Can it have been 15 years since Exile in Guyville came out? Yes, it can. The album is being re-released today, and in honor of the occasion I thought I’d share Phair’s setlist from one of her very first shows, when she appeared as part of a showcase put on by Matador Records at Irving Plaza on July 23, 1993.
I was living in Massachusetts then, working at the Golden Nozzle Carwash post-graduation, and drove into New York with some friends for the show. According to this New York Times review of the concert, Pavement, Moonshake and members of the Silver Jews also played, which I have absolutely no memory of. Alex Ross wrote the Times review, and he describes Phair as “a distinctive singer and songwriter disadvantaged by an overloud backing band.” As I remember she was also out of tune and visibly ill at ease on the stage, standing stiffly front and center for most of her set.
My friend Shana, who doesn’t remember Moonshake and Pavement playing either (where were we?), tore Phair’s setlist from the stage after she performed and was good enough to send along a photograph of it. We have a no-swearing policy here at “About Last Night,” which I try to honor when I don’t forget, and one of Liz’s song titles breaks it, so the photo appears after the jump.