Concert Recap: Liz Phair Kicks Out the Jams at the Columbus Theatre

Alt-Rock Icon Plays Providence

Alt-rock hero Liz Phair played a stellar show in front of a near sell-out crowd Friday November 15th at the Columbus Theatre in Providence. Although her lyrics and delivery have always had a cool vibe, Phair certainly warmed the hearts of her fans at Friday’s show. She was on a brief Northeast tour, playing a few shows and promoting her new book, Horror Stories, which we highly recommend.

Phair rose to indie music icon status in 1994 with the release of Exile in Guyville, a wake-up call for a generation. Her show was full of punk-inspired tunes, charming banter, and the confidence that comes from wisdom and experience.  

Her set featured many of the songs from that album (a brilliant response to the Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street), including the crowd favorite “6’1,” the guitar driven “Help Me Mary,” and “Divorce Song,” a clinic in great songwriting.

Other highlights included a few from 1998’s equally strong WhiteChocolateSpaceEgg – “Johnny Feelgood,” and the popular “Uncle Alvarez,” as well as 2003’s “Extraordinary.” Phair’s music resonated with her fans who range from 20-somethings to 60-somethings, although her average fan came of age in the 1990’s. Don’t miss her if you get the chance!

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Opener Ian O’Neil of Deer Tick (backed by Dennis and Chris Ryan also of DT) got everyone in the mood playing several from his new release Ten Years of It, including “Our Debt is Sealed,” and “German Bar.” He also led his band on a few of DT covers including “Strange and Awful Feeling.”

WhatsUpRI photographer Rick Farrell was there and shares some pics from the show!