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March 19, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Juliette and the Licks

Union Hall, Friday March 9

I always knew reviewing Juliette and the Licks might be a chore.

Would the novelty value of seeing a famous actress wear off quickly? Was it worth VUWSA bringing Juliette Lewis over for such a big gig? VUWSA explained to me that Orientation is about exposing students to new and varied music that they never have the opportunity to see again. For example not long ago the Violet Femmes also played Union Hall. I had listened to some of her music and it is paint-by-numbers rock and roll reminiscent of Aerosmith. But yet again Juliette Lewis doesn’t pretend to be anything she is not. I was promised a sweaty, intense show.

The warm up acts were an ‘80s Aerobics style revue called Real Hot Bitches dancing to 80s thrash metal, a young Datsuns-influenced band called Elston Gun and glam rockers Charlie Ash. The crowd (once they were warmed up) were awaiting the arrival of Juliette who ran on stage wearing her now customary head band with a feather. Posing and showing off her left bicep, she rocked into the show. I really like Juliette Lewis. She’s great in Strange Days, Natural Born Killers and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn. But can she really sing?

When Juliette Lewis finally got into her stride she did what I expected. Her music wasn’t world changing or anything that’ll ever get her inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but she gave it her all. Her band are great musicians even though there was a Rock Star Supernova feel to the whole evening. She rocked into minor hits like ‘Hot Kiss’ and ‘Sticky Honey’ and had great stage presence.

I’ve no idea if the audience would have been motivated to buy a Juliette and the Licks album but they seemed to be getting into it and that’s what I’d expected from a celebrity rock gig. For what it was worth it was an interesting sweaty rock and roll show and I expect the Licks will be around for a while yet.


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