Vintage Reprise : Lily Allen — Live at Buckhead Theatre

Reprise the eighth … finds our vintage echoing a seasonal vantage of no shame november … and so, with that, and without further ado, a revisitation in the realm of rhymes with silly allen’s peachtree scene showcase … and, as always, of the course : cheers — enjoi

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:: Vintage Reprise :: Lily Allen Live at Buckhead Theatre (Oct 17 2018) [ fr. Top 18: The Re-Up, Recoded :: No Shame Live ; 10.19.18] ::

The Scene: Lily’s setlist spanned eleven years of the Wordsworth of the MySpace Generation’s rhythmic discourses and dialogues by-way-of Pop lyricism; line by line, the audience retraced the footsteps and and soundtreks that led us through said decade of lucid chances… oscillating fame, and independent identity lost and found.

From sound and scene, to story and score, Lily’s No Shame Tour revisited those oft-overlooked elements of Millennial Pop’s twenty-something nostalgia. Somewhere, a skosh past the show’s halfway point, during an interlude ode to a most glorious slice of time – one which, admittedly, feels centuries further gone than a calendar would claim – it fell into place, that oddly-precise feeling of socio-sonic placement, that exact element of nostalgia…

Anyone here remember MySpace?

The collective scene evoked a sense of the Theatre stage’s momentary place as Lily’s living revival of the legendary MySpace page – but make it “now;” tunes, crews, riffs, rhymes and points-of-view… Top (1)8 :: The Re-Up: re-coded.

The Soundtrack: Opening-act S-X delivered deep-minimalist measures, akin to a subterranean spin on The Weeknd. Think low-fi rhythmic lounge bass and blues with a staccato echo break linger… stark with a humble confident swelter aura. It felt autumnal, like a mid-November night scene at an underground bassment party.

Then, without further ado, four albums into a novel aural anthology: Lily emerged; with that, the venue transformed into a jukebox-soapbox haven for the lyricist’s live unveiling of her latest release, No Shame.

The album, in title and tracklist, speaks to Allen’s signature tone and crafted technique: to dive into that narrow crevice of modern culture and express exploration of the contemporary human condition – that dynamic flux between the personal and the public, the celebrity and the scene, the artist and the audience, the individual and the industry, the muse and their mediated representation, the citizen and their social environment. The live show found its pulse in its uncanny ability to convey that very exchange, beyond the confines of a detached streaming age, and into the active interplay between the musician and their avid fanbase.

Minimal staging, stark lighting, resonant acoustics, and disarming… humanness, for lack of a better term, generated a tangible connection between the artist and her audience; the tipping point of said energetic crescendo, into a proper fourth-wall dissolve, likely happened just beyond the break of “Lost My Mind,” at the brink of that genesis-of-the-thus-thisness “Smile.”

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Songstress-as-Scene-Pop-oracle returned in full-effect on the self-prophesying wings of “The Fear.” Sometimes, you take a moment to mull for a split-second, metaphorical analogies (maybe not you-you, but the general potential “you;” well, I do, anyway, moving on); watching Lily Allen perform “The Fear,” live, in 2018, in cosmicpolitan neon 31st-century fly-girl gear is one of said moments; Lily as Motherboard-of-the-MySpace Generation is one of said metaphorical analogies. We’re all just kids on this cosmic playground of life, some of us kids happen to have kids, Lily is one of said kids; significant elements of her tracklist also happened to have clearly defined culture in the then-future-now-present digital age of *gestures broadly at immediate hyperreality:* thus, the motherboard.

Started from the bottom, shot the fear, now settled in the castle, yet somehow still wondering how in the world we got here… “Higher,” with its ephemeral spoken-word inquisitions immersed in echoing reverb beneath muted percussion and layered acoustics, and the pure sapience of “Family Man”’s terminal reckoning, illuminated the salve in surrender. Surrender, not as an act of giving up, rather giving in to recognizing the crucible of matrimony when said course has met its season’s end. Onward through the unpredictable curves in said life’s roads, the It’s Not Me, It’s You duo “Who’d Have Known?” and “Not Fair,” nestled aptly as a fitting capstone to the set and compliment to the Southern ambiance, balancing the tone for an escalating encore trifecta.

Fresh off the Mercury Prize stage, “Apples” captured the crowd in its humble strength; the steady linger of an unassuming ebb-and-flow tandem between melody and memoir of gravitational revelation. Said apple then dropped into the bombastic flair of an undeniable can’t-hang-with-the-cool-gang crowd-favorite, No Shame’s lead single, “Trigger Bang.” Pop scribe prophecy returned to the setlist once more with the funny-because-it’s-true-(again)-funnier-if-it-weren’t-but-it’s-all-cycles-and-seasons-in-the-political-panopticon anthem, “Fxxk You.” The South rose against its own stereotype to close out the show in panoramic unison, amplifying Lily’s lyrical opposition to incumbent establishment with resounding fervor in a most-apropos finale.

The Score: Lily is a bit of a living riff: rhythms and rhymes roaming from place to place in a synchronous harmony evolving in its own unfolding. You follow this path; you hang onto every word, without necessarily holding any direct cognition of where any of said journey is headed. Low-and-behold, the epic reveals itself at the punchline, only to open the door to yet another pathway.

The No Shame Tour, live at Buckhead Theatre, was a time capsule; everyone vibed on the same frequency, regardless of geographic origin. It felt like a humble homecoming for those niche Millennial Pop natives who happen to end up wherever said rhythm leads… The messenger-muse bathed in neon black light attire, striding from stage left to stage right, riffing on Londontown, life amidst the social rounds, taking on The Fear from the battlefield that is fame, ebbs and flows of political regression, but inevitably, the narrative maintains: flaws and all, there is no shame in translating the story of stellar evolution through this modern human condition. Amidst the company of motley camaraderie within the walls of a makeshift real-life MySpace, so long as we’re all here, that humble present feels alright, still.


:: Live-Fi: Lily Allen – No Shame Tour, Buckhead Theatre : Setlist Playlist ::

· “Come on Then” · · “Waste” ft. Lady Chann · · “LDN” · · “What You Waiting For?” · · “Knock ‘Em Out” · · “Lost My Mind · · “Smile” · · “deep end” (Lykke Li Cover) · · “Pushing Up Daisies” · · “Three” · · “Everything to Feel Something” · · “The Fear” · · “Higher” · · “Family Man” · · “Who’d Have Known” · · “Not Fair” · · “Apples” · · “Trigger Bang” ft. Griggs · · “F*x* You” ·

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