Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kate Nash - May 3, 2010

UK-based singer-songwriter, Kate Nash might be lacking a bit of confidence on her recently released sophomore album, My Best Friend Is You, but she had no such issues on stage at Lincoln Hall on Monday night. Joined on stage by a four piece band to flush out the sounds, she jumped right in to the new material with the soaring "Paris" and commanding the crowd to dance before launching into, lead singe, "Do Wah Doo". The poppy, energetic start to the evening created a party-like atmosphere, with jealousy-fuelled old-school rocker set the crowd in motion a bit.

Nash sat at the keyboard, gleefully playing over the thumping beat of fan favorite "Mouthwash" before standing up to limp to the left side of the stage to strap on a guitar for "Kiss That Grrl". Nash proved an engaging, charismatic performer, talking frequently with the crowd between songs; somehow coming off equal parts charming and edgy. She responded to a fan inquiry as to the reason for her injured leg that she injured herself wrestling her grandma. The back and forth between the witty Nash and her fans was as much a highlight as anything that got played, with the most entertaining moment of the night coming courtesy of an intrepid young fan. Nash's sassy vocals, including her frantic spoken word conclusion to "Don't You Want To Share The Guilt", and the harder edge the band gave everything, most notably the explosively ragged "Take Me To A Higher Plane", was just as pleasant a surprise her personality.

She asked for quiet before "I Hate Seagulls", telling the already well-behaved fans, "don't do anything stupid", before explaining that a fan in New York called her a c*nt and yelled for her to stop playing, before showing up at a signing afterwards professing how much he loves her. Before the bliss of "Foundations", with most of the crowd singing along, Nash offered $20 to any fan that crowd-surfed from the back of the venue to the front, so she could high-five them, and then surf back. Midway through, new album standout, rat-a-tat love song "Later On", a fan, barely old enough to get in the eighteen and older show, made his way over fans' outstretched hands to the stage, to the delight of Nash. Not missing a beat on the keys, Nash invited him on-stage to dance (albeit awkwardly) behind her until the song's conclusion.

The song ended with the fan getting his high-five, but Nash surprised him by allowing him to sit at the keyboard and watch "Mansion Song" as she moved again to the side mic. Nash asked for the lights to be darkened for the song, potentially to mask the young fan's blushing face, as she launched into an f-bomb laced diatribe directed at female groupies looking for rockstar loving. The furious prog-pop tune worked great live because of how effectively Nash sold it, leading into the similarly post-punk leanings of "I Just Love You More". The two songs left you wondering what an all-out punk album would sound like from the British pop star. She called for the fan to return to the stage for the closing punk thrasher, "Model Behaviour".

The only disappointment in the set was the absence of "Pumpkin Soup" and the lack of an encore. The set ended with Nash hopping off-stage, using her 'hero' as human crutch. The house lights popped on to the sold-out crowd's amazement, leading to lots of groaning, confusion, shouting to coax her back out, and some 'encore' chants. The stage manager eventually came out to distribute the set lists to the fans, and indicating that she would be doing a meet-and-greet with fans at the merch booth. It is hard to feel short-changed after an hour and ten minute set where the artist hangs out afterwards to meet you. Kate Nash might write lovely pop tunes on album, but live she is all rockstar.

Do Wah Doo
Kiss That Grrrl
Take Me To A Higher Plane
Don't You Want To Share The Guilt
I Hate Seagulls
I've Got A Secret
Later On
Mansion Song
I Just Love You More
Model Behaviour

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