Loving Lily

20 Apr

From the moment she first appeared Sunday night on the stage of the House of Blues, wearing a low-cut red onesie, sneakers, and a red Red Sox cap tilted to the side, Lily Allen made it clear that she had come to Boston to have a good time. She even wore red socks as a tribute to her host city, and promised a “wicked pissah,” even though she clearly had no idea what that meant. But no matter. In just under an hour and a half, Lily Allen gave all in attendance a great show that was big on fun and big on attitude — but with plenty of talent too.

It wasn’t just Lily’s outfit — which showed off her adorable backside — that was cheeky. The rebellious Brit’s current album, It’s Not Me, It’s You, which I love, is filled with lyrics bemoaning ex-boyfriends’ lack of sexual prowess, the lack of substance in celebrity culture, and even throws in a kiss-off to George W. Bush for good measure. And it’s all delivered in a sweet sounding voice and with catchy melodies that makes for a fun juxtaposition. In person, Lily maintained that dual nature, looking adorable, but throwing around profanity and repeatedly breaking the city’s ban on smoking indoors at places like bars and clubs. (She must have smoked at least five cigarettes during the course of the show.)

Sunday night, while scampering around the stage, Lily performed every song off her latest album, throwing in only three songs from her debut (Alright, Still). Each one sounded, to use a British phrase, bloody brilliant. Lily sounded as good as she does on the album, if not better. On songs like “Never Gonna Happen” and “Fuck You,” she had the crowd enthusiastically singing along, and she clearly loved it. The beat went on with songs like “LDN,” “Him,” and the country-ish “Not Fair,” all of which were great. Of course, for every rude song, there was one like “Chinese,” which she preceded by saying how hard it was to be away on tour for so long, and then dedicated to her mum. And Lily saved her biggest hits, “The Fear” and “Smile” for the encore — during which, it’s worth mentioning, she was wearing a lobster tee-shirt dress.

If there was any misstep in the entire show, it was an odd “competition” between two women picked from the audience who were each asked to eat a bowl of baked beans. This just went on far too long, and was wholly unnecessary. Thankfully, Lily’s other attempt at interactivity was more successful: during “Smile,” she picked two kids, both no older than 12, from the audience, and when she put the microphone in their faces, they showed they knew every line of the song, even the one about having “a little wine and a moan.” Good stuff.

Lily closed the show with her cover of Britney Spears’ “Womanizer,” and it was so rocking that unfortunately, it just sounded like noise. Too bad. The rest of the concert was so much fun that I can’t wait till Lily comes stateside again so I can see her in concert once more.

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