Rock singer/songwriter Liz Phair is heading back to school in April with a monthlong swing of live solo dates that will hit a number of colleges and, in some cases, cater exclusively to those students.
Kicking off with an April 12 date at Dekalb, Ill.'s Northern Illinois University, the 13-date tour will hit a number of Midwestern and Eastern college campuses before wrapping up May 5 with a show at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, Ky., according to the singer's official Matador Records website.
A number of the shows on the tour in support of last year's critically acclaimed whitechocolatespaceegg album will be open only to college students. Those dates will include two shows in Phair's hometown of Chicago April 16 and 17, at Loyola University and the University of Chicago, respectively.
Phair, who built a reputation early in her career with such sexually explicit songs as "Fu-- and Run" (RealAudio excerpt) from her debut Exile in Guyville, played a homecoming gig at the 300-capacity Chicago club Lounge Ax on March 14. During the show, she previewed the stripped-down nature of her upcoming tour.
Accompanied only by friend Buddy Judge on electric guitar, Phair performed an intimate show that spotlighted material from all three of her albums.
"I haven't played here in five years," Phair told the crowd. "The last time I played here I was so scared, I can't even tell you," she added, alluding to the debilitating stage fright that plagued her early years as a performer.
The show came close on the heels of Phair's stint as an opening act on fellow confessional singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette's U.S. tour.
Among the whitechocolatespaceegg songs Phair played for the Lounge Ax crowd were "Perfect World" (RealAudio excerpt) as well as the irrepressibly poppy first single from the album, "Polyester Bride" (RealAudio excerpt).
Liz Phair Tour Dates:
April 12; Dekalb, Ill.; Duke Ellington Ballroom at Northern Illinois University
April 13; Minneapolis, Minn.; Great Hall/University of Minnesota
April 14; Iowa City, Iowa; IA Memorial Union/University of Iowa
April 16; Chicago, Ill.; Gentile Center Loyola University (students only)
April 17; Chicago, Ill.; Mandel Hall/University of Chicago (students only)
April 19; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Fine Arts Center at Calvin College
April 20; Columbus, Ohio; Mekka
April 22; Millersville, Pa.; Millersville University
April 24; Binghamton, N.Y.; Binghamton University (students only)
April 26; Greenville, N.C.; Wright Auditorium
April 27; Washington, D.C.; 9:30 Club
April 28; New York, N.Y.; Eisner Lubin/NYU (students only)
April 30; Wellesley, Mass.; Alumni Hall at Wellesley College
May 1; Worcester, Mass.; Harrington Auditorium at Worcester Poly Tech.
May 5; Grinnell, Iowa; Harris Center
(Correspondent Anders Smith-Lindall contributed to this report.)