Fillmore Miami Beach
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Better Than: Your usual Taco Tuesday dinner plans.
Pop's most outspoken artist, Lily Allen, finally made her proper Miami debut last night.
Sure, she played in Fort Lauderdale a couple years back, but lots has changed since then. Miami has grown up and so has Allen, who is now a mother of two. But if you think age or motherhood has dulled Allen's sharp, silver tongue, you'd be wrong. Even in front of the crowd at the Fillmore Miami Beach, she's pretty honest.
"It's the first time I wore this dress, and it's really riding up," complained Allen, only four songs deep into her set. She quickly slipped off the stage to change, returning in a slinky black outfit that almost made you wonder if the whole thing was planned.
Either way, Allen's honesty is always her most charming quality. She never comes off as rehearsed or insincere. So when she professed excitement for the kickoff of her North American tour in Miami, we bought it.
The night opened with a set by Indian-born Norwegian singer Samsaya. With '90s-esque, Gwen Stefani-style vocals and a New Wave reggae quality to her sound, we couldn't help drawing No Doubt comparisons.
And while Samsaya was fully aware people weren't there to see her, she hopped all over the stage with plenty of energy and enthusiasm, thrilled to be playing her first Miami show.
After a short break, Allen took the stage, kicking it off with the title track from her latest release, Sheezus. The breathy track features Allen's witty commentary at its best, tearing through other divas and reminding everyone that women get their periods -- deal with it. But the real kicker was the blending of Kanye West's beat from "New Slaves" between chorus and verses. It was a welcomed nod to the Yeezus/Sheezus tie.
The "remixing" of songs was a pattern the kept on throughout the show as "Not Fair" received a dose of UK garage and "Smile" was interrupted by breakbeat.
In all honesty, though, Allen is not the strongest singer -- she's admitted as much herself in interviews. So what makes her so charismatic? She's a great songwriter and listening to her skewer everyday shit live is pretty satisfying.
"I'm a London white boy rapping ATL/Keyboard warrior that can't spell," she burst out during "URL Badman," a song, she told the crowd, that was for the online shit-talkers. She followed that with "The Fear," commenting, "And I'll take my clothes off and it will be shameless/'Cause everyone knows that's how you get famous." Wonder who she could be talking about?
"I found these weed covers in a spliff shop not too far away," Allen said while the crowd cheered. She eventually admitted she got pulled over by the cops when she was coming back from her shopping trip and was dedicating the next song to them.
"Fuck You" got one of the biggest crowd reactions, as everyone sang along with their middle fingers up. And that's when it hit us, Allen greatest attribute is that she says what her fans are thinking but only wish they could say out loud. She's just
ballsy tough-titty enough to say it.
For the encore, she returned to sing a couple of the Weeknd's verses from "Or Nah" with a little bit of reworking to lend the song a female's perspective: "You let me stretch my pussy out ... Pussy so good, save that shit for later." After a minute or so, she launched into "Hard Out Here," during which all the bitches in the crowd let her know that they understand the struggle.
We also have to commend Allen, because even though the Fillmore was far from sold out -- we'd guess about 60-percent full -- she performed like she was in front of a packed house. Perhaps it was the excitement of this being the first show of the tour. But perhaps that's just the way Allen is.
Personal Bias: I'm a fan of brutal honesty, which Allen delivers.
The Crowd: Lots of chaperones who were OK with their wards singing along to "Fuck You."
By the Way: Lily Allen's stage setup was made up of baby bottles that changed colors and "Lily Allen" spelled out in huge letters -- in case you forgot you were at a Lily Allen concert.
Lily Allen's Setlist:
-"As Long As I Got You"
-"Everyone's at It"
-"Life For Me"
-"Miserable Without Your Love"
-"Bass Like Home"
-"Who'd Have Known"
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-"Or Nah" (Ty Dolla $ign cover)/"Hard Out Here"
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