Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lily Allen brings it to The Mile High

Fellow music aficionado and good friend Eric Monsma chimes in with his review of Lilly Allen's show a The Ogden this past Thursday, a big thanks to Eric for his awesome review (plus he got a picture with her...lucky bastard)

Lily Allen rolled into Denver on Thursday afternoon scheduled to perform later that evening at The Ogden Theater. This was Lily’s first time actually playing Denver as she ended up cancelling the second half of her first tour in support of her debut album Alright Still because of exhaustion about 2 years prior. Needless to say I was a little bummed when that happened but now Lily seemed rested, recently released her amazing follow up album It’s Not Me, It’s You and was ready to concur the U.S. once and for all.

Being a pretty big fan I follow her on her twitter account pretty religiously. Her latest gimmick is following an afternoon sound-check she strolls around popular areas of the city to hide 3 separate pairs of tickets and backstage passes. She then uses her twitter account to publish clues to her 132,000 (and growing) twitter followers where she may be. I was already off work for the day and was at a pub with some co-workers when I got the first clue. I recognized the clue right away and realized she was at the Denver Center for Performing Arts –outside by the large dancing sculptures. With no car I quickly jumped on the free shuttle bus down to an intersection where I was hoping to get on a train. Unfortunately no train was to be found and with the clock ticking I sprinted for about 6 blocks to the area (backpack with laptop, books and all…). As I turned the last corner I saw her talking to two other girls who had just beaten me to win the first pair of tickets. As I caught my breath and walked towards her I politely asked how late was I and she replied in her accent “only about 2 minutes.” As a runner up consolation prize I asked if I could at least score a picture with her and she was awesome and said “But of course.” So I handed my camera to her two other management/street crew peeps and stood next to her with my arm around her shoulder and got a great picture of the two of us (minus me squinting due to the sun blazing directly on our eyes). I did tell her that I already had tickets but was trying to get a pair for my friends so she knew that I wasn’t some fair-weather fan. She laughed and thanked me and we went our separate ways.

We secured a prime spot at the Ogden – just above the small floor, first balcony against the rail eye level with the stage (ideal for pictures). Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head was the opening band and consisted of 4 guys and a girl from Seattle –all very energetic. I was impressed with the sound and they definitely warmed up the crowd for Ms. Allen. Lily then came on shortly after and opened her gig with “Everyone’s At It” and the crowd absorbed every minute of it. She continued on with her set and performed a good balance of songs from her first album as well as her more recent album in addition to a couple of covers. The songs I can remember included: Ldn, It’s Not Fair, Littlest Things, Never Gonna Happen, Everything’s Just Wonderful, Who’d Have Known, Back To The Start, He Wasn’t There, Fuck You (the special shout out to George W. Bush), Smile, The Fear. Covers included the Kaiser Chiefs “Oh my God” and Lily ended the show with a cover of Britney Spears “Womanizer” to close out the encore.

In between a couple songs Lily would request a cigarette quickly followed by her inhaler (I’m assuming due to the altitude) and enjoyed one drink throughout the show. She was very interactive with the crowd, cursed like that sassy sailor that we’ve all grown to love and cracked jokes about her band members etc. The show blended a good balance of slow soft ballads and then full throttle dance tracks that kept the Ogden’s blood racing through their veins and the show kept a good pace. At one point in the show she walked back to the top of her stage near the drums and broke down a dance session to Kid Cudi’s “Day And Night” before the track mixed into her next song.

All and all this show met and far exceeded my expectations. She is a lyrical genius and a great live performer with an amazing voice –not to mention that attractive strong female British accent that I can’t get enough of.


For more of Eric's pics check out his Flickr gallery: