I will admit I went into Sunday night's Lily Allen concert with some low expectations. I mean, I love her album "Alright, Still," but this is her first major tour and, well, frankly, I'd read a couple of lukewarm reviews.
With that in mind, I was more than pleasantly surprised by her show at the Crest. (Read my Ticket+ interview with Allen here.) First of all, it was great to see someone who's only working her first U.S. single and album actually sell out a decent-sized venue like the Crest. Also, it was great to see such a mixed-age group - tweens and teens all the way up to a couple of gray hairs.
As for Allen herself, the 21-year-old London native wowed the crowd with some smokin' renditions of "Smile," "Knock 'Em Out," "LDN," and my personal favorite, "Everything's Just Wonderful." Oh yeah, and a killer take on Blondie's "Heart of Glass." Backed by a seven-piece band - including three horn players - the music leaned heavily toward the reggae and ska sounds that flavor her album. Cool by me because it gave the night even more of a party feel.
Now, some people in my group weren't totally enthralled with Allen's attire - a loose-fitting (OK, we'll say it: maternity) sundress worn over cut-off jeans and paired with a new pair of "trainers" (i.e., some white Air Jordans). I, however, was kind of charmed by her loopy style statement. Then again, maybe that was due more to Allen's sparkling, albeit potty-mouthed persona.
Really, don't all swear words sound better when uttered in a clipped British accent?
Anyway, fun show - she could've played longer (Allen clocked in at under 90 minutes), and word has it that she pretty much uses the same stage banter, word-for-word, show-to-show. But, whateves, she seemed to be in good spirits, was friendly to the enthusiastic crowd (including the, at times, overly zealous front-row attendees), and I woke up this morning humming a Lily Allen medley. Works for me.