The indelible "Polly Jean Harvey" rocked "the Great American Music Hall" Thursday night. The sold-out show was a must see for PJ fans, who have only dreamt of seeing her in such a small and intimate setting--and with no opening act! Ms. Polly arrived onstage in a bright yellow dress (with her name embroidered on the back), and pink stillettos. The dress marked this burst of sunshine's entrance with rousing applause by the salivating crowd. She immediately started belting out "The Whores Hustle and the Hustler's Whore" from her "Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea" album. She played a great mix of music from several of her albums. A highlight from her current album, "Uh Huh Her", was "Who the F***?" "Get your dirty fingers/Outta my hair!" she shrieked; PJ may be small in stature, but that voice is not small in the least. Other selections from Uh Huh Her were "The Letter", "Shame", "Cat On The Wall", "Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth", and "The Darker Days of Me & Him". The high point of the show for us had to be "Taut" from her collaboration with John Parish, "Dance Hall at Louse Point". We literally got chills as Polly writhed around on the floor of the stage, and whispered of a repentant boy named Billy. As she sang "Jesus Save Me", we thought we could die happy at that moment.
PJ's band left a bit to be desired, but that could be because we are undeniably biased when it comes to Polly's talent. One of her guitarists/drummers felt the need to pound his guitar and stumble around the stage continuously for an hour and a half. It was one thing when "Nirvana" did it in 1992, but PJ has so much of her own presense, his crazy staggering wasn't needed. While SFist loves passion, this came off as more of a pretension on his part. However, as long as PJ didn't mind, who are we to question?
Other selections played were "Good Fortune", "Dress", the dirgy "Meet Za Monsta", "Me-Jane", and the cult favorite, "Uh Huh Her", which has not been officially released...yet. Two encores later, we marveled at what we were just a part of--an amazing show in PJ history.