO beautiful... I almost had a perfect night... As I was waiting outside after the show, this girl comes up to me and my friend and GIVES us two backstage passes. I was in heaven, I thought I would get to meet Liz.. But sadly, just as we made it to the front of the line to get backstage, she left :-( (but she still came out to say goodbye!) and those bastards at the 9:30 club didn't even give us the free leftover promo posters of liz, every body else who was backstage got one...AAAAAHHHHH

One more thing.... About the slides, what did people think? some were cool and all, but others were not very flattering of liz (no, not the naked ones, the ones where she's making faces) I wonder why she included them??? This is getting kind of long... I think I'd better stop now and go do my work.

later,
Stacey

p.s.- there were some people next to me who were taping the show.... If you're out there and the tape came out semi-decent, I would love to trade up.


The following description of Liz's performance in Washington, DC is courtesy of the Tom Kreusler (taken from the mailing list Support System):

Subject: 10/5/98
Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 02:24:21 -0400

October 6, 1998

The 9:30 club in Washington, D.C. was the setting and Liz Phair was the sold-out attraction last night: Oct. 5, 1998. Starting around 7:30 PM, people of all ages descended upon this modest venue, with the youngest ones huddled at the front of the stage, impatiently awaiting the star. A slide-show of mostly black-and-white photos of Liz and friends did little to pass the time, and when 9:20 rolled around, the crush on the floor was trembling in anticipation.

At 9:30, the club lights dimmed and the stage lights lit up, and Liz became only partially visible as a silhouette behind the stage curtain. As the crowd cheered in unison and surged to the front of the stage, the slow, beautiful chords of "Explain It To Me" drifted out, and Liz was revealed.

The Phair One looked absolutely stunning in a long, dark red dress with thin straps draping her shoulders. Liz's sinewy arms held her guitar confidently, and the slow chords of her first song were quickly a memory as she and her band members blasted into another
Exile in Guyville favorite, "Six-Foot-One." After a cheery "Cinco De Mayo," Liz greeted the crowd, saying how great it was to be "back." She handed her guitar off to a band-mate and sang another Whip-Smart favorite, "Support System." Liz was smooth in her delivery of "Never Said," and when she announced "Johnny Feelgood" to the audience, everyone started to cheer. Liz smiled while singing the song, visibly pleased that the audience liked it. Liz flubbed the opening chord of her next song, "Johnny Sunshine," and she smiled to the crowd and said, "let's try that again." No mistakes were made in Liz's next songs, "Uncle Alvarez" and the popular "Polyester Bride," with the latter being played at a much faster tempo than the album track. There was a brief lull on the stage, and with some added flair and excitement, Liz and her band started into the 1994 hit "Supernova." The audience cheered loudly, and many people on the floor were dancing and singing along. The band dispersed suddenly, and Liz, standing alone on the left side of the stage, sang her sex-anthem, "Flower". As I looked up across the balconies and crowd, I saw that every person was standing and watching Liz, completely transfixed.

Liz got her guitar back but immediately handed it off for her next song, the upbeat "What Makes You Happy," and she started to dance around the stage when she wasn't singing. Wielding a new, purple guitar, Liz sang two huge crowd favorites, "Mesmerizing" and "Divorce Song"; and it was at this point that the entire crowd went into a frenzy. After "Divorce Song" started, I couldn't stand it anymore and forced my way to the front of the stage, trying to get closer to Liz. Using a cigarette as a crowd-breaker, I accomplished my goal in getting extremely close to the front, and Liz went into her latest album's title track, "White Chocolate Space Egg". Liz, stretching her arms out over her head while singing, appeared extremely calm. The stage then went dark, and the audience cheered for Liz. She did not disappoint, and she came back to the stage quickly and sang "Perfect World." Everyone became silent and Liz's voice was beautiful. After the song and more cheering, I yelled "STRATFORD!" up at Liz, and she looked in my direction and smirked. Then my wish was amazingly fulfilled I heard the opening drum beats to "Stratford-On-Guy." I was ecstatic. Most of the fans near the stage knew every word to the song, and it also seemed to be a crowd-favorite. The last song of the encore and the show was "Fuck And Run", and this song drew the biggest cheers of the evening. When the song was finished, Liz Phair left the stage for the last time, leaving only pure gratification in her wake.

Tom Kreusler


The following description of Liz's performance in Washington, DC is courtesy of the Lynda (taken from the mailing list Support System):

Subject: Re: support-system-digest V1 #36
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:56:47 EDT

well I had to finially post... I have to tell you about the ost imprttant evening of my life. okay it may sound cheesey but you have got to understand that Liz is the only person or thing that I have ever been interested in. I mean like fanaticl about. well my Dear friend Sarah said Liz is playing the 9:30 club on the 5th you need to get tickets and I will pay you back I said Okay. well stupid me I thought that I was the on;y other person on the eastern sea board that had heard of her so I was like I got plenty of time. well when I called Ticket Master they where sold out. Sarah sent me nasty Emails asking if I had gotten them well I bit the big one and told her no. Well She saved the day by responding to some chick that said whoever responds first can have them . so It was set. Well being the paranoid fans that Sarah and I are we left her house way to early. we got to the club at 6:30 and when we walked to the door we could hear the sweet sounds of Liz resounding from the building. that sent me into shock as little tingles ran up and down my spine. Well we waited and waited till the doors opened and we rushed in and got our spots right at the baracade well we waited some more getting bored and the only thing to keep us happy was the tought that Liz was less that fifty feet from us. well the slide show started and everyone cheered. While listening to the music selction the slide show I could hear where Liz gets her sound. Well she started playing don't ask me what cause I was in shock to see her she is so beautiful . I was flabergasted. I stood there shacking from excitment. now its all getting blury. She sang her heart out. and she seamed to devlope a good raport with the crowd. She had on the coolest dress it was red velvet and it looked as if it had been worn away at the knees. I couldn't tell if it was a designer dress or a trift store find. well She seemed to glow. her skin was glistening with sweat. oh yeah she didn't have any pit hair like icky paula cole. she had these little black shoes that seemed to hurt her feet I think it was the four inch heels on them that didit. I was also shocked by how tiny she was. all I can say is I wish that she would have pulled some of her old stuff out. like the girly sounds uno y dos. well if you read this you will see that there isn't any thing very important to it other than me sharing not so well the wonderful effect Liz had on me. Oh yeah her band was pretty good as well.

Josh



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Last Updated: October 12, 1998





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