Show Review: Uh Huh Her at Great American Music Hall, 3/29/2011

by Jason LeRoy on March 30, 2011

Uh Huh Her playing at Toronto Pride in 2008. Photo by Jenny Rotten.

Uh Huh Her, a.k.a. Camila Grey (formerly of Mellowdrone) and immortal lesbian crush-girl Leisha Hailey (of The Murmurs and The L Word), are on a small club tour testing new material from their upcoming sophomore LP. Last night they introduced some new jams, as well as fan favorites from their 2008 debut album, Common Reaction, to a small but devoted crowd at Great American Music Hall. Did the audience respond favorably to the new tracks? Could anyone hear the new tracks over the incessant shrieks of Ms. Hailey’s name? Did she finally admit to killing Jenny? Look after the jump to find out.

First of all, she didn’t admit to killing Jenny. Sorry to even tease you with that. The quarrelsome topic of The L Word was not broached, especially since I repressed my urge to request the theme song (which probably would have been the first time they’ve heard that). But that’s one of the problems with Uh Huh Her: it is the most forgettable endeavor by a contemporary lesbian icon, so it can’t help but live in the shadows of Leisha’s more culturally significant moments. If I had to list them in order, I’d probably start with The L Word, then The Murmurs, then that yogurt commercial, and then Uh Huh Her. It is perhaps appropriate that they’re named after PJ Harvey’s most forgettable solo album.

Furthermore, the band doesn’t even give the audience what they so clearly want: more Leisha. Camila Grey, who resembles Alison Mosshart crossed with…well, Jenny Schecter, sings the lead vocals more often than not; Hailey mostly contributes harmony vocals while accompanying Grey on guitar and keyboard. But fortunately her mere presence, especially when combined with her unequivocally adorable voice and smile, are more than enough. Just hearing her squeak “Hi San Francisco!” could provoke even the sternest lesbian into a crazed panty-throwing frenzy.

And that was certainly the case last night. Hailey, dressed like a hip lezzie gardener in a white tank top, cuffed denim shorts, a headband, and what appeared to be some sort of dreamcatcher around her neck, definitely served up the cuteness. I started to feel bad for poor Camila (or “the other one,” as I knew her at the time). But eventually a pair of lesbians behind me decided to include her in their cat-calling by bellowing “TAKE YOUR JACKET OFF” in what I can only describe as a vaguely menacing tone. So, good for her…?

Uh Huh Her play a mish-mash of indie rock, new wave, and electropop. The cumulative effect is underwhelming, although I’m sure it would have sounded utterly revolutionary in 1997. I frequently found myself drifting off during the show and imagining them playing on the second stage at Lilith Fair, or possibly on a triple bill with Garbage and Luscious Jackson. To their credit, the material they introduced as “new” sounded promising. It’s still a bit derivative, but more inspired than their debut album.

And one track from their debut, “Explode,” yielded more false starts than any song I’ve ever seen performed live. I think it was around the fifth attempt that they managed to get past the first 20 seconds, and only after Grey had crossed the stage and personally instructed Hailey on how to play it correctly. But this led to Hailey standing around and making adorable “Did I do that?” faces, which resulted in much lactation from the audience. “Holy shit,” Grey said after they’d finally succeeded in playing the three-minute song. “Let’s not tell anyone about this, okay guys?” Hailey said. Sorry Leisha. This one’s for Jenny. Just kidding, we all hated her.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Uhhuhherfan75 March 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

That’s a really insulting review of this Band and the People who go see them play, Are you even a fan? Why did you waste your time attending the gig and leave it to the fans who want to see them play, Camila by the way is an extremely talented artist and if you had bothered to do your homework you would know she does the lead vocals and is not just the other one as you put it, I find your Article Patronizing and Insulting, Next time you do a review, remember that there are several different fans UUH has, and that one size does not fit all.

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really? March 31, 2011 at 9:05 am

Uhhuhherfan75: are reviews only supposed to be positive? then they wouldn’t be reviews, would they? they’d be publicity.

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Uhhuhherfan75 March 31, 2011 at 9:58 am

Yea Really

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Bee March 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I was there and I thought that their performance was amazing. I mean, everyone around me had been jumping about and singing along. I certainly got the vibe that everybody was enjoying themselves. Leisha has been prominent thanks to TLW but that doesn’t mean Camila is only “the other one.” Cam is musically talented, I’ll have you know. And if you were aware about UHH, you’d know that Cam is lead vocals. That’s how Uh Huh Her is. And as for the matter of Explode, so what if they had to do it a couple of times? No performance can be perfect. Plus, they handled it well, didn’t they? Why are you being so negative about all this? They were awesome in San Francisco, end of.

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badjedi March 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Thanks for the review.It has some sound points.Yeah some fans scream out Alice and reference the Lword.But as a music lover if they stunk the Lword could not save the band.

It is quite the opposite though in my opinion. Every concert I’ve seen them in,I was throughly entertained.Matter of fact my nephew who is all but 3 yrs has bumped Beiber’s “Baby” for UHH’s “Never The Same.”As with anything that is reviewed one must see the band play live for themselves and I think they would agree that they are very good.

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Jason March 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I appreciate the feedback, although I clearly state in my review that Camila sings the lead vocals, so I’m not sure why it’s been pointed out to me in two separate comments. What I’m saying is that Leisha is obviously the more famous of the two, and the vast majority of screams from the audience were “LEISHA!” or “I LOVE YOU LEISHA!” or some variation on that, so I felt badly that Camila was doing most of the work but getting much less attention. As for the question of whether I’m a fan, I would identify myself as a fan of Leisha’s since “All Over Me,” but I’m unimpressed with Uh Huh Her. I really wanted to like them, but the stuff they’ve released so far has been forgettable. That is simply my opinion.

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scoot April 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

I forgot about those yogurt commercials! Those were really good, I miss them. UHH should start reenacting those commercials on stage in between songs.

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Iva0513 April 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Although each person is entitled to his or her own opinion, it is obvious that despite your claim to “want to like them”, you appear to have gone to this performance with a pre-determined mindset. You seemed to be more concerned with the business arrangements the members of UHH have than their music. They are a band. If they are happy with the arrangements they have, then this would fall under the “none of your business” category. Pretty plain and simple.
Note: When you talk about the music of a band and you know that they are playing sold out venues, then you are going to receive some negative feedback to your negative comments. It is the right of the reader to post their opinion of your review as much as it is yours to post your review. One thing for certain, this band has a unique, searing quality that attracts fans like no other. The screaming at Leisha and Cam are all part of the uniqueness. These ladies interact with their audience before, during and after the shows. Their fans know they will be talked to, laughed with and yes, given that sexy teasing that makes the show what it is. fun. Kudos to UHH.

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Jacks4118 April 5, 2011 at 8:50 am

I plan on seeing them on May 15th. I would have to say the review seems a little negative for negatives sake. Telling them that just because Leisha is more famous, she should have to sing lead is just ridiculous. If you don’t like the music, that’s cool, but talk about why you don’t like the music. Don’t make fun of the fans and the band, it takes away from you credibilty as a music reviewer.

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