Photos by G.
Pulp. Radio City Music Hall. April 11, 2012. Epic! Wow! I haven’t had this much fun at a show in a long time. It’s been 14 years since British rockers Pulp have played in New York and it’s been worth the wait. Playing their second of 2 sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall, the 2 hour set was a non-stop party of great songs, lights, rock and roll, hilarious anecdotes from lead singer Jarvis Cocker, crowd sing-a-longs and fun times!
The show began just before 9 PM with laser projected statements not unlike those found in the liner notes of Pulp albums. Questions like “Are you ready?” “Are you sure?” and “Do You Remember The First Time?” flashed across Radio City Music Hall and then the band launched into “Do You Remember The First Time?” What a great way to open the show! Between every single song, lead singer Jarvis Cocker told funny anecdotes about songs (including a chat about astrology – he’s a fellow Virgo as well), and called our crowd “the hardcore fans” as this was initially the first Pulp show in New York, but a second night was added due to ticket demand. That show ended up becoming the first night due to scheduling issues with the venue.
During tracks like the ode-to -taking-drugs-at-a-festival song “Sorted For E’s and Wizz,” a very trippy laser light show was being projected throughout Radio City Music Hall and I think the laser lights could have been seen from the bathrooms at Radio City! The band utilized great lighting throughout the show from neon letters that spelled out “P-U-L-P” (see photo above), had screens behind the band that showed all kinds of cool and colorful visuals and during the song “I Spy,” Jarvis Cocker had some sort of device that he shined at the audience and it projected his camera onto the overhead screens.
During the epic “This is Hardcore,” Jarvis Cocker climbed up to the balcony of Radio City and by the end of the song was laying on his back next to the drum kit on the stage. Nearly every song you could hope for was played including classics like “Babies,” “Underwear,” “Razzamatazz,” “Common People,” “Disco 2000” and “This is Hardcore.” Missing from the great set were “Help The Aged,” “Party Hard” and “Lipgloss,” but you can’t play everything in 2 hours! Jarvis also played a bit of a Chuck Berry track to celebrate Chuck’s birthday, which was yesterday. During the final song of the main set, “Common People,” Jarvis introduced the band, told the story of how the song came about (based on a true encounter that happened to him) and explained that he is still astonished that this little incident lead to the band’s biggest single. Though I discovered Pulp’s music late in life, I’ve made up for lost time by embracing their music and towards the end of “Common People” when Jarvis breaks the song down before the final climax and says “I wanna live like common people like YOUUUUUUU,” the audience completely freaked out and it was matched by a wild light show, which made that moment not only the highlight of the show, but surely one of the best concert moments of 2012 for me.
Hopefully it will not be another 14 years before Pulp comes back and though they only have a few US shows on their tour schedule at the moment, you should definitely try and see them!
The setlist was:
Do You Remember The First Time? /Monday Morning /Razzamatazzz /Pencil Skirt / Something Changed / Disco 2000 / Sorted For E’s and Wizz / 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 / Bad Cover Version/ Misshapes