Sunday, February 18, 2024

Liz Phair- Exile In Guyville 30th Anniversary Show, Chicago, November 18, 2023

There are certain albums that are career-making for artists that are best known for that record even years later. For Liz Phair, it was her debut album released 30 years ago (technically 31 now in 2024), Exile In Guyville that placed her on the rock 'n 'roll map with a brilliant debut and without argument, her best album. When Guyville came out it was a time when alternative music was gaining the attention of mainstream audiences and Grunge was already converting listeners to non-commercial music, as Nirvana's, Nevermind came out two years earlier. 
I was thinking about Exile In Guyville a few weeks ago, as I was preparing to submit a grant proposal for an art project that will focus on portable cassette players (Walkmans) and cassette culture. Recently, I've been a bit obsessive about Walkmans and older, obsolete technology (and my minidisc recorder recently died), so I've been painting and drawing these game-changing machines and using them to listen to tapes again. The grant will allow me to expand deeper on this theme both in quantity and quality (more on that later, if I get it). Anyways, the connection here is that Liz Phair's, Girly-Sound tapes preceded Guyville, recorded in her bedroom on a 4-track cassette recorder and those tapes, which were circulated to early fans in Chicago, helped get her record deal with Matador.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album, Phair and her band toured the record and played the album in it's entirety and for the encore a couple of her best known songs. For the hometown show in Chicago, Liz performed all six songs she rotated in and out of the encores in other cities. She was warmly welcomed at the sold out show at the Chicago Theatre and it would have been amazing to be there. I left the recording notes and comments from the taper, to give you more details about the sound quality and the concert.

Taper Comments: Liz brought her 30th anniversary "Exile in Guyville" tour to the sold-out Chicago Theatre and the results are what one might have expected -- the fan base that all own "Vs.", "In Utero," and various Cranberries albums were rapturous at seeing "Exile in Guyville" in its entirety. Four backing singers appeared in strategic spots in the audience (spread across the main floor and balcony) for "Flower" and "Johnny Sunshine," in what I suspect was a one-off for Chicago -- it was very cool having spotlights on singers throughout the auditorium backing the songs. The encore featured *all six* of the songs that she's been rotating in and out of the encores throughout the tour, presumably making this the longest show of the tour. She paused before "Go West" to apologize for adding songs as a nod to her hometown fans, for those who would be late for commitments they'd made after the show. :)

The performance was great, and Liz frequently noted that the show was a dream come true for her.

The recording itself is very good. There are moments that the enthusiastic crowd impinges on the music, although mostly this is manifest in loud bursts of applause between songs. The women next to me were chatty, but you can't really hear them because I had a solid line on the left stack and the music drowns out nearby audience chatter. The guy to my right had a few enthusiastic outbursts that I can't really do anything about, but it just accentuates the excitement of the crowd.

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
Please share!
Liz Phair
Chicago Theatre
Chicago, Illinois
November 18, 2023

Source:  DPA 4060 => Tascam DR-2d
Conversion:  WAV => Audio Cleaning Lab => FLAC (16-bit)

Location: 6th row, left side

Track listing:

CD1 (58:44):
(1)  Intro (1:08)
(2)  6' 1" (3:04)
(3)  Help Me Mary (2:43)
(4)  Glory (2:00)
(5)  Dance of the Seven Veils (2:37)
(6)  Banter (1:04)
(7)  Never Said (3:26)
(8)  Soap Star Joe (3:14)
(9)  Explain It To Me (3:02)
(10)  Canary (3:43)
(11)  Mesmerizing (4:28)
(12)  Fuck and Run (3:42)
(13)  Girls! Girls! Girls! (2:20)
(14)  Divorce Song (4:12)
(15)  Shatter (5:11)
(16)  Flower (2:44)
(17)  Johnny Sunshine (5:02)
(18)  Banter (0:41)
(19)  Gunshy (4:14)

CD2 (33:34):
(1)  Stratford-on-Guy (3:07)
(2)  Strange Loop (4:24)
(3)  Encore break (1:54)
(4)  Supernova (3:09)
(5)  Johnny Feelgood (4:04)
(6)  Go West (3:48)
(7)  Polyester Bride (4:14)
(8)  Extraordinary (3:39)
(9)  Band introductions (0:30)
(10)  Why Can't I? (4:21)
(11)  Outro (0:18)

LIZ PHAIR- 2023-11-18 Chicago, FLAC. rar
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