On a different timeline Lily Allen is playing arenas and selling them out left and right. She is heralded as one of the best pop artists of the 2000’s. But that’s on an alternate timeline. In our timeline she is still one of the best pop artists, but after Sheezus and the subsequent tour she took a break from the industry and has more of a cult following than a wider audience. If you were at the Paradise in Boston on Wednesday though, you would have thought you were around music royalty, as the crowd was loud and wild the entire evening.
I only caught a few minutes of the opener, producer S-X, but he played some very bass heavy r and b. He had a great voice that has a fairly wide range. It was impressive hearing him do part of one of his songs acapela. S-X mentioned how honored he was to be on the tour and how little notice he had for it before it started earlier this month. It’s first time going around the states and he was floored at how receptive audiences have been for him.
Lily took the stage to chants of “Lily Fucking Allen” and launched right into No Shame‘s opener “Come On Then.” In all ten of the fourteen songs from the album would be played through the night. They may not have been given as much love as her older material from It’s Not Me, It’s You and Alright, Still but the songs sounded great live. She was joined all night by two musicians who played the keys and bass, as well as a drum machine, which gave the music a little extra power.
The early back to back of “Knock “Em Out” and “Smile” had the crowd singing back and at times overpowering Allen, much to her liking. The crowd may have been giving it extra as early on in the show she said she had a bit of cold. She powered through it all night, but there were times she gave up the reigns to the choruses with a gigantic smile. She also spoke about the political divide in the country currently. Lily has always been left leaning in her politics and urged the crowd, especially if they are Republican, to vote Democrat. At the Paradise there was only cheering, but I would imagine in other places of the country there might be crowds that aren’t one hundred percent for it. With the speech over she launched into a new unreleased song called “Party Line,” that while not about politics, does talk about crossing over lines you may not want to.
Next up was a cover of Lykke Li’s “deep end” and she did the song justice and we can thank Triple J Studio’s show Like a Version for it. Before “Three,” which she usually dedicates to her kids, she told a story about them before dedicating it to Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones, and his newborn who she won’t meet until the tour is over. “The Fear” had the audience in fits, dancing up a storm as did the set closer “Not Fair.” She came back on and did the beautiful ballad “Apples” followed by the absolute club worthy “Trigger Bang.”
Before the night was over there was one more political rant. She said the last song of the night was originally for George W. Bush, but he was out of office already. Her label didn’t understand why the song was so important. She said it will always be relevant and then joked about being Nostradamus about the current administration. While laughing about it with everyone in attendance, she became serious and told everyone to please go vote to end the absolute craziness of what is going on lately and to save the country from going further down the toilet. With all that said she went into a lively “Fuck You,” with full audience participation of middle fingers in the air, to send the audience home in pure joy.
Article: Bryan Lasky