Lily Allen previewed her sadder, darker new LP at MHOW & ‘Seth Meyers’ (pics, review, video)
Lily Allen is releasing her new album No Shame on June 8, but ahead of the release, she came to the US to preview it with intimate shows in NYC and LA, and an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. The NYC show (at Music Hall of Williamsburg) and the Seth Meyers performance were both last night.
At the MHOW show, she played 12 of the 14 songs from the new album, most of which the crowd was hearing for the very first time. Despite being unfamiliar with the music, the packed room still showed Lily so much love, and she seemed genuinely grateful that people were listening intently to the new songs and cheering her on. She seemed really happy to be getting back out there (this is her first album in four years) and was in great spirits all night, but the songs from the new album were not happy songs. Going by the MHOW show, No Shame is her saddest, darkest, and most personal album yet.
Lily spoke candidly on stage about how several songs on her new album are about recent struggles with alcoholism and her recent divorce, and she sang the lyrics loud and clear, making it very apparent that this album shows a different side of Lily Allen. One song, “Apples,” which was played with just Lily singing over a clean, jazzy guitar, had the audience so hushed and mesmerized that you could’ve heard a pin drop, and you got the sense that everyone in the room was hanging on to her every word.
The new songs also sound darker, which suits the lyrical content well. A handful of the songs see Lily moving towards James Blake/Drake-style R&B/hip hop production, which is a far cry from her peppy early singles, but which suits her just as well. She also had a couple piano ballads, including one called “Three” that she said was about her daughters missing her when she goes out on tour. (That’s also the song she played on Seth Meyers and you can watch video of that below.) The new album isn’t all doom and gloom — it also has a song called “Pushing Up Daisies” that Lily said is about her new boyfriend, and that one hearkened back to the more upbeat Lily Allen of old.
Though the show was mostly about the new album, she did find time for a few of her earlier fan faves like “Smile,” Knock ‘Em Out,” “The Fear,” and “It’s Not Fair,” which had the crowd bouncing around and singing every word. She ended her pre-encore set with “Fuck You,” which she mentioned was originally written with George W. Bush in mind but she now re-dedicated it to Donald Trump, and the crowd screamed in approval. When Lily left the stage before the encore, the crowd stomped and shook the floor to get her back on stage. It was one of the most enthusiastic demands for an encore I’ve ever seen in New York City.
Pictures of the MHOW show, including one of the setlist, are in the gallery above. Video of Lily playing “Three” on Seth Meyers is below.
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photos by P Squared