Amy Winehouse / Varsity Theater / May 2, 2007
I love Back to Black, the killer album of soul-filled '60s girl-group pop put out this year by flyweight British boozer Amy Winehouse. But her concert at the Varsity Theater on Wednesday night was weirdly underwhelming. She had on her vampy Faster Pussycat eyeliner and that crazy beehive weave that towers above her head. I bet it outweighs her when wet. And her voice was there—a husky donkey's bray coming out of a big bullfrog's mouth. But she just kinda stood limply the whole time, twirling her hair and looking down, connecting with the carpet rather than the audience.
She's backed by the Dap-Kings on this tour, and at times the eight-piece band overpowered her. Sharon Jones takes forty-five minutes just to introduce each member of her band; Winehouse's whole set was that long, and if she said anything about the Dap-Kings, I didn't hear it. When she came back to sing "Love is a Losing Game" for an encore, she apologized: "I'm not usually such shit." It was a lame substitute for, I don't know, actually putting some effort into the performance. The sold-out crowd was ready to worship her, but instead, her fans chatted during her set. After the show, hundreds of people who had been temporarily blinded by white spotlights angled directly into the audience's eyes rushed the lighting guy and tore him limb from limb. (Okay, that didn't actually happen, we couldn't find the dude.)