Makeup Artist Robert Greene and Hairstylist Benjamin Pinon bring Lily to another level at last night's MySpace show at the Bowery Ballroom. Lily looks AMAZING. Bow down to the dream team of Lily, Robert, and Ben. Congrats!
(ALL PHOTOS by BAO NGUYEN)
From Brooklyn Vegan:
Trouble Andrew, Matt & Kim, and Lily Allen played a MySpace Secret Show at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night, February 10th. It was the same day Lily's new album It's Not Me, It's You was released.
I missed them, but I'm told Trouble Andrew played for only 15 minutes. Matt & Kim started at 9PM and played to an enthusiastic, but not full, room. It wasn't until Lily Allen went on that the powers who be opened the flood gates and let everyone waiting outside into the venue. Then the room was packed.
It wasn't as rowdy as NYC Matt & Kim shows usually are, but plenty of people in the audience were there just to see the smiling duo from Brooklyn. At least one crowd member told Matt exactly that, during one of Matt's many peppy dialogues. For "Yea Yeah", the song everyone knows from their older album, Matt had all the lights turned off and asked everyone to go even more nuts than usual (which for this show was not very nuts, though there were a few people jumping off the stage). The psychology is that if nobody can see you, you're more likely to dance. Another crowd favorite was "Daylight" off their new album Grand. Before 10, they ended their set with "Silver Tiles".
Lily Allen, backed by a full band, took the stage a little after 10:00. For the next hour she played a mix of old hits ("LDN", "Smile") and new songs. Fans were cheering and singing along to both. Lily jokingly suggested people must have been doing some illegal downloading, but she quickly followed that with a more serious "I don't care, I don't make any money off recordings". The UK celebrity's set closed with a cover of Britney Spears's "Womanizer".
And from Stereo Gum:
When you think about it, these MySpace Secret Shows really reached their logical conclusion last night. You can just shut it down now. A few songs into a set that was all new but for "LDN" and "Smile," Lily Allen thanked the site for throwing last night's free show at Bowery Ballroom, saying: "God knows they've helped me in my career." The show was first-come-first-serve, and according to Miss Modern Age's aggregated Twitter-feed reportage, the line was blocks long and cops were arresting tiny MySpacers for blocking subway stops. I believe all of that because citizen journalism is the future and Twitter is nothing if not a reliable narrator. When I arrived, though, just in time for the smiles and sinews of Matt & Kim, the line lessened and the crowd inside was that quintessential NYC mix of hyped up devotees and disengaged industry folk. Yay. (Ugh.)
So, the night had an unusual energy to it. In part that's because it's early in the tour (three more "secret shows" and then a proper run) and she's still feeling her way around framing the new material. Alright, Still dressed Lily's textual confessionals in ska samples and sunny promo shots, enough to diffuse the sadness on stage and make the shows and the drinking all part of a cheeky celebration. There's no such cloak in the occasionally melancholic electro-pop of It's Not Me, It's You, though, so when Lily tipped her liquor cup and laid bare her heart, the shit could be uncomfortably direct, momentarily devastating, and not necessarily what the kids who didn't know the new album had lined up for. That tension wasn't lost on Lily, so she laughed her way into some of the saddest parts and made the requisite album leak jokes: ("You're singing along. That means you've been illegally downloading, muthafuckaaas ... that's OK, I don't make money on the recordings anyway.")
But this wasn't a wake. Lily looked great. She danced, she glamor-posed, she smirked her way through It's Not Me, It's You's many fantastic songs. Her voice has never sounded better. She swilled scotch and covered Britney Spears. She fucked-off W. There are some duds lining the new stuff, and so the set dragged, but "The Fear" and "Fuck You" and "22" and "I Could Say" and etc. made a night of it. No, we weren't making life-long memories at Bowery, but you know, she is so charming. And it was free.
From Pitchfork Media:
Just when I figure no one can top opening act Matt & Kim's Kim Schifino when it comes to 100-proof enthusiasm behind a kit, I'm introduced to Lily Allen's drummer-- easily the most entertaining part of last night's "secret" MySpace gig at NYC's Bowery Ballroom. Allen didn't introduce her four-man band by name (or acknowledge them much, really), so a nickname will have to suffice. Candidates: Death Jazz (based on his shirt), King Hippo (based on his gape), or Bozzer (based on his general Brit-rock journeyman vibe). Let's go with Bozzer.
Bozzer was playing to about 500 people, but nobody told him that. In his mind, Bozzer was playing to a sea of Union Jacks cascading through a sold-out Wembley crowd. He was like a pre-accident version of Def Leppard's Rick Allen, Tommy Lee sans rotating rig, a force. He raised and crossed sticks before coming down hard on the crashes, added hi-hat flourishes that were never meant to be there, and generally acted like a fucking star.
Which was nice, since Lily Allen's stage persona is more post-star. Which is a nice way of saying she stuck with a tipsy wobble emphasized by PG striptease moves the entire night. Very "AbFab" prequel. She makes fun of her own songs, i.e., "this is the big one from the album I [dripping sarcasm] love so much" before playing "Smile", "this one's quite boring" before "Him". She even made fun of her own making-fun intros: "I hate how I'm introducing everything like 'this next song...' like it's fucking story time."
In between these preludes, she sang songs, mostly from her new album, It's Not Me, It's You. Some of the new songs are less than mean, and Lily's still getting used to being a sympathetic figure-- she looked hesitant without insults to work for her on "I Could Say" and "Who'd Have Known". She seemed more excited about an encore cover of Britney Spears' "Womanizer" than any of her own compositions. Chalk it up to artistic distance. Because while there's a kinship-- Ms. Spears' hit is all about insulting dudes, after all-- Lily probably wouldn't admit to being duped in the first place.
Loving Lily's look. Killed it.