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Volume 68, Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Confident Liz Phair assures audience

By Jason Gagnon
The Daily Cougar

Sunday night at the Verizon Wireless Theatre, scores of Jason Mraz fans were treated to a criminally short set by indie legend Liz Phair. 

The evening started out with the one-man show of Sondre Lerche. Not only did he play over his time, but he also reminded a few people of the lounge duo in There's Something About Mary. 

This time, however, no one was laughing. The sound of vocals bouncing off the walls made things worse.

Phair eventually came on stage, only greeted by a depressing level of cheers. The turnout overall was weak, and it was obvious most in attendance were Jason Mraz fans. However, once Liz appeared in a Barbarella-esque outfit she had their attention. By the end of her performance the whole crowd was cheering.

Her set started off pleasantly with "6'1" from her classic debut Exile in Guyville. Phair followed that with "Polyester Bride," which made clear that the artist was intent on pleasing longtime fans. 

A few of the better tracks from her new self-titled album were thrown in the mix. Those who questioned whether or not Phair could hit high vocal notes on songs like "Why Can't I?" were given sufficient proof. Her voice was incredibly strong and assured.

Phair had a coy smile across her face the entire set that brought some life into the audience. She was extremely confident, putting to rest any worries that her stage fright had returned.

There were a few problems, though. Phair's band seemed a little too busy. The group appeared to be studio musicians who felt they had something to prove.During a much-requested song the bass player broke from the simple structure of the song, which almost diminshed its impact on the audience. A few times during the night, Phair oddly looked over at her guitarist whose fingers were a lot more active than the songwriters'.

Phair played only one song off of her sophomore effort Whip Smart, closing with the album's single "Supernova."

Liz Phair

Verizon Wireless Theatre

The Verdict: An impressive set despite a few drawbacks.
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