By 1993 Juliana Hatfield had already established herself in the college radio scene with her band the Blake Babies and her first solo album, Hey Babe, but it was Become What You Are with The Juliana Hatfield Three, that truly introduced her to a wider audience.
The trio, consisting of Hatfield on vocals and guitar, Dean Fisher on bass, and Todd Philips on drums, would only record a single album as a group at the time (though both Fisher and Philips made appearances on several of Hatfield’s subsequent solo albums), but that album would endure as one of the true classics of the early 90s indie rock scene. When the group announced late last year that they had recorded a second album, Whatever, My Love, to be released in early 2015, the announcement was met with a great deal of enthusiasm. This was followed this with the announcement that they would be touring for the 21st anniversary of Become What You Are.
That tour came to the Black Cat last Wednesday night. The trio launched directly into “Supermodel,” the first track from the album, and played straight through the first side (including “My Sister,” which made it to the number one spot on the Billboard Modern Rock chart in 1993) with barely a pause. “It’s not the 90s, but you can still enjoy it. I really feel like that record that we made – it still feels right to play it,” commented Hatfield, addressing what is always the question of nostalgia shows. “I don’t feel like I’m faking it at all.” The band launched into the second side of the album. Twelve songs and about 40 minutes later, the set was done and the band left the stage. They came back soon though, to play a second set consisting of songs from Whatever, My Love and Hatfield’s solo career.
Eight-piece Washington, DC band The NRIs opened the show.
All photos by Matt Condon. Click to embiggen.