photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Andrew Sacher
After much anticipation and applause from the crowd, the lights in the tightly packed Terminal 5 finally dimmed around 9 PM last night (4/20), and out walked PJ Harvey in a blinding white dress and extravagant headgear. She took to the far right of the stage, picked up her autoharp, and leapt right into the drifting chords of "Let England Shake." On the opposite side of the stage, PJ was backed by long time contributors John Parish, Mick Harvey, and Jean-Marc Butty. The band's backing vocals and tactful musicianship complemented PJ effortlessly. Throughout the night, PJ alternated between the autoharp, two electrics, and her acoustic guitar. But the most unforgettable point in the set came when she abandoned all of her instruments for "Pocket Knife" to approach the mic with nothing but her voice and endearing dance moves.
Their set included every song off Let England Shake, in addition to some older favorites. The varied mix offered quite a few exciting juxtapositions. After being mesmerized by PJ Harvey's soaring falsetto in "On Battleship Hill," the last thing I expected was to hear John Parish rip out the opening chords to "C'mon Billy," yet nothing could have sounded better. A handful of the older songs were off 1998's Is This Desire?. Of course it would have been great to hear more of the older '90s cuts as well, but the Is This Desire? tracks felt right at home with the new material, as both albums see PJ Harvey taking steps in a more experimental direction. PJ and co. left the stage after executing an hour and a half long set (three song encore included), and my only complaint is that I easily would have seen them stay for twice as long.
Our pictures and a review/setlist from the first night are HERE. More pictures from Night Two, and a couple of videos, are below...
PJ Harvey - The Last Living Rose Live at Terminal 5 4/20/11
PJ Harvey - Written on the Forehead Live at Terminal 5 4/20/11