When strong, outspoken women hit the music scene, they were labeled as angry and bitter. Most listeners expected female singers to croon about the wonders of love and the sadness of loss with a sweet little voice.
But then female rockers hit such as Liz Phair and Alanis Morissette hit the scene. They were talented, bold, shocking. And most importantly, they told the truth.
Two fearless women, Phair and Morissette motivated a crowd of enthusiastic men and women at the Patriot Center Tuesday. It began as a normal concert – opening act, featured performer, stage, lighting, the whole bit. By the end, the concert was a sing-a-long with scores of fans belting along. It was a time to vent anger and frustration, to exalt love and happiness and to let loose the singer that lingers in everyone.
In the opening act, Phair strolled on stage in a sexy, almost backless red dress accessorized with sneakers. Her petite frame and defined muscles make it difficult to believe Phair recently had a son. She took the microphone with the poise of a mother and the energy of a child.
She began the concert with a mellow song from Whip-Smart, but immediately increased the tempo with “Fuck and Run.” Throughout the performance, Phair alternated old songs with tracks from her latest release, whitechocolatespaceegg, which Phair thought was the best description of her newborn’s bald head.
After “Johnny Feel Good,” which contains the lyrics “I never realized I was so dirty and dry/’Til he knocked me down, started dragging me around in the back of his convertible car/And I liked it.” Phair asked the crowd, “Are you in a naughty mood or are you introspective?” It didn’t matter what mood the crowd was in; Phair cannot avoid singing about sex. With unabashed lyrics, she flaunts her sensuality and brings the ideas of female sexuality to the forefront.
After Phair performed for an hour, the crowd anxiously waited 30 minutes for Morissette. Morissette strode on to stage in an odd ensemble – black pants, a black skirt that resembled a Hefty bag and sneakers. She immediately enthralled the crowd with her first song, “Babba,” the second track on her recent release Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. After her powerful opening, no one cared what she was wearing. She could have been naked as she is in the video of “Thank You.” Morissette crawls inside each song and sings with a passion few in the music industry can match.
After three songs from her new album, Morissette played “One Hand in My Pocket” from Jagged Little Pill. The few who hadn’t been singing along joined in on this number, as a cacophony of voices echoed throughout the Patriot Center. But it did not come close to matching the fervor of the crowd during the triple shot of songs from her debut album.
Beginning with “Right Through You,” the excitement of the crowd escalated and continued to skyrocket during “All I Really Want” and finally climaxed during “You Oughtta Know,” as voices raged along with Morissette’s.
After performing “Uninvited,” Morissette thanked the scores of fans in the crowd and left the stage. But, amid endless clapping and hollering, she returned for an encore, performing “Thank You” and “Ironic.” Again, Morissette left the stage amid continuing applause, hoping to entice Morissette back on stage. It worked. She returned for a second encore, playing “Unsent” and “Doctor.”
With Phair performing 11 songs and Morissette playing 19, the concert provided an amazing night of female musical genius. They still may startle some listeners with lyrics such as Phair’s “I’ll take you home and make you like it” and Morissette’s “Would she go down on you in a theater?” But they tell the truth.