Live Review

Pulp, Radio City Music Hall, New York

It feels like minutes instead of hours - just to leave you satisfied enough to want more.

After ramping up the audience with a string of questions lasered across a mesh curtain screening the stage — do you want a drink? feeling alright? are you? do you want to see a dolphin? — Pulp take the Radio City stage with ‘Do You Remember The First Time?’ The better question is: do you remember the last time? Pulp hasn’t played New York City since their Hammerstein Ballroom gig in 1998. No wonder the hall is packed with both old and new fans, some had been waiting a lifetime to see the magic in person.

Decked out in corduroy trousers and heeled boots, Jarvis Cocker hurtles around the massive stage, posing, throwing candy to the audience, and slinking with his signature hip wiggle. Radio City hasn’t seen this many high-kicks since the Rockettes last Christmas! Jarvis intersperses The Great Gatsby quotes and fun facts between hits like ‘Disco 2000’ and ‘Babies.’ Just your normal rock show. But it isn’t all highbrow intellectualizing. After scaling the side steps leading to the mezzanine, Jarvis shows his appreciation for the “beautiful” Radio City by giving it a full-bodied dance, wall-to-face, while softly crooning ‘This Is Hardcore.’ In an even stranger turn of events, a dance troupe mime a stiff ballet during ‘Feeling Called Love.’

The set list relies heavily on Pulp’s (arguably) best album, ‘Different Class’. After ‘Bar Italia,’ a soft, ballad-type song, Pulp close the set with crowd (and all-around) favourite ‘Common People’. But after a 14-year wait, an encore is inevitable. ‘Like A Friend,’ about the same friend that inspired ‘Common People’, starts off sedately, but bursts into frenzy at every chorus. ‘Party Hard,’ which hasn’t been seen live in ages, rounds out the two-hour set. It feels like minutes instead of hours - just to leave you satisfied enough to want more.

Mr. Cocker’s solo efforts may have been a nice interlude. But Pulp’s reunion shows that many talented people in one band is just plain brilliance!

Tags: Pulp, Features

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