BEING THERE: Juliana Hatfield @ Boot N’ Saddle

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Twenty-two years after the release of her most famous work — 1993’s Become What You Are, — Juliana Hatfield and a reunited Juliana Hatfield Three are out on the road to celebrate that classic album and the recent release of their second album as a trio, the excellent Whatever My Love. Hatfield along with drummer Todd Phillips and bass player Dean Fisher blazed through Become What You Are beginning to end along with a few new songs and a surprise cover to the delight of a packed house at the first of two sold-out nights at the intimate Boot and Saddle on Monday. Become What You Are was given four stars by Rolling Stone and the track “My Sister” landed the trio in the then career-making MTV Buzz Bin, the pre-Internet 90’s music version of going viral. Although Hatfield worked with Fisher and Phillips sporadically over the course of her career, the three have never worked together as a trio again until now. Monday’s performance made it seem like they had never been apart. Phillips thundered away on the huge drum kit that cocooned him. Fisher thumped away on the right side of the stage, dressed like a casual gangster in a suit coat, fedora and hipster glasses. Hatfield slashed away at her trademark huge mahogany Gibson SG on the other side of the stage. They played the album in order, fearlessly and flawlessly delivering their most popular song, “My Sister,” as the second track of the night, knowing that there was lots more good stuff to come. Hatfield and Fisher locked into a sinister subterranean groove that drove the revenge song “A Dame With a Rod” to new and harrowing heights. The trio made “President Garfield” almost sound like Black Sabbath grooving their way through “Marquee Moon.” Hatfield delivered some napalm guitar bursts late in “Addicted” that plumbed the depths of her demons. The Juliana Hatfield Three closed their main set with a thrashing, defiant “I Got No Idols” that sounded like a lost outtake from Neil Young and Crazy Horse. They returned with a short second set that included a revved up “Push Pin” and lumbering version of “Wood” from their new album and they also played an energizing 100 M.P.H. cover of “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” by hardcore icons Minor Threat. The highlight of the second set was an elegiac version of Hatfield’s “Live On Tomorrow,” a fitting end to the night when a band that didn’t seem to have a heartbeat for over twenty years has come back to life strong as ever. — PETE TROSHAK