ACL Review: Lily Allen

London musical millennial stages a sleepy pajama party

Lily Allen, born English theatrical royalty, should’ve been a rapper.

Photo by David Brendan Hall

The 33-year-old London native strode onstage in pink pajamas like she just rolled out of bed, pulled back last night’s hair, and threw on Dorothy’s silver platforms. Her performance demonstrated similar energy, like, “I’m still lit from last night and care just enough to put on shoes.”

Opener “Come On Then” from 2018’s No Shame stayed uninspiring. The most interesting aspect about it became an audience witnessing a blonde girl in a pajama suit performing to a reggae beat, and – as those in the Jamaican dancehall trade like to say – trying to wine.

Like reggae sans the Mary Jane, the entire show evidenced zero fluidity, mon.

Third track “My One” finally harnessed her Sex and the City wit (“Baby, I fucked half the boys in Paris”) before the set fizzled out for good. Allen resides in the Kid Cudi rapping lane: her merits reside in witticisms and bluntness, while the rhythm of her music and live performances feels monotone.

In the latter arena, she really just walked back and forth onstage in her jammies. She briefly swung into actual rapping on “Knock ‘em Out” as the restless crowd of mid-20s hipsters who were fans in middle school wandered off.

Allen might be one of the most explicit third-wave feminist acts to break out in the early 2000s, something she reminded us in denouncing Brett Kavanaugh with a closing number she wrote a decade ago for George W. Bush in one of her earliest hits, “Fuck You.”

It may have been her most relevant track.

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ACL Festival, Lily Allen, ACL Fest 2018, ACL Music Fest 2018, Kid Cudi, Brett Kavanaugh, George W. Bush

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