at The Rat
by Joe Hacking
Phoebe Legere could teach the military a thing or two about camouflage. Dressing her beautiful body up in revealing lingerie causes most people to write her off as just another vacuous bleached blonde. Yet she eagerly accepts the stereotype just so she can blow it out of the water. Underneath the skin and jewelry lurks a soul possessed of a sharp intellect and amazing talent. Phoebe truly is a Renaissance woman for the ’90s.
Seeing her live is a trip. She’s a distillation of punk angst, alternative flightiness, ’60s idealism, ’70s sexuality, and ’90s spiritualism. When I first saw her walk to the stage at the Rat, she looked like a lost waif from the early ’80s. A cyberpunk fugitive sporting platform shoes, dark, European sunglasses, and a huge longcoat she wore like a suite of armor. But when the coat came off and the music started, she became the Elven Princess, the sonipathic entity drawing her power from the music. Linked to the red candle which burned at the stage’s edge like her own person sun, Phoebe jumped around in her low-cut catsuit and gave the crowd her all. Her keyboards tinkled, her guitar growled, and her accordion wheezed in her agile hands. Her four octave voice was a bright and clear as a quartz cluster. She displayed her amazing, spandex clad body for all to see, gyrating and thrusting her pelvis like a belly dancer. Sexual energy blasted off of her like solar flares, yet her lyrics made you realize this woman has a brain in her skull.
Phoebe is like a lost gypsy. She’s ahead of her time and behind the times at the same time. As spiritual as an Indian shaman, and as hedonist. As warm and personable as a mother, yet as distant as a lost love. Somewhere between these extremes lies Phoebe’s creative focus, her spiritual center. St. Augustine pointed out that those who defy categorization often become the best at what they do. While I’m no fortune teller, Phoebe Legere should achieve wise-spread success by continuing to do things from her heart.