Opening Bands: Kevin Michael
Band Links: link
I only found about Lily Allen two months ago, but in that short time I’ve been listening to her debut album over and over again. I normally don’t listen to music that poppy but she seems different to me. It might just be a British thing, but it also could be that she has a sort of reggae/ska sound to her music as well.
If one of your main influences is The Specials, you’re a-okay in my book. So I finally got notified that tickets were available the morning of the concert, and I was suppose to have a photo pass. For years now, I’m always cynical on whether or not there will even be tickets or a photo pass at the venue. I’m always guaranteed tickets and photo passes and something usually goes wrong. I got the tickets this time (thankfully!) but there wasn’t a photo pass there. The front desk girl checked around and said, there aren’t any photo passes available tonight..”Hmm, ok that’s a new one” I thought. I wonder if Lily Allen didn’t want any photos taken of her today because she wasn’t looking like Kate Moss that night? Who knows, but this kind of stuff is very frustrating and irritating. But I guess that’s the beloved music business.
ANYWAY, I didn’t know who the opening acts were but when I got there, a DJ was spinning & doing his thing on stage. He actually was quite good, mixing British pop, oldies, and 80’s pop music. I guess you can say he was playing a similar style of Lily Allen’s. Some of his transitions were really good but sometimes he wasn’t as good with other songs. But I definitely enjoyed his music in between sets and so did the crowd. I caught one song of the opening act and wasn’t really digging it so I went downstairs to meet up with some friends and chatting til Lily came on.
Lily Allen took the stage and opened with my favorite song from her, “LDN.” The horn section played the main riff of the song and the crowd erupted with applause. Lily Allen appeared in a long white dress and was bopping around stage singing. After, she commented that her dress is long and if she falls down, she’ll just incorporate it in the act. Speaking of dresses, I found it funny to see all these girls wearing the same type of dresses Lily wears. Be..your…self..After “LDN,” Lily performed “Nan You’re a Window Shopper.” There was a certain charm and giddiness to her voice as she sang all the songs.
I noticed at one point in the set that she was kneeling down, looking at some papers. I then realized she had a bunch of lyrics down there to help her not forget the verses. It wasn’t really helping her because all the papers were disorganized. I believe Lily did that for a new song, or one I never heard of yet. She was giggling about it, and apologizing that sometimes she needs to look down to find where her place is. I guess that’s why I never became a singer, because I can’t remember shit. I can see where she is coming from but at the same time, people pay money to see her sing the songs and remember the lyrics. This also happened pretty badly for “Not Big.” I thought she was going to start the song over she was forgetting the words so bad. She would just be up there, singing “la,la,la,la” but the crowd loved it (it seemed) and I was cracking up too. Just like Billy Joel says, “We’re Only Human.” I’m not sure if she does that every concert but if she does, I don’t think Lily Allen will stay popular for too long. Hearing Shane MacGowan forget one or two verses is one thing, forgetting 80 percent of songs isn’t gonna fly amongst the mainstream crowd. But in her defense, I’d rather have her forget words than lip syncing at concerts (or singing over pre-recorded songs). That crap is just uncalled for but thankfully Lily doesn’t do that. I would have walked out if she did that.
But back to her show, She played pretty much every track from her album and they all sounded great live (when she remembered the words). I think the more notable ones were “Everything’s Just Wonderful,” “Friday Night,” “Shame For You” and “Smile.” During her set, she did an interesting cover of The Specials’ “Blank Expression” and performed one or two songs I never heard of. She finished the set with “Smile” and that sounded awesome! After that, a lot of the crowd went home but I stuck around to hear a few more songs from her. Lily came back and did a cover of the Kaiser Chiefs and Blondie. She said that she had to put a bunch of covers in the show since her album was so short. She had to “give us our money’s worth” she said. Lily Allen ended the night with the song about her brother, “Alfie.”
All in all, the show was pretty good and Lily sounded great (besides that whole forgetting the lyrics thing). The backing band was just as good, especially the horn section. The horns were a tad louder than her singing at times but that’s the sound guy’s fault. I liked how she added some covers into the set, although I would have picked an older song than covering the Kaiser Chiefs. I love the band but come on, just a little bit too earlier to be covering them. But if you like her music and get the chance to see her perform live, do so.
Bottom Line: Besides a few awkward moments, the show was a lot fun.
Favorite Songs: LDN, Smile, Everything’s Just Wonderful, Friday Night, Shame For You