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Juliette & The Licks @ Oysterfest, 5/17/08

May 20, 2008

The Oysterfest in San Francisco is not the place I would expect to catch a kick ass set. But apparently, Oysterfest is light on oysters, and hard on rock.

An interesting theme running through the stellar lineup of this 2 day festival was 2 acts featuring actresses: Juliette & The Licks, featuring Juliette Lewis of Natural Born Killers and Strange Days fame, and She & Him, featuring Zooey Deschanel of Almost Famous fame.

Juliette & The Licks are not just some band fronted by an actress trying unsuccessfully to live out some closeted rock fantasy. They successfully make it a work, and I’m only reminded of the acting past when the guy behind me yells, “I love you, Mallory!” In a world of female fronted rock bands that fall short on believability, I felt myself wanting to be her on stage, an emotion I rarely experience.

The performance was energetic to the point of being jaw dropping- Iggy Pop meets Peaches meets…Cirque du Soleil. Seriously, there were backbends and jumps and kicks in there that had jaws collectively dropping around the audience.

The songs were great for a mostly unaware audience standing outside on a hot summer day. It was party rock ‘n’ roll. She introduced songs well, giving some backstories, and did a crowd pleasing cover of AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds.

Festival performances are often not representative of an artist’s real offerings. However, this ‘taste’ was enough to get me in the door for the next time Juliette & The Licks come around here.



Juliette & The Licks performance: 8.5/10
venue (Fort Mason): 7/10
crowd/scene: 6/10
value ($20.00/ticket): 5/10 (mostly because of the lack of variety in oysters, come on!)
memorable: 7/10


  1. I wasn’t sure what to expect for this show. Her movie presence has always been unusual and her characters awkward (in a good way). So I figured that might carry over to the stage.

    She was anything but awkward. She was so natural and dynamic that it’s a wonder that she’s a cross-over from acting into music and not the other way around.

    Not only did she sound great (she has the right combo of pipes, raspy voice and style) but she performed like the audience had shown up just for her. By that I mean, she gave the same energy that I would expect from seeing someone who had sold the show and was surrounded by adoring fans. Very impressed!

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