Live Review: Juliette Lewis — The El Rey, Los Angeles
Mon, 19 Oct 2009 10:25:24
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Juliette Lewis wants to take you to outer space.
Her live show isn't so much a concert as it is an intergalactic experience, and her homecoming gig at the El Rey in Los Angeles on Saturday was no exception. In fact, Juliette's performance played out in epic fashion. With an hour long set culled heavily from her latest solo offering, Terra Incognita, Juliette proved hypnotic and heartfelt on each and every song. The space captain-ess rolled David Bowie and Joan Jett into one raucous stage play that can't be imitated.
Blasting off with "Romeo," a smoky vocal come-on gave way to a foreboding guitar solo, and the song conjured film noir as Juliette stalked the stage. It was a fitting opening for her rock n' roll theater. During "Purgatory Blues," a prog riff snapped and broke, as Juliette injected a punk fire into the song's spacey landscape. There was something decidedly '60s, yet strangely futuristic about each calculated moment.
As her fiery eyes darted around the crowd, it was clear that Juliette's a woman on a mission. She's got a purpose and she's got something to say. She even took a minute to preface a phenomenal "Ghosts" with "How I love your dark perverted streets, the things you hide from me." It was spooky and poignant all at the same time.
Like a rock n' roll shaman, she continued casting spells during "Fantasy Bar" and "Pray for the Band Latoya." However, it was the gnashing blues kicking off "Hard Lovin' Woman" that hit the hardest. She soared to vocal heights that'd make Robert Plant smile, and she got her message across. "Uh Huh" showed a lighter side with a massive pop hook that elicited the most dancing of the night.
Before that particular cut, she laughed, "When you play music, you make little dreams come true." She created a few of her own though for the hometown crowd.
Everything ended with a bang during "Suicide Dive Bombers." It was a rock n' roll rush with kamikaze instrumental fireworks and a flurry of emotions piped through the P.A. As the final strains of distortion dissipated, Juliette looked out at the crowd and smiled.
Space rock's got a new queen…
Check out Rick Florino's new novel, Dolor, here!