Anyone hoping for a booze-induced train-wreck during Lily Allen's sold-out show at D.C.'s 9:30 Club on Friday, April 17 would have been sorely disappointed. The baby-faced Brit has done quite a bit of growing up in recent months. Not only has she eased up on the drinky-drinky, but she's ditched those boldly colored sundresses and blunt bangs for a more sophisticated look. As the electro-sirens of “Everyone's At It” reved, the beats dropped in time with a billowing white curtain and a svelte, freshly cropped Lily Allen emerged flashing that signature smile. Prancing back and forth in massive, glitter-encrusted heels, Allen owned the stage and drew laughs as she mocked party girl coke-heads with a finger to the nose and sang, “I'm not trying to say that I'm smelling of roses, but when will we tire of putting shit up our noses."
After a handful of amped-up dance cuts, most from her latest disc, “It's Not Me, It's You,” Allen noted that the D.C. audience was “by far one of the best of the tour so far” and amused with her naivety about American geography. “Is Salt Lake City, Utah a desert or a lake?” she joked before eventually deciding, “it's a city on a lake.” She then eased into the accordion-driven “Never Gonna Happen” and showed off her immaculate vocals. After asking someone to bring her a drink, “preferably of the alcoholic variety” she quickly corrected the slip that could have incited a tabloid rush to the press with a laugh. “I meant alcohol.” Her fans ate it up with applause.
It was fitting for the city that the latter part of her set rounded out with a belated send-off for former president George W. Bush, prompting a majority of the audience to throw up middle fingers and wave them from side-to-side on the delicately bawdy, “Fuck You.” We were reminded that Lily is truly one foul-mouthed sweetheart who is as just sarcastic as she is adorable.
To deafening screams, Allen and her band returned for a knock-out of an encore, launching into the pseudo-dub grooves of her smash, “Smile” that eventually mashed-up with a drum n' bass remix of the track and created a dance party, to Allen's delight. “I wanna see even more dancin' D.C.!” to which all obliged. “The Fear” followed and appeased those who had come to hear “the hit” and a high octane cover of Britney Spear's “Womanizer” had even those who despise it on their feet. Despite the perfection of the latter, you got the feeling that it was all a bit tongue-in-cheek.
With just a bit of beverage and a rock solid set list, Allen proved she's more than just a Perez Hilton staple.