On Monday night, British pop princess Lily Allen reclaimed the spotlight with a stunning performance at the Fonda Theatre. Just three shows into her “No Shame” tour, she proved that four years away from the stage did not diminish her artistic capabilities.
While opening act S-X failed to properly engage the audience, Allen was met with a more than enthusiastic crowd. She paired a sparkly green jumpsuit with neon green eyeliner, capturing the fans’ attention as she opened the night with “Come On Then.”
On the track, Allen addresses her history with negative press coverage and its effect on her personal life. The upbeat pop anthem managed to showcase her vulnerability while also projecting her pain onto her critics, setting the mood for the night.
Allen’s strong entrance couldn’t compare to the crowd’s obvious affection for “LDN,” off of her first album “Alright, Still.” The first two songs, both from her 2018 album “No Shame,” did not receive the same energetic response as her earlier hits.
Allen then returned to tracks from “No Shame” with greater enthusiasm. Another surge of energy came from her empowering anthem “Knock ‘Em Out,” in which Allen focuses on women’s uncomfortable experiences when trying to get out of a conversation with men.
Allen then sang both her oldest song and newest song back-to-back. She noted that “Smile” was written 14 years ago, while “Party Line” was written only three weeks ago. After audible complaints from fans to not make them feel old, the 33-year-old singer joked that her dance moves were a result of her not knowing what do with herself anymore due to her age.
Allen’s jokes were some of the most engaging parts of the night; her honesty and openness allowed for a deeper connection with the crowd. She joked about how the tight budget caused a song to sound differently than originally intended and how she had no choice but to end the show, even though everyone was anticipating an encore.
Although there was an enthusiastic response to the slower songs that followed, the crowd erupted when Allen asked them what time it was. After a few responses were shouted back, she used her question to lead into “Who’d Have Known.” While a simple transition, it pumped up the crowd for the final song of her main act, “Not Fair” an upbeat number about women’s dissatisfaction in the bedroom.
The encore began with “Apples,” which felt awkward as a slower song after the night’s prominently upbeat tracks. Despite this, the crowd embraced “Trigger Bang,” a new song that nevertheless had the crowd singing along.
Allen used her final song to make a political statement, calling attention to Brett Kavanaugh’s controversial confirmation to the Supreme Court. The song, “Fuck You,” was originally written as a goodbye to former president George W. Bush, but this time Allen dedicated it to Kavanaugh and President Donald Trump, which was met with loud cheers.
Allen maintained a consistently lively stage presence for the entirety of the show. She appeared to respond to the music rather than perform it, smiling and laughing throughout her set. The positivity pervaded the crowd, despite addressing complex subjects such as politics, negative press and unwanted advances against women. The audience responded to each song with a similar amiability, and it allowed them to both engage with the music and consider the greater implications of Allen’s lyrics.