PJ Harvey steamed up NYC's Knitting Factory Wednesday night with a surprise performance for a very appreciative and die-hard audience. From the get go, the crowd worshipped at the altar of Polly Jean with a sense of dedication and awe usually reserved for cult leaders, the Papacy or heads of state. But to many, Harvey represents all this and more, so the reaction was to be expected, especially at such an intimate venue.
Luckily for the enchanted throngs, Miss Harvey delivered an inspired set and proved that her newly rediscovered sense of sparse instrumentation also translates in the live setting into that much more PJ attitude and style. As she moved from tracks off her latest release (Uh Huh Her will be released next Tuesday) to older faves touching on almost each of her past albums, the crowd seemed equally jubilant regardless of the material. Obviously tracks from the her last six records were definitely happily received, but new tracks also garnered heartfelt responses as well.
And after two encores, a sweat drenched hour-and-a-half, and the usual dervish that is PJ Harvey, all went home satisfied by their goddess. As Wednesday night evidenced, to PJ fans, she is so much more than just a rock queen, and she came to town to remind us just why she has reached such a spot in the rock pantheon.
Source: Miguel Banuelos