Thursday, July 31, 2008

31 Jul: Duffy Live@ First Avenue, Minneapolis

Tonight Duffy kicked off her US tour at First Avenue, Minneapolis.

1. Syrup & Honey
2. Rockferry
3. Hanging on Too Long
4. Serious
5. Breaking My Own Heart
6. Warwick Avenue
7. Cry To Me (cover)
8. I’m Scared
9. Delayed Devotion
10. Stepping Stone
11. Tomorrow
12. Mercy

13. Oh Boy
14. Distant Dreamer

If you have pics, vids, reviews please leave a comment!

The below review is from the Star Tribune here.

Concert review: Unnatural stage presence mars Duffy's appearance

Unnatural stage presence mars First Avenue appearance by British sensation Duffy.

Last update: August 1, 2008 - 12:19 AM

Why are U.S. music fans so skeptical of every Next Big Thing from England? Is it because of the hype generated by the British press? England's quirky tastes? Too many one-hit wonders? Too many acts that just don't translate here?

It was easy to be skeptical Thursday night about the Twin Cities debut of Duffy, 24, whose "Rockferry" is the biggest-selling album in England thus far this year. She had no history of performing in clubs after being discovered on Wales' version of "American Idol" in 2003. Earlier this year, she received mixed reviews for her U.S. performances at Coachella, South By Southwest and the Apollo Theater. And there's been quite a bit of backlash about her back in Britain.

The first night of her first formal U.S. tour at First Avenue left this first impression: Intriguing voice, cool retro sound and striking presence, but unnatural, affected performing style and too many midtempo tunes.

This 65-minute, '60s-flavored performance would have been more effective in grainy black-and-white, but Duffy was all red, white and blonde. She had glossy red high heels, lips and earrings to go with her short, poufy white sundress (think Marilyn Monroe in "Seven-Year Itch") and long blonde hair in a ponytail (think a leggy Kristen Chenoweth). Her songs mostly sounded like 1960s soul and girl-group pieces, her echoy, girlish but potent voice enveloped in a wall of sound (think Dusty Springfield with Lulu's voice).

Duffy (born Aimee Ann Duffy) received an enthusiastic reception from the full house at First Avenue, but her flirty performance was very mannered. She was a mixture of fetching wholesomeness and coy coquette. She paraded around the stage like a burlesque dancer, acting out her songs, twirling her microphone cord more like a take-it-off stripper than the Who's Roger Daltrey. Then she would strike a pose at song's end: Side to the audience, head cocked back and hands frozen in a fanciful dance. Everything she did onstage seemed calculated and self-conscious.

Musically, Duffy's songs seemed geared more for the radio than the stage. "Warwick Avenue," her second hit in England, was a seductively retro Southern ballad, defined by its lazy bass line. It was one of the few times when she sang a song instead of acted it out; same thing happened with her rendition of the '60s soul chestnut "Cry to Me." The night's big payoff, of course, was the U.S. and U.K. hit "Mercy," a foot-stomping '60s soul workout and the only truly uptempo tune in her set.

However, one terrific song does not the Next Big Thing make -- even if the singer is from England.

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Anonymous said...

Pics for the show and a short clip of a bit of "Rockferry"

More pictures of the set in Minneapolis.

Anonymous said...

Well this guy is entitled to his opinion, he knows nothing about wawffactor of course or anything about Duffy's subsequent career pre-Rockferry.

To tell the truth who cares about some local journo, I'm far more interested in those Nivea ads

Anonymous said...

I don't like those Shirley Temple dresses Duffy seems to wear in America

Anonymous said...

Duffy wows Minneapolis:

old git said...

Seems a bit harsh. Coincidentally he liked the performances of the two songs he was most familiar with. Does that tell us something?

I find Duffy's slightly naive stagecraft quite endearing most of the time, but it does get a bit much sometimes. A bit too mannered. A bit too much microphone twirling. Less would definitely be more most of the time. I wish she would move the way she moved on "Later with Jools Holland" back in February. She moved just enough to add to the performance, but not enough to stop you being totally transfixed by her singing.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Old Git. She shouldn't move at all on some of the songs, eg: Syrup and Honey, I'm Scared, Oh Boy, Warwick Avenue and Cry to Me, come to mind.

Where is her manager here? Surely she has organised some stage-craft coaching? And someone should tell Duffy it ain't cool to swear (even to an 18+ audience) - now that really gets me goat for some reason. And some of her outfits have been less than flattering, to say the least.

All in all, I'm disappointed with Ms Jeannette Lee and her team.

danyelle6974 said...

So now we know where Duffy got the little dress from she wore for this gig!