Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PJ Harvey & John Parrish Kick Ass at The Beacon Theatre NYC

The last time I saw PJ Harvey at New York City's Beacon Theatre, in October 2007, she wore a diaphanous, white dress and worked a stage full of instruments. Traipsing from piano to guitar to unidentifiable noisemakers, she belted out tunes from her then-current White Chalk album, and plenty of classics.
We got the opposite effect with PJ's return to Manhattan, and to the Beacon, at last night's show with longtime collaborator/guitarist John Parrish. The seated crowd -- in my opinion, seats were not right for the five-piece-band concert -- were assaulted with a full-on, big-loudspeaker sound, as a barefoot PJ (who remained guitarless for the entire show) belted out songs from the duo's two albums, Dance Hall at Louse Point and this year's A Woman a man walked by.
I got a kick out of hearing a feverish, theatrical rendition of the disturbing "Taut" (from Louse Point), "Circle," and some new song where Ms. Harvey simply repeats "I WILL NOT" -- which left Rew and I asking "I will not what???!!" (And we made up a bunch of answers, too: "I will not play songs from Rid of Me," "I will not give you an encore until I've had my English tea," etc.).
Though the absence of PJ's most memorable tunes from past albums like Dry and To Bring You My Love made me nostalgic for her last full-band tour, I'd say the concert left us feeling jolly good by the end of the night.

-- Marisa

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