Photo by Brian Hedenberg
I will begin by stating that I am not writing this review from the view of a journalist or critic, but as a total fanboy for the band.
Pulp are one of those bands that I discovered late during their first go. As such, I never had the chance to experience them live. I thought a trip to New York in 2007 to see vocalist Jarvis Cocker perform his solo material would be as close as I would ever get. Even as they announced their festival schedule in 2011, I was sure that they would not make it across the pond.
As I sat in my seat in the third mezzanine of Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012, I was STILL in a state of disbelief. There was no way on Earth that this was happening. The lights dimmed, and a scrolling laser welcomed us to the show. We were told to make noise and were asked questions like, "Would you like to see a dolphin?", which was then followed by a graphic of said dolphin. Suddenly, the familiar strains of "Do You Remember the First Time?' filled the air. The curtain raised, the lights came on, and there were the band in their full glory.
This was real. It was happening. I was seeing Pulp live in concert.
They sounded like they had never gone away, as if someone had turned the clock back to 1995. Pulp treated us to a two hour set, most of which centered around their 1995 masterpiece "Different Class". Songs like "Monday Morning" and "Razzamatazz" sounded just as fresh in 2012 as they did back then. Jarvis wandered about the stage, dancing and posing as only he can. His famous between song banter found him quoting the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Kurt Vonnegut whilst throwing chocolates to the crowd. The band appeared to be just as in to everything as the audience was. This was not so much a live performance for an audience as it was an experience for everyone involved.
And then, it was over. The final notes of "Misshapes" were still ringing in our ears as the house lights slowly came back on. Everyone in attendance knew that they had just witnessed something spectacular. Reunions are a hit and a miss. Sometimes, you get bands that sound like they never skipped a beat. Other times, you get bands that were right to stop when they did. As I mentioned earlier, I missed Pulp the first time around. The second time proved to be just as nice.
Do You Remember the First Time?
Sorted For E's and Wizz
This is Hardcore
Like a Friend
Bad Cover Version