Lily Allen with DJ Aaron LaCrate at Axis on February 18

A review of Lily Allen with DJ Aaron LaCrate at Axis on February 18, 2007

, Staff

Lily Allen was pissed, in more ways than one; and she let her fans know it during her sold out concert at Axis last Sunday. In the American sense of the word, she was annoyed about her zero-for-four record at last week’s Brit Awards. And in the British sense of the word, she was more than a bit tipsy by the end of her show. But both of those circumstances only added fuel to Allen’s performance fire, as she displayed the cheeky personality the British star’s fans have come to know through her album. Allen puts the “tart” in “pop tart.”

Allen kicked off the last stop of her MTV.com-sponsored tour with “LDN,” the hit single from her debut album, Alright, Still. With a full band behind her, including a brass section, Allen strutted about the stage in a frumpy-looking brown dress, a black zip-up hoodie, sneakers and thick gold hoop earrings. Her signature style was slightly improved when she lost the hoodie, but her dress was just loose enough to evoke memories of her Saturday Night Live dress that sparked pregnancy rumors. Let’s hope those rumors are false because Allen was sipping Jagermeister throughout the performance (she said she had a sore throat,) and toward the end of the show she announced, “I’m a little bit drunk now. Just realized.” The crowd delighted in this confession and only cheered louder.

After “LDN,” Allen continued her set with three of the more comical songs off her debut album, “Nan You’re a Window Shopper,” “Knock ‘Em Out” and “Shame for You.” In parts of the early stages of the show Allen’s voice sounded better than it did on Alright, Still, and she certainly held some high notes longer than she had on any recorded track. Of course, the more Jager she consumed the more her voice deteriorated, but her performance grew more sassy and entertaining.

It was at this point in the show when Allen started talking to the audience as if she was out to dinner with her mates, and the crowd responded like hundreds of screaming friends. “I was nominated [for four Brit Awards] and didn’t win nothing,” Allen lamented to her new companions. “Assholes! F*ck you England!” She finished this statement by blowing a raspberry into the microphone. If it weren’t for the fact that Allen can actually sing, this antic would have reminded me of Kelly Osborne.

During the second part of her near 90-minute set Allen sang three unreleased songs, “Cheryl Tweedy, “Naïve,” and “Absolutely Nothing.” She went on to play the remainder of the songs from her album, including “Not Big,” “Everything’s Just Wonderful,” “No Friend of Mine,” and “Friday Night.” The crowd erupted as the band played the first few notes of “Smile” and Allen led a passionate sing-along. When the song ended Allen yelled a quick “Goodnight Boston!” and ran off stage.&

With the crowd screaming for an encore, Allen returned with a smirk and a cigarette in hand. Glancing slyly at the security guard near the stage she said, “I usually don’t get this drunk at all my gigs but it’s the last night of my tour so I have to.” The brazen Brit then sang The Specials’ “Blank Expression.” After being handed another lit cigarette, Allen and her thrilled audience finished up the night with the up-beat “Alfie.” Of course, at this point the vocals were definitely off and Allen was yelling more than singing, but the dancing crowd didn’t know the difference.

DJ Aaron LaCrate, who Allen dubbed “a genius” during her show, opened the night with an interesting mix of tracks. LaCarte was a creative mixer, playing a wide variety of songs, from Young Dro’s “Shoulder Lean” to Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey.” The crowd had a hard time getting into the music, but to LaCrate’s credit I think the audience members were preoccupied with making sure they had a good view of the stage for the main event.

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