I wasn’t really expecting much from Lily Allen‘s Webster Hall show. Her drummerless performance at Hiro was lackluster from what I’d heard, and last week’s SNL debut didn’t do much to change my mind. But I had freebie tickets (my preferred method of attending cruddy Webster Hall) so if she was underwhelming I would only be out an hour or so of my time.
We showed up slightly after nine — I was told she was going on at 9:15 — and Lily was already wrapping up her second song (we missed "LDN") and the room was super-packed so Kelly and I hung back to the left of the bar where the sound was surprisingly crisp. There were a lot of dodo heads at the show of various types, none more annoying than the dude who spent the entire show screaming into his cellphone trying to tell his friend (girlfriend?) where in Webster Hall he was. "DAMMIT!! WHATEVER!! I’M TO THE LEFT OF THE BAR! THE LEFT! THE FUCKING LEFT!" Why he didn’t just give up and enjoy the show I don’t know. Everybody else was.
As I said, I wasn’t expeting much which may be why Lily Allen came off as well as she did. In a cute ’50s housewife dress and trainers, she was in good spirits (specifically, Jagermeister), and skipped around the stage the entire time, very cute. Her band sounded good even if they were all outfitted like Best Buy employees. She kept laughing during the songs, which she later explained was because she’d ordered shepherd’s pie from Tea & Sympathy for dinner, but it was coming back to haunt her — burping. Lily also seemed to be enjoying her now on-stage toy — an octapad loaded with various samples, though she mainly seemed to be hitting the "lock-and-load" and "machine gun" ones.
As far as I could tell, the entirety of Alright, Still was played, plus some covers, giving Keane’s "Everbody’s Changing," and the Kooks’ "Naive" that light ska flavor Lily is known for. Which is what made the third cover — "Blank Expression" by her proclaimed favorite band ever, the Specials — a bit disappointing. She and the band didn’t do much to it to change it from the original. She finished with "Alfie" which had hands waving… though that song doesn’t do much for me. Nonetheless
One note of kudos to Webster Hall, seeing how I generally rail against it. Though I occasionally get on guest lists, I really don’t like it, as the chance of being screwed is ever-present — especially with hot shows. If I’m by myself, it’s disappointing but you deal. It’s when you have a plus-one and your name’s not there that you feel like an ass. My name was on the list, but with no plus-one, but the guy working the list let me and Kelly in anyway, as some dude two people in front of us in line had a plus-three and only brought one person with him. Between that and the decent sound Saturday night (though maybe I was in a sweet spot) maybe I should give Webster Hall a break. Nah, still hate it.
Chris the Music Snob was front and center, and the Modern Age and others were there too. Picture swiped from Gweebay’s Flickr photostream.