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Concert Reviews
'Chicks With Attitude' Tour 2004
(Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI - August 27th, 2004)

With artists handpicked by Liz Phair for a month-long string of dates that included The Cardigans, Katy Rose and Charlotte Martin, the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Friday night suddenly became the place to be for all the horny males!

On a humid, sticky night - indoors the un-air conditioned theatre! - Charlotte Martin was first up on stage. Sitting demurely down at her piano, she takes a deep breath and begins her quietened Tori Amos-like set. "I feel very emotional right now, but I can't tell you why," she reveals as she then heads into 'Every Time It Rains'. A cover of The Cure's 'Just Like Heaven' is followed by 'Your Armor' and 'Madman', and announcing just prior to the U2 cover of 'Wild Horses' that "I'm full of so much love it is sweating out of me right now!", Martin wraps her 40 minutes up with 'Beautiful Life'.

17 year-old Katy Rose is next up. Twisting and turning barefoot on a rug much like a demented ballerina awaiting her moment, Rose breaks into 'Overdrive' before grabbing her guitar for 'Watching The Rain.' By now having chatted with the relatively sparse up-front audience about her clothing, jewelry and such, Rose shunts her aggravated Lavigne-rock up a notch for 'Because I Can' and 'I Like'. However, it's when she takes her foot of the gas and reduces it all back to a subtle musical calm for the piano-driven 'Snowflakes' that she finally shows another side to her young talent.

Swedish band, The Cardigans have always confused me greatly! I mean, on one hand they've been musically great, yet on the other they've been reclusively mediocre! Under dark red spots and a severe lack of white illumination in general, the band kick off with 'Live and Learn'. "For those of you who know us now for our new songs, we've got a lot of old songs to play tonight ... like this one," singer Nina Persson announces as the band then head into 'Erase/Rewind' and the harmonica-driven 'For What It's Worth.' With it's marching beats, 'Communication,' 'You're The Storm' and set closer 'My Favorite Game' are played, yet, surprisingly no 'Lovefool'!

Having musically evolved from her arty, low-fi sound of 1993, Liz Phair has developed into a considerably more confident singer and showed that in abundance tonight. Taking barefoot to the stage wearing a head-mic ala Janet Jackson, she slings her guitar on and breaks into 'Why Can't I?' and 'Never Said'. "It looks like we're gonna sweat tonight," she says, reminding us all about the lack of air conditioning! 'Rock Me' is next as she then heads straight into the bouncy 'Extraordinary' and 'Mesmerizing', before putting her hair up - which lasted precisely one song in the indoor humidity!

Review by Russell A. Trunk