Juliette Lewis, the Ettes, American Bang
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Better than: Lewis' show with the Pretenders and Cat Power this past August.
I wasn't expecting much before seeing Juliette Lewis open for the Pretenders and Cat Power during a ninety-degree afternoon last August at the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. Sure, some friends had pumped the actress/singer up, saying she put on a phenomenal show at the Marquis two years ago. I still wasn't completely sold, but a few songs into that afternoon's set, I was convinced that she indeed was kind of awesome, but I wanted more than just a half-hour set. Well, I got that and a whole lot more during her set last night at the Fox.
On the opening cut, "Badass Baby," Lewis showed just what a badass she is, bouncing around the stage like a little hurricane. Seriously, the girl was fucking killing it even though the Fox was about half full. It was exhausting just watching her. Lewis and her band maintained that energy, letting up on the gas only slightly during "Ghosts," from her brand new disc, Terra Incognita, after which Lewis and company floored it again on "Fantasy Bar," which was one of most explosive tunes of the night.
By the time Lewis went into the slow blues of "Hard Lovin' Woman," she looked a bit winded, but it didn't stop her from belting out some powerful vocals that recalled -- no shit! -- Robert Plant at times. She infused the tune with a tangible sexuality that got everybody worked up. Hell, that song was hot, sweaty sex.
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While a good portion of the set was devoted to songs fromTerra Incognita, Lewis also delved into older material she recorded with the Licks, tracks such as "Purgatory Blues," "You're Speaking My Language" and the hard pumping encore "Hot Kiss."
Personal Bias: Juliette Lewis is no prima donna actress turned singer by any stretch of the imagination. She rocks hard and she lets you know it.
Random Detail: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from the Mars Volta produced Terra Incognita.
By the Way: American Bang served up a high-charged set of Southern-fried rock and the Ettes were charming as hell.