It seems like PJ Harvey has had a handful of NYC area shows lately, with pretty much the same set-lists (give-or-take), so for your benefit and mine, I’ll make the written part brief.
Making my way to Central Park, on one of the hottest days of the year I was eager to witness the magic of PJ Harvey, the multiple Grammy nominated artist, that everyone has been talking about in the music business as of late here in NYC. Having never seen her live, and quite frankly only knowing a handful of her songs, I went in as a blank canvas for her to paint whatever picture she wanted on me.
Being that there wasn’t an opener the show had a later start than most at the secluded Central Park venue, and when Polly Jean Harvey took to the stage with her large band at 8:20pm, the crowd erupted with the first notes of “Chain Of Keys.” Sounding huge with multiple percussionists and horns, PJ Harvey demanded attention with both her booming-voice and muscle-memory induced dance moves. The crowd ate it up, but I felt it was a little dry and robotic, almost too rehearsed to the point of watching a Broadway play. I’m certainly not saying it was bad, just maybe not what I was expecting, and that’s okay, every night can’t be an epic gig.
In the end, maybe my expectations where too high and wanted to be painted like a Salvador Dali, but I felt more like a Bob Ross landscape leaving the gig – which is pretty cool too.
Article: Shayne Hanley