Last night I went to see Lily Allen at Webster Hall here on her NYC leg of the “MTV Discover and Download” Series.
Her 7-piece band (3 horns, a drummer, guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist) marched on stage, wearing color-coordinated polo shirts–making them look like a 3-tone Crayola box. (Horns in green! Rhythm section in powder blue! Leads in cerulean blue!) Then the UK’s favorite little pop darling came out from the wings wearing a poofy short-sleeved white shirtdress with black thin checks on it, pairing them with white Nike Air Jordans, a hugenormous gold-colored machine gun necklace (obviously an upgrade from the tiny one she wore when she last time she played NYC), and medium-sized gold hoop earings.
She started the night off with horns blazing (literally) with “LDN”, working her way through some of her most upbeat songs such as the one with the quirky/funny sound effects, the other one with the “la la la” part, and you know–that little ditty with the..er…horns, only stopping to mention that she went out last night and was feeling kinda, “eeehhhhh”, and to shake her bottom in time with the first 5 measures of any given song.
Midway through the set she informed the audience that she’s only released one album with 11 songs (which people could buy at the stand in the back for a whopping $15 dollars) so she needed to sing some songs by other people in order to fill up the time otherwise “it would be a very short concert”–aka, Lily’s last show in NYC which lasted about 40 minutes.
The stage lights got turned down, and the wall of lights behind Lily fired up, making it look like she was standing all alone outside with a starry night sky. Her guitar player strummed up his acoustic guitar and they proceeded to sing “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane and “Naive” by The Kooks. The drummer insisted on stroking his arsenal of chimes about every 10 seconds, so in addition to making me feel like I was living the wet dream of a 40-year-old house mom from Brighton, I also felt like I was trapped in the midsts of a 5 minute magical Disney movie song segment.
It was soon after this acoustic medley that Lily announced that the reason she was giggling and stopping through her songs was not because she was forgetting the words, but because she had been “feeling sorry” for herself earlier, and had ordered a Shepherd’s Pie from Tea and Sympathy to her hotel room for dinner–which was now causing her to burp incrementally through all her performance.
As one would expect, the night was capped off with a rendition of Lily’s hit song, “Smile”, where she prompted the audience to wave their hands in the air from side to side during the chorus–which due to the “www.jointheglobalfund.org” wristbands everyone was slapped with at the door, it turned the classic concert gesture into a blurry sea of arm spam.
Vintage Lily, performing “The Littlest Things” at Rough Trade record shop in LDN: