Last night Pulp played the first of two nights at Radio City Music Hall. It all started with a set of rumors that Pulp were reuniting, touring and possibly playing Coachella in 2011. Then came the twitter account, @Pulp2011 with the curious tweet of “1/1/11 Pulp have arrived. This is our year. Pucker up. x”. So we puckered up and waited while reading speculations and finally receiving announcements and confirmations in the blogosphere that Pulp would in fact be touring…but in Europe.
Jump ahead to 2012. Pulp announce that they will not only be performing in the States but they’ll also be playing Coachella. Our bated breath settled, our hearts leaped out of our chests and then it was announced that Chromatics, who hadn’t released an album in five years, would be supporting Pulp for their first show in the US since 1998 as the opening band and our wildest dreams had suddenly come true.
Chromatics broke our hearts with their much too short opening set. Ruth Radelet’s chiffon vocals, Johnny Jewel’s thunderous synths, along with Nat Walker and Adam Miller created a pulsing, sensual Italo-disco sound that filled the music hall with songs llke “Back From the Grave”, “Lady and “In The City”, from their acclaimed album Kill For Love.
Hidden in a screen of fog and lasers, Pulp took stage and Jarvis Cocker teased us mercilessly with come hither banter via scrolling text such as, “Are you sitting comfortably in your seat?” “You’re looking good. Especially you. Yeah, you”, “Do you want to see a dolphin? Well? Do you?” and declarations such as “Welcome to the best showplace in the nation….with the best bathrooms ever!” And just before emerging on the stage in a foggy silhouette Jarvis begged, “I really want to hear you” and finally asked “Do you remember the first time?” which sent the crowd cheering and immediately on their feet. Opening with “Do You Remember The First Time” and dazzling the crowd with his unabashed, gyrating, dance moves, Jarvis is everything you’d hope to see in the flesh…and more. 14 years is a long wait, and reunion tours seem to feel stale and bland but Jarvis doesn’t seem aged a bit. His energy is youthful, sexy, witty and brilliant. He satisfied and romanced an eager crowd, working every inch of the stage and even making his way to the balcony twice for intimate serenades. He’s a true showman, engaging and surprising the crowd with gifts of candy (he wanted to out-do the “little show” he heard Radio City Music Hall was famous for at Christmas time), facts about the date of April 10th (the date the Great Gatsby was published) and little anecdotes about hiding in a bedroom wardrobe (a prelude to “Babies”) and commitment. Before diving into “Disco 2000”, Jarvis asked the crowd “What do you think of disco? Do you like disco? Oh what am I asking you for- we’re going to play it anyway” And when Jarvis tells tales of commitment he tells it as “This is a song about…commitment. That moment when you’ve committed yourself to something and your clothes are half off and in that moment you realize…’Well. I don’t really want to do this’ and you need to get out of that situation.” Jarvis kept the crowd entranced with a set that was loaded with Different Class favorites, and Jarvis leaving us with the sentiment (which was one of the most touching moments of the evening) “If a lot of people share a dream at the same time, sometimes it solidifies and the dream becomes a reality,” Oh Jarvis. You certainly made my dream come true.
Do You Remember The First Time / Mish-Shapes / Razzmatazz / Pencil Skirt / Something Changed / Disco 2000 / Sorted Out For E’s And Whizz / F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E / I Spy / Babies /Underwear / This Is Hardcore / Sunrise / Bar Italia / Common People
Like A Friend / Live Bed Show / Party Hard
Just a little something to whet your appetite:
In case you haven’t had your fill, visit Pulp at: Pulp