Aimee Mann at the London Palladium
On London’s Palladium stage last night Aimee Mann seemed every inch the seasoned pro. And rightfully so. With a career that spans over 30 years she has created work as diverse as new wave, Academy Award-nominated soundtracks and now her latest solo record Mental Illness, which this gig is part of the tour for. Her music has come to be known for it’s intricate lyrics and layered emotions, deep moments of melancholy or everyday pain set against diverse backgrounds including string quartets and beautiful piano melodies.
She opened the show with 4th of July, which prompted instant recognition in the significant crowd gathered in the West End theatre. And whilst the Palladium’s lay out doesn’t naturally incline itself to rowdy or overly physical displays of appreciation there was a definite buzz and atmosphere despite this. At points, those assembled shouted out to the singer and she was more than happy to riff back. Next she slid seamlessly into Little Bombs. A piece whose tone and lyrics gloriously depict melancholy, including lines such as “Life just kind of empties out, less a deluge than a drought”.
Mann’s stage persona is both laid back and charming. A performer clearly entirely at ease she chatted with the audience in a jovial and wry manner. “This is a song about Hollywood and disappointment. But not about Harvey Weinstein,” she quipped at one point.
“But it is a bit about Andrew Garfield”. The track in question was Patient Zero off her new record. Her other references and jokes – a running one about an out of tune guitar, Pittsburgh and Trump – all met with warm applause and laughter, and were testament to both her popularity and gravitas as a respected artist. Before playing You Never Loved Me she explained the heartbreak that happened to her friend that inspired it; what followed was a song of anger but also resilience and strength. Throughout the evening she combined more new tracks with old favourites such as Save Me and One.
Overall, Mann put on a great show. She mixed old and new seamlessly and fans responded warmly to both – a diverse range of ages its easy to see how she draws such a crowd. Her charming stage presence and poetic lyrics make a great combination, which means that audiences will be coming to hear her shows far into the future.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit the Aimee Mann website here.
Watch the video for Patient Zero here: